Saturday, March 03, 2007

Good Conversation

I'm starting a new post, because I want to take the discussion started under my Barack post in another direction. That, and 40 comments later the discussion has changed enough to merit another posting. ;)

I have a question, or maybe just a clarification...

"It is my position that the government has no business interfering with peaceful voluntary transactions, whether between me and my local Kroger, or between me and a Cuban cigar manufacturer."

Mr. Hargis, I don't disagree with your position, but I have been troubled as of late by the nature of our commercial and political relationship with China. I've started to notice talk radio - the Laura Ingraham Show in particular - beginning to pick up on this topic. I'm hoping you can discuss this with me.

Although Carter tried to turn his back on Taiwan, we're committed to the defense of that country. Recently, Chinese leaders declared that they have no interest in freedom, and that "democracy" is probably 100 years away from reality. I have long thought that our commercial relationship with China is supporting a regime that oppresses its people - witness the allegations of their treatment of followers of the religious movement Falun Gong. Tiananmen Square wasn't so long ago, although it seems that people conveniently forget this.

I think that at some level, government has a responsibility to check the interests of private enterprise. After all, if men were angels, we'd need no government - isn't that true about human nature? If you accept this, you'll acknowledge that some people (certainly not a majority) are of weak character and will take advantage of others for their benefit. And since corporations are merely collections of individuals working as one legal entity, isn't it reasonable to expect that government has a duty to regulate business activities at some level?

I object to the sentiment that manifests itself on the pages of the Wall Street Journal Editorial page - that the United States is essentially America Inc. and that should be the basis for national decisions. There is a strong sentiment in this country that what is good for business is good for America, and I can't say I agree with this.

Our trading partner China is openly hostile and dishonest. That we can get cheap goods from them seems like a shortsighted mortgaging of our sovereignty.

61 comments:

michael hargis said...

Given enough time and latitude, Webster and I always seem to wind up back on the same subject, don't we? I must say I thoroughly enjoy it!

That the Chicoms oppress their people is undeniable, but if we have any concern for the well-being of the Chinese, then we should ask ourselves if it is any help to them to further limit their economic opportunities by forbidding trade. You cannot say that they get no benefit from it at all, although I'll allow that the benefit is small compared to that reaped by the Chinese leadership. And it would be the height of arrogance to say that they are better off without it.

Free, unfettered trade encourages peaceable relations, and removes the crutch dictators often use to explain the widespread poverty that usually attends such governments. Our government's only duties would be to ensure transparency, enforce contracts, and generally see that everyone plays by the same rules. Excepted from this would be those things that pertain to national security, and those better be clear and provable. When my government says "Take our word for it," I make sure not to drop the soap.

Now, China is in a different category from Cuba. Cuba was never going to be a military adversary except by proxy. With that in mind, it would only be prudent for Uncle Sam to set up some safeguards to keep the greedy from selling us down the road, but those safeguards, whatever they would be, should be designed by men passionately committed to human liberty. If you find any such men in Washington, let me know.

If I seem excessively concerned with the well-being of the Chinese to the exclusion of others, let me say that preventing Americans from buying cheap goods doesn't help Americans any, either. Buying a cheap Chinese watch leaves more money in my pocket than buying a more expensive American-made watch. I'm just as patriotic as the next guy, but I'm far more committed to the ideal of human liberty than to the bumper sticker which says "Buy American."

I'm by no means convinced that free trade props up dictatorships, but by simple observation I notice that trade embargoes do them little harm. How long was Castro in power? Turn the almost limitless power of free enterprise and free trade loose on commies everywhere, and watch 'em scuttle under the rocks where they belong. That's my prediction, or prophesy if you will, and you read it here first.

The Monarchist said...

See, I think there's something odd happening here that no one has figured out yet. I'm included in that category.

We're judging "the almost limitless power of free trade" to send the commies scurrying through the example of... well, maybe it's just me, or maybe it's just weekend-brain, but what example are we using again? I was about to say the former Soviet Union, but we spent them into bankruptcy via the arms race. Their collapse was an indicment of command economies rather than a conversion to the church of liberty and freedom.

I'm curious if there's a meaningful example to compare; a command economy where free trade was slowly adopted, and the society then embraced a democratic form of government. An example very clear in the distinction: first, economics, then freedom.

Even so, I'm beginning to think that such an example might be incompatible with the Chinese situation given unique cultural and historical differences. And yes, in some respects I am thinking of uniquely Christian principles that are compatible with liberty and that led to the way the West is today.

And I don't necessarily buy the argument that trading with the Chinese is better for their people. Should we have traded with the Soviet-bloc countries, by that line of thinking? If trading with the Chicoms results in another 100 years of socialism, while not trading with them causes 5-10 years of pain and hardship, but eventual liberty, which is the better path for the people of China? Isn't either decision basically saying: we know what's best for you? If so, aren't we obligated to act in a way not to prolong tyranny, despite material discomforts?

Lastly, and I appreciate your patience, we're both committed to the ideal of human liberty. I know this about you. What I can't figure is why we might look at this issue differently. Different opinions is what makes us different people, but I'm seeking understanding, that's all.

Thanks.

-AH

JWales said...

"that we can get cheap goods from them seems like a shortsighted mortgaging of our sovereignty".

That A.H. sums it up quiet well.
America has bought into the life of materialism, hook, line and sinker. China is cashing in on our materialism and pumping over 50% into their military (our money,our technology secrets, NICE!) and has openly vowed to one day destroy us.
Not to mention purchasing billions in real estate and business' here.

Big business and Washington call it the "global economy", I call it a sell out.

If you want to read about some good ole fashion chinese oppression, go to the Voice of the Martyrs website and enjoy.

J. said...

A uncomfortable realization occurred to me to day and that is,

WE are not a society, we are an economy.

The Monarchist said...

J,

I wouldn't go that far, just yet. Yes, there is a large and growing sentiment that what's good for American business is good for America. In my opinion (most other people I think would disagree), we've created a dangerous entanglement with the Chinese. Severing it - if we ever could muster the will to do so - would be painful. But do I think we should? Yes, I do.

But we're not too far gone just yet. What makes you say that we're not a society anymore? Maybe I can be convinced.

-AH

michael hargis said...

"If trading with the Chicoms results in another 100 years of socialism, while not trading with them causes 5-10 years of pain and hardship, but eventual liberty, which is the better path for the people of China?"

Since I'm not the one suffering the pain and hardship I guess the latter would be the better path, assuming your timetable is correct. Plus, I would say that advancing liberty differs from not prolonging tyranny in the same way that trying to win differs from trying not to lose. Free trade advances liberty.

BTW, what are these unique cultural and historical differences you speak of? Do they apply to Hong Kong?

I can think of no examples of free trade toppling a dictatorship, which means there are at least as many examples of that as there are examples of no trade doing the same. My only claim here is that we've tried the one and it did absolutely nothing to loosen Castro's grip on Cuba. Why not try something that acknowledges and puts into practice our ideals of freedom and liberty?

Now allow me to illustrate how the complaint of American materialism is an empty one. Firstly, the freedoms we spend nearly all our time enjoying and exercising are material freedoms. Secondly, when people are busy paying mortgages, loading the kids in the minivan to go to soccer practice, and downloading the latest tunes on their iPods, they don't have nearly the time or inclination to strap on the dynamite and annihilate a shopping mall. Where would they get designer jeans? If your goal is a peaceful, prosperous society, then materialism works because peaceful, voluntary trade works.

Free trade promotes transparency in the dealings between nations, and if the transparency is one-sided, then it tends to shine a bright light on the more secretive nations. They stick out like a sore thumb, which is not the case in the world today. The myriad of trade regulations blur the line between who's playing fair and who isn't.

Finally, if we're all busy getting rich and fat, the Chicoms won't be able to keep that a secret from a billion other Chinese any more than they could keep a solar eclipse a secret. They will face the choice of either stepping out of the way, or being shot and dragged out of the way. Human history makes me think that the latter will be the case.

JWales said...

"not a society..."

Wasnt me A.H., different J.. dont know what's up with that.

JW

JWales said...

Mr.Hargis said:

"..when people are busy paying mortgages, loading the kids in the minivan to go to soccer, and downloading tunes on ipods.. they dont have nearly the time or inclination to strap on the dynamite......"

It's amazing how we can see things from different vantage points or thru different glasses. To me, what you say about filling our lives with debt, sports, ipods and busy busy things to keep us out of trouble, is exactly the problem. This is why many American's are letting this country, liberties and freedoms slip away because they're too da*ned busy. They have no clue that the crooks in Washington D.C. are selling this country down the river because theyre too freakin busy filling their lives with activities. They dont have the desire or "time" to investigate what these boneheads in Washington are up to, they'll just take the MSM's word for it (God help us).

America's self indulgence will be America's downfall.

michael hargis said...

Would we be more free if we were idle? There is no causal relationship between living busy lives and being ignorant of government predation on our liberties. The idle and contemplative among us are just as likely to be indifferent as anyone else.

The Monarchist said...

OK, I'm going to try and stay organized here, but I've got a lot on my mind...

Do you really want me to list the cultural and historical differences between the Chinese and the United States? A big difference from which all others relate/emanate is that this country was founded primarily by Christians who believed in things like inalienable rights. That Red China doesn't agree with this should be self-evident. I'm no scholar of Hong Kong, but I'm willing to read up on it if that helps correct any misconceptions I have about human nature. I'd guess that at some point, some people decided that they preferred freedom and liberty, and those folks were early leaders of Hong Kong. But that doesn't mean that enormous historical and cultural differences exist.

We tried trade embargoes with Cuba and it didn't work. True and fine, but this doesn't mean that trade restrictions are ineffective. If the international community had the will to see it through, might trade restrictions have toppled North Korea by now? Instead, Clinton bought into Kim Jong's lies, and NK got money for agreeing to play nice. Fast forward 13 years and once again on the bring of disaster, and Condi Rice does the same thing. Cuba benefitted for many years from the material support of the Soviet Union. What's more likely to cause people to rise up against an oppressor: utter devastation and ruin, or mild prosperity?

I'd like to disagree with one other thing: "If your goal is a peaceful, prosperous society, then materialism works because peaceful, voluntary trade works."

Couldn't you argue that a ruthless dictatorship could accomplish the same? Isn't that one of those things the Left always admired about despots "the trains ran on time"? China is not a free society, but they've reportedly got less of a drug problem and overall crime than we do. And from accounts of people who have travelled there, they sure seem to have a "prosperous" society today. My point, I guess, is that peaceful and prosperous maybe aren't the ideal; maybe the goal should be free societies. 18th century America was much less prosperous than early 21st century America, yet, which should we aspire to more?

Lastly, the secretive nature of our trading partner sure hasn't slowed down the ballooning trade deficit between the US and China. If they stick out like a sore thumb, but because of greed and corporate interest we shrug and say "so what", then what's gained? A moral victory?

I give the Chicoms credit: they're awfully good at keeping things from their people. Liberty being the primary thing. And when corporations like Google and Microsoft line up and agree to play along, how in the world is status quo (unfettered trade with them on their terms) going to change anything?

Thanks for the conversation, gents.

-AH

The Monarchist said...

Correction:

I meant to say that doesn't mean that differences don't exist.

Sorry. My bad!

-AH

michael hargis said...

I know of no ruthless dictatorships that brought peace and prosperity to their people. And the trains run on time here, too. Strange that the left never notices that.

Clearly, Google and Microsoft wouldn't be there if the terms of trade were totally one-sided. Are they in it for the money? Sure. I don't run an adhesive binder for altruistic reasons, I do it for money. Preachers may claim to be called by God, but precious few of them would keep up the work if they weren't being paid.

Look at Africa, if you want utter devastation and ruin. Those poor people couldn't rise up against their oppressors if they wanted to. A little prosperity might change things.

AH, I know you want people to be more self-governing. Why would you then deny them one of the most basic of choices: Whom to buy from? Are you waiting for some idealized vision of America to come about before bestowing that gift upon people? Do you wait for all the traffic lights to turn green before you leave for work?

I want my government to treat me like the adult that I am, pure and simple.

Discussion is over, if you wish.

JWales said...

Mr.Hargis said:

"Preachers may claim to be called by God, but precious few of them would keep up the work if they were'nt being paid".

This is one can of worms I'm not going to open, but I will say this: Praise God for the "Precious Few".

J. said...

J is Jana for sorry for any confusion ,

I say economy rather than society for a number of reasons.

Western countries certainly made a big mistake thinking that the Chinese communist Party was going to become a democratic nation thru economic development. Western Politicians and business people's greed simply refused to be clear on this issue even though all the signs were there. Except for Falun Gong who are enduring an almighty inhumane persecution for since 1999 see this coming? I'm sure the Tibetans, the democratic seekers and all other groups who are being suppressed in China would have seen it coming too. We have been telling our leaders for years.

Now what can we expect for the future?

We have a brutal regime who has killed 60-80 million people in the last 60 years; continues to launch persecutions on anyone who has freedom of thought and belief or speaks out about the tyranny of the regime; is not going to assume democracy in the next 100 years; has documented nuclear capabilities; is friendly with Sudan, Iran, Russia, North Korea; dislikes the USA ,Australia and Canada in that order and has verily destroyed by association and their admittance into all democratic organizations thru its corruption and bribery to attain its primary objectives and that is to carry on Mao’s legacy of ruling the world with communism.

Lets hope our so called leaders will stop being greedy or terrified of the communists and put Human rights before the almighty dollar as Canada's Prime Minster Steven Harper has done.

Otherwise the reality is living as a communist slave in the very near future .

We know now and we knew then that the communist regime was not going to change.The only way we will be free of the future is for Chinese people to turn their backs on the the communist regime peacefully.

Our leaders and business people ignoring the persecution of Falun Gong while outsourcing slave labour so we can have cheap goods in the west has destroyed our conscience and with it our caring for humanity and putting life before profits at all costs.

Here are 2 links to last weeks news direct from China quoting 2 prominent leaders in the communist regime.


Another 100 years before Democracy in China says Wen
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21298234-663,00.html

And here what Luo Gan said in the previous week
Party dictates the Law and always will
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/party-dictates-the-law-says-top-chineseofficial/
2007/02/04/1170523961103.html

The problem with putting economics before human rights is that in reality the Chinese people have been brainwashed yet again by a brutal communist regime and they have actually traded away the only real thing of value a human has and that is their conscience.And that is a very dangerous thing to do because we all know what crimes are committed by nations, dictators and everyday people who have no conscience.

In the west we should have known better and thats why i say we have become an economy. By the way I live in Australia and our leaders here are just as corrupt and weak when it comes to dealing with the communist regime.

michael hargis said...

Jana,

Economics is not just about making money, it is a way of analyzing and predicting human behavior and human interactions. Economic laws, such as the law of demand, apply equally to purchasing CDs and committing crimes. There are no exceptions at any level. Trade is an important facet of economic behavior, and is a sure sign of a society busily engaged in pursuing happiness. With all due respect, it is meaningless to say we are an economy and not a society.

AH, It occurs to me that we may be arguing two different questions here. 1) Is it right to trade with China? 2) Is it right for our government to forbid Americans from trading with China?

My answer to the first question is, it depends. To the second, absolutely not.

J. said...

We cant stop trading with China but we can openly criticize the communist regime for its human rights atrocities without fear up upsetting trade relations, we did not have to allow them into the UN WHO WTO Olympic Games etc which are all democratic organizations.

What we have done with the Chinese communist regime is not right in any terms.WE have put economics first rather than speak out openly to them about the accepted international standards that all democratic and civilized countries live by. Please note that Im only talking about the communist regime not China. China will be still be there when the communist regime falls and is long gone. But who in China will trade with good relations to those democratic countries who did nothing to stop the suffering of millions of Chinese people under the rule of communism? When the truth of the persecution of FAlun Gong practitioners is fully revealed in its entirety the world will weep.

There are still many companies today who are penalized for trading and aiding Nazi regime during the WW11 for the persecution of the Jewish race.

Until we put human life above all else this world will not prosper for long nor can we call it a society.

The Monarchist said...

Jana,

Welcome to the blog, thanks for stopping by and commenting. If what you're saying is that it seems like Western societies are putting economic interests ahead of other national interests, you won't get a whole lot of argument from me.

Mr. Hargis, I think you're on to something. My answers to the two questions are 1) probably not and 2) it depends.

A good comparison for my answer to your second question, I think, is the former Soviet Union. While not directly at war with each other, we were competing for global dominance. No sense in sugar-coating it: it was called an arms race for a reason.

Our way of life was pitted squarely against theirs. One side espoused freedom, the other, totalitarianism. Should the US have prohibited companies from doing business with the USSR? Absolutely. It becomes an easy equation... there are some things that are clearly in our national interest and some things that clearly are not. When trading with a nation that is openly hostile to us is not in the national interest, the government is within its rights to step in and regulate. Even if that regulation becomes the word "prohibit."

Is a business within its rights to dump hazhardous waste into rivers, streams, and lakes? Of course not. Why isn't that considered bold - where does the government get off telling someone how to run their business? The reason is that it is not in the best interest of society to allow a business free reign with respect to how they operate their business.

I'm all for people exercising self-control and being self-governing. But I'll go back to that age-old saying, because it applies here: if men were angels, we'd need no government, right?

-AH

michael hargis said...

In the case of the business dumping pollution into the stream or lake, that would be a clear violation of someone's property rights, even if that someone turned out to be the state. Protecting property rights is, of course, one of the few things government has any business trying to do.

I agree with you about the Soviet Union, with whom we were at war. A cold war, but war nonetheless.

China has allowed western corporations to set up shop within her borders. In some cities, Shanghai for example, limited amounts of free enterprise are permitted to exist. The time seems right to me for us to attack, so to speak, not with military force, but with all the chaotic, scrambling, get-rich-quick force that the world's most powerful economy can muster. They've allowed us a foot in the door, why not barge in and dump some dirt on the floor and sell 'em a billion or so vacuum cleaners?

How are they going to know how desperately in need they are of flat-screen TVs, George Foreman grills, and Beyonce CDs if we don't tell them? You may sneer at that those things, but I'm here to tell you that those are exactly the kinds of things that people all over the world want, for no other reason than because we have them. The Chinese are no different.

I'm sure you've heard of the horrible evils perpetrated upon innocent rock stars by Chinese bootleggers. Whenvever you see smugglers and bootleggers working, you're seeing human wants being met. The Chinese want western culture, no question in my mind about it. Of course, they'll put their own inscrutable spin on that culture, but that doesn't change the fact that they want it.

Could it be, AH, that you dislike my proposed means for combatting oppression in the world, not because of an objective rationale for why it wouldn't work, but because it doesn't provide a grand background for the struggle between good and evil? If tyranny can be defeated by such prosaic items as tennis shoes, golf clubs, and designer sunglasses, well what fun is that?

Daniel Webster said...

"Clearly, Google and Microsoft wouldn't be there if the terms of trade were totally one-sided. Are they in it for the money? Sure. I don't run an adhesive binder for altruistic reasons, I do it for money. Preachers may claim to be called by God, but precious few of them would keep up the work if they weren't being paid."

This struck a cord with me. In fact, one of the first things that I discuss with a new employee is this: "Look, let's be realistic here, I'm not in business to provide you with a job, and you aren't working for me to provide me with a laborer...we're both in it for the money." I make it a point to share these thoughts with them for a couple of reasons. First, to overthrow the goofy ideas they've picked up during their formidable educational years, and second, to establish in their minds that our relationship being what it is, I'm totally not in favor of ever paying someone, for an extended length of time, an hourly wage when that system itself literally invites the abuse of it from both parties - they're looking to make the most money they can for the least amount of work, and I'm looking to get the most work I can out of them for the least amount of money. There is a much better system than that. However...

The difference here is that my employees and I truly have a free relationship wherein both parties have freely negotiated our respective terms. Both of us have freely entered into a contract, and either of us can at any time decide that we're not happy with the terms, or the conditions, or whatever. They don't have to continue to work for me, nor do I have to continue to employ them. In this case the government needn't involve itself. How is any American business ever to enter into such an arrangement with the Chinese People?

If I could be assured that I could negotiate terms directly with the Chinese People, then this idea of free trade would be a lot more appealing to me. Seeing as how I'd really be negotiating terms with the chicom regime, however, leads me to believe that I'd effectively be negotiating with an arbitrary government over the price of their slave labor. What could ever make me believe that I have the right, or the responsibility to take, without their direct consent, that which belongs solely to the individual - their labor?

J. said...

Michael Hargis,

I see what you are saying I think. But that old argument does not work with the new situation in China.

The 300 million upwardly mobile Chinese people who have benefited from the economic boom have made a deal with the Ccp after Tiannamen Square Massacre and that is to not make waves, do not talk about democracy and freedom, do not criticize the Ccp and the eradication and persecution of Falun Gong is good because there would be no China without the Ccp. The deal was you will all become rich .

They made this deal because they knew there was no other way. And now they believe everything the Ccp says to them. They still do not have freedom of mind and belief. Which means they can have all the western goodies they want and when the goodies run out due to resources global environmental changes etc they will fight the west for them and destroy the west with out conscience because they no longer have one.

If they can murder on mass good human beings for simply believing in Truth compassion and Tolerance for no good reason other than it doesn't fit in with their polices and their survival then what do you think they will do about the west?

Here is another link to a Military analyist comment he made about the US in 2005 and what the Ccp would do.

-Chi Haotian, Chinese Military Analyst's Deadly Words
http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-8-5/30931.html

Consumerism will not win one democratic day in China nor peace for the world. Dictators and brutal regimes are just that with no respect for human life. Only a giant leap from the heart and a deep caring for all of humanity will save this world from the most evil .And most of all its the poor the Chinese people who need our help

michael hargis said...

Webster, would you not be free to buy or not buy from China? Would the Chicoms not be free to buy or not buy from you?

Look at it another way: Let's say Bob doesn't want Americans trading with China. He has a few options. He can speak and publish against the practice, but that will take considerable time to work, if it works at all. He can go down to the docks with a ballbat and physically prevent Chinese goods from coming into the country, but he will wind up either in jail or some stevedore will send him to the bottom of the bay. A third option would be to get Congress to pass a law against trading with China. That way Bob gets what he want with no cost or risk to himself. He has also conferred upon the government a right he himself doesn't have.

Many people wouldn't trade with China if they could, and many others would vote with their pocketbooks by refusing to do business with companies who traded with China. Both are legitimate means to an end. Neither violates anyone's rights, neither involves coercion.

Jana,

"I see what you are saying I think. But that old argument does not work with the new situation in China."

What old argument would that be?

"They made this deal because they knew there was no other way. And now they believe everything the Ccp says to them."

Nobody, repeat nobody, believes everything the Chicoms say to them. Not even other Chicoms.

Your other claims are a bit strong, to say the least. Neither you, nor I, nor our hosts, nor anyone else knows what's going to happen in China tomorrow, much less 5, 10, 20 years down the road.

AH, our economic power defeated the Soviets, as you pointed out, by enabling us to outspend them in an arms race. Why can it not defeat the Chicoms? Is it because it only works in an arms race?

Call Me Mom said...

Great discussion gentlemen and lady.

Hello Jana, It's nice to see a new point of view.

It seems to me that all this is boiling down to a person's right to live his life as he sees fit as long as it does no harm to his neighbor.

The very devil is in the details of figuring out what is harmful to one's neighbor, who that neighbor is and whether or not the government has or is overstepping it's bounds in regulating an individual's ability to live and do business according to his/her own moral and ethical guidelines.

It's a pickle and I'm not seeing any clear cut solutions.

I would think that rebuilding our moral and ethical foundations as a nation along with a strong emphasis on personal responsibility is a good place to start. The biggest hurdle there is time. I don't know if we will have the time to do that rebuilding.

JWales said...

China has two aces in the hole.

1. America's dependence on their cheap goods for our ultra comfy lifestyles (which I'm also guilty).

2. China is the single largest purchaser of American debt (along with Japan), U.S. Treasury Notes and Bonds that fund are insatiable appetite to spend (and D.C.'s).

They could bury us financially if they called the debt due (which we probably couldnt pay), or we can be trading partners. Take your pick.

J. said...

That old argument would be that "when a communist regime becomes an economic player on the international scene them it stands to reason that democracy will follow."

I talked to many MPs about this issue 3-4 years ago and they all fervently believed this. Of course now they don't and they are scared and don't know what to do now.

Unfortunately the leaders of all democratic countries who wanted a slice of the big pie in China all agreed to the Ccp demands (after Tienanmen square massacre in 1989) which were "if you want to trade with us then dont talk about Human rights openly . We can set up yearly human rights meetings in your country and talk about them behind closed doors."

This was the signed and done deal.The west sold out to the devil and the communist regime has been laughing ever since.

The only change i can see being beneficial for liberation and freedom from state terrorism is the Chinese people to be rid of the Ccp and that can happen in 2 ways only. Once is peaceable and the other catastrophic.

1. Taiwan makes a bid for independence causing a world war. (Recent news from Taiwan today the President of Taiwan has boldly stated Taiwan will bid for independence very soon.



2. The Chinese people rise up for themselves and turn their back on the Ccp by openly quiting it.

Since the publication in 2004 of the "9 Commentaries" a historical expose of the Ccp nearly 20 million people have woken up and quit the Ccp in China.

30,000 Chinese people a day are quitting after reading the 9 commentaries. Here is the link http://ninecommentaries.com/


For us in the west the atrocities of the Forced harvesting of Falun practitioners organs in China has proved to be a turning point in people illusions about a peaceable China emerging.

Please view this link to 2 independent reports from Former Canadian Cabinet Minister and secretary of state in Asia pacific David Kilgour and international Human rights lawyer David Matas.

http://investigation.go.saveinter.net/

Like i said economics will never save the day, only a realization that the Ccp must go . And we in the west should all should be supportive of 1.3 billion Chinese people to achieve that goal .

You are right that if the truth be known many Chinese people want the Ccp to go but they are scared of the history of violence of the ccp
so only a peaceable end to the CCp can happen and thats where Falun Gong comes into it.

We stand for truthfulness compassion and forbearance and the Ccp is very scared of Falun Gong in China and in the outside world.

The Ccp is not scared of the US or any other country but they are scared of Falun Gong. After nearly 8 years of a horrendous persecution we are still here and even stronger than before in 60 countries all around the world.
They cannot "eradicate" us, we have media all over the planet now with The Epoch Times newspaper in 22 countries , Sound of Hope Radio, and New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV)which is satellited into China and into 26 countries all around the world.
NTDTV's Chinese New Year Spectacular is a cultural show travelling to 22 cities around the world at present. It has been hailed as the new Chinese cultural renaissance. Please see links

'Thank You For Showing Us the True Chinese Culture!
http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-2-27/52224.html

Beauty of the Tang Dynasty Revealed in Paris
http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-2-24/52116.html

If you get a chance please go and see it in your city , it will change your life.

The communist regime is on the run now and we in west must show that we care for humanity and we will not adhere to the previous deal of talking behind closed doors; we will talk openly and expose the crimes and corruption of the brutal Chinese communist regime.

michael hargis said...

J.,

"They could bury us financially if they called the debt due (which we probably couldnt pay), or we can be trading partners. Take your pick."

They would bury themselves, my friend. The US economy drives the world economy. Every nation has a stake in our well-being. Some understand this better than others, but it's there anyway.

The entire world trips over itself to invest money in the USA. They buy real estate, businesses, etc., because they know that this is where the profit is. Even the Chicoms know this. That is undeniable, irrefutable, incontestible proof that the world knows what economic system is best. They can say what they want at UN conferences, but what matters is where they put their money, and boyos, they put their money here.

Mom,

"It seems to me that all this is boiling down to a person's right to live his life as he sees fit as long as it does no harm to his neighbor."

Bingo.

The Monarchist said...

"Could it be, AH, that you dislike my proposed means for combatting oppression in the world, not because of an objective rationale for why it wouldn't work, but because it doesn't provide a grand background for the struggle between good and evil? If tyranny can be defeated by such prosaic items as tennis shoes, golf clubs, and designer sunglasses, well what fun is that?"

Seriously? No, but good guess.

I think your way will work, for sure. My proof? When I was in jr. high there was this school-yard bully who had this other kid pinned to the ground and his foot on his throat. I started trading baseball cards with the bully and before you know it, he realized he was wasting his time exploiting that other kid. Hurray, Capitalism!

You do ask an excellent question: "AH, our economic power defeated the Soviets, as you pointed out, by enabling us to outspend them in an arms race. Why can it not defeat the Chicoms? Is it because it only works in an arms race?" I think the answer lies in how we're dealing differently with the Chinese economically. Ever hear of Chinese citizens standing in lines for hours for simple goods like toilet paper or soap? Me neither. But because we weren't trading with the USSR and they were using every disposable dime to build weapons, this was happening all over the Soviet bloc. Had we not engaged the Soviets in an arms race, could her people have suffered as they had been and nothing have changed? I'd say, sure. You know, people being disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, and all that...

And I agree with Mom's comment too, I just happen to think that possibly we're harming our "neighbor" and maybe that's where we differ.

But I do appreciate the comments by all! Everyone have a great day.

-AH

Daniel Webster said...

"Webster, would you not be free to buy or not buy from China? Would the Chicoms not be free to buy or not buy from you?"

The answers are of course, yes and yes -I'd be free to buy from the chicoms, or not, and the chicoms would be free to buy from me, or not. I'm just wondering how the individual Chinese worker-bee figures into the equation...lest we forget him. It is, after all, his property (his labor) that we're negotiating terms over...when ya boil it all down. And he hasn't a voice in it; he hasn't a voice in determining the price of his own labor -whether he demands fifty cents a day, or a nice salary and a company car, dental and health benefits, and a pension.

Are you suggesting, in some roundabout sorta way, that I could effectively and successfully negotiate with the chicoms for the gradual recognition of the individual Chinaman's rights? Convince me that I could engage in this slave trade with a clear conscience.

Jana, forgive my forgetfulness. I meant to extend to you a nice welcome yesterday, but I just plumb forgot. Anyway, welcome.

-DW

michael hargis said...

"Are you suggesting, in some roundabout sorta way, that I could effectively and successfully negotiate with the chicoms for the gradual recognition of the individual Chinaman's rights? Convince me that I could engage in this slave trade with a clear conscience."

Nah, wouldn't even try. Even if I could BS my way through such a thing, I know you too well to believe you'd buy it.

The truth is that a Chinaman's right's don't depend directly on anything you do or don't do.

In order to exercise a right one must first claim that right. Historically speaking, the claiming of rights amounted to the shedding of blood. Whether that was wrong or right, ethically speaking, is beside the point.

Once a right is claimed...watch out!

J. said...

Michael ,
"In order to exercise a right one must first claim that right. Historically speaking, the claiming of rights amounted to the shedding of blood."

I agree and thats why the Chinese people have to turn their backs peacefully on the CCP and they are and will continue to do so but we in the west must support that peaceful action; they need to know that the rest of the world supports them in this great time of change.

And that means for one that defectors being accepted and given a home in USA Chanda,Australia and UK - not our leaders shying away from the perceived trouble.

Once they know they have a safe haven they will come and expose the Ccp but also give hope to all other members of the Ccp to QUIT on mass.

Daniel Webster said...

"The truth is that a Chinaman's right's don't depend directly on anything you do or don't do."

Fair enough. You admit though that the individual Chinaman's rights do indirectly depend to a degree on what I do or don't do...with respect to dealing with China. In fact that's the essence of your position, is it not?

There's another ingredient to this that I've been itchin' to throw in the mix. It's already been discussed, or mentioned, but I'd like to offer my (current) perspective if you please...

Essentially, I'm not yet convinced that an individual has any business negotiating terms (any kind of terms) with a foreign government. I think I'm pretty open minded about the idea, which is to say that this "free trade" economic stuff isn't one of my strong suits, and that therefore, in engaging this particular conversation, I'm trying to learn as much as anything.

In implying that I have no right to negotiate terms with foreign governments, or government entities, I'm not denying my right and yours to negotiate terms with other individuals, or businesses freely (without government intervention) -even foreign businesses. I'm simply suggesting that governments negotiate terms with other governments, individuals negotiate with other individuals, and so on and so forth, and that's the way that it should be...or so I'm led to believe.

Whenever free persons choose to negotiate with foreign powers, they do it through a mediator -their duly elected government, no? On the other hand, arbitrary governments simply assume the role of mediator between foreign entities (government or otherwise) and those they...speak for (their slaves), thru' no choice of the persons represented.

Now, here's the problem that my mind encounters when suggesting such a thing (and I admit that at this very moment my mind has not come to a clear answer, so I'm hoping you'll continue to indulge me): in being honest with myself, I'm really not certain whether that idea springs from some fundamentally reducible principle, or whether that's just the way it's always been, and that therefore, I like most other Americans, simply take it to be a truth. Remember how I used to harp all the time about "long established practice and habit?" Well, I'm self-aware enough to realize that it applies to me as well as everyone else to some degree or the other.

Help me out here. When a free individual runs up against a situation like that, isn't it his right to freely take measures that'll...even the score?: "You wanna play hardball? Okay, deal with this...commies!!!" LOL

"Once a right is claimed...watch out!"

Couldn't have said it better myself.

P.S. Please forgive the simplistic nature of my approach. It's just that it's the best one I have at the moment.

Call Me Mom said...

Mr. Webster,
The picture I'm getting from you is something like this:
A businessman attempting to do business with a foreign government is like a child who wants to earn some pocket money by running errands for a neighbor.(Or playing piano at the local restaurant or delivering newspapers, etc) The government then has the parent's role of making sure that whomever their child is working for is a reasonable person of good character and that their child is getting a fair deal for their time.

In one sense, that example works for me, because Mom and Dad do not want little Billy running errands for the local mob boss, (or tickling the ivories in the local pub, or delivering newspapers if the buzz around town is that the newspapers contain contraband). Those options have the potential to bring harm not only to little Billy, but to the family and neighborhood as well.

If the government is acting as a good steward, that's one thing and a reasonable businessman shouldn't have a problem with it. But what if the government is corrupt, naive or just plain stupid? Then little Billy is left to try and make good choices on his own without the benefit of a well informed advisor as to the character of his potential boss or customers. He runs a risk of bringing trouble to himself, his family and his neighbors simply because he is unaware of all the undercurrents in what seems to be a straightforward deal.

This suggests that it is a good idea to have government approval and support when doing business with a foreign nation.

Admittedly, this scenario has some problems, the biggest of which is that our government is not meant to be a parental figure but rather more of an unruly child, governed and restrained by the will of an informed and responsible population.

Or is my train on a different track here?

Jana, I have looked at some of your links and I admit I knew nothing of Falun Gong whatsoever. I have also been assuming that Jana is a female name, please correct me if I am in error.(Ah, new information to feed to the brain, that's what I like about this blog, it keeps me thinking.)

michael hargis said...

If the Chicoms put severe constraints on the economic opportunities of their people, is it rational for our government to respond by doing the same thing to us? Forbidding trade with China may not fit the definition of "severe," but really we're only talking about a matter of degree here.

When we talk of trade between nations, the US and Great Britain for example, it isn't as though Bush and Congress are buying and selling goods with Blair and Parliament. The private citizens of each nation are the ones doing the deals, primarily. However, if I want to buy some English beer and have it shipped to my home, some of the hoops I'll have to jump through will be set up by their government. Does that mean that I'm negotiating terms with a foreign power?

When you refer to the Chinese as slaves, I think you paint with too broad a brush. There are pockets of free enterprise there, small and limited though they may be. I see nothing wrong, and a whole lot right, with encouraging those pockets in any way and to any degree we can.

I say again: Our government has no duty, obligation, or even right to see to it that you get a fair shake from anybody. At most Uncle Sam would provide information about whomever you are dealing with.

J. said...

300 million Chinese people are not slaves economically but they are slaves in ideology,freedom of belief and thought to the CCP. The other 800 million peasants are slaves and an expendable work force who cannot exist on 17 cents per hour. They also now have to pay for education whcih they cant afford and they have no health care and have their land taken away from them with out compensation or relocation. The CCp is quite happy for these people to die out because they already have 300 million people who are economically viable and under their control.

I am listening to the dilemmas in your comments and i can hear you really searching for answers to your fundamental question. But if we bring conscience into the equation then all can be resolved.

The quality of ones Conscience is what make us a great nation or a poor one and there is no use blaming our elected leaders because we in essence have put them there. The only way the world can change for the better or the worst is by each individual changing for the better or the worst.

Ethics, morality, manners caring for our neighbors were pretty different just 50 yeas ago right?

Things never stay static but there have been very prosperous times in our civilization and this owed to generally peoples hearts and minds being good. Where honesty and caring and tolerance for each other was the norm and this was reflected in their environments.

Now a days anything goes right? very few people have an aware conscience. we even teach our children to get to the top what ever it takes. Getting to the top on ones own hard work is good but if you lie cheat and hurt others to get there its not good and creates karma for oneself and when all of society is doing that will create the downfall of that society. How much more of that lies and cheating is happening to day? Way too much. People have really lost their way . Really think about this and you will see that this is true.

So we change inner selves by brutally honest with ourselves and then our family see that change, our work place see that change and the ripple grows. It is hard and it takes time but it does work.

thats how Falun Gong spread so quickly from heart to heart because most people resonate towards goodness. There are some that dont on this earth and thats they way its supposed to be we live in dualistic universe. But by far goodness should prevail in order for a nation to be prosperous ,strong and healthy.

HI call me mom yes I am a female who is very happy that you checked out the sites i recommended.

The Monarchist said...

Mom,

What a nice compliment! Thank you. I value that more than you know.

-AH

P.S. Mr. Hargis, you're as sharp a guy as I know, so that we disagree on this has given me considerable pause. You know what else? I was smarting off before more than I care to. I'm hoping you'll forgive that.

JWales said...

Jana said:

"But if we bring conscience into the equation then all can be resolved".

That's an excellent point, it boils down to one's world view on this issue. Some look at it from a christian or moral perspective, and others look at it from an economic or monetary perspective.

Our country has moved from basing it's decisions on Judeo-Christian values under the authority of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Moses (to name a few). To basing it's decisions on the values of individual success, economic and monetary gain, freedom of lifestyle and what's right in one's own eyes under the authority of the unholy trinity me-myself-I.

Let's face it, the folks in Washington and Wall Street dont really care about the persecuted in China, all they care about is their pocket book$.

michael hargis said...

AH: Nothing to forgive. I enjoy a little smarting off myself once in a while.

J(Wales): I think you must have an unrealistic picture of what this country used to be like compared with now. The pilgrims may have come here for religious freedom, at least some or most of them, but that's pretty much where that stuff ended.

Also, when it comes to perspectives, "christian" and "moral" aren't synonymous. My perspective, however, IS moral, and has less to do with money than with the freedom God gave us. If your commitment to human liberty is limited to those behaviors of which you approve, then you have no commitment.

JWales said...

"The pilgrims may have come here for religious freedom, at least some or most of them, but that's pretty much where THAT STUFF ended (italics mine)".

Hmmmm? Wow! Thanks for letting me in on that little secret. I didnt realize how UNREALISTIC I was for thinking that our freedoms were founded and based on christian principles.

michael hargis said...

The original deal between the pilgrims (which made up less than half of the passengers, the rest were there for purposes of TRADE) and the various interests that sponsored them and paid their way was that all their wealth and produce was to be kept in a common store. From this they would pay their debts off, and what was left over would be distributed equally among themselves.

It proved a failure. Those devout young Christian men couldn't tolerate seeing the fruits of their labor go to other men's families, so the result was they nearly starved. The decision was then made to give every family a plot of land and let them do for themselves. This appeal to SELF-INTEREST led to increased prosperity and a rapid payment of debt. The true story of the Mayflower passengers is amazing enough. It isn't necessary to turn it into a religious fairy tale.

There are millions of people in this nation who don't give a rat's rear end about you or me, and yet their concern for themselves is exactly what gives us a superabundance of choices in food, clothing, and shelter. It is our great good fortune that we don't have to depend on anyone's Christian principles in order to feed ourselves.

I think you people throw this "Christian principles" phrase around a little too loosely, BTW. I might agree with it in a very general sort of way, but I get the feeling you think this country used to be one giant church until the secular forces of evil took over and turned people's minds away from God and tricked them into concentrating on making money. That is unrealistic and naive.

Out of curiosity, what Christian principle underlies the right to keep and bear arms? It can't be "turn the other cheek?"

Daniel Webster said...

"I think you people throw this "Christian principles" phrase around a little too loosely, BTW. I might agree with it in a very general sort of way, but I get the feeling you think this country used to be one giant church until the secular forces of evil took over and turned people's minds away from God and tricked them into concentrating on making money. That is unrealistic and naive."

Speaking of throwing terms around a little too loosely, not to mention being a little naive about how we people view the founding era (1620-1787)...

Anyway, it was fun and educational while it lasted.

JWales said...

Hmmm? Sure gets quiet around here when one throws Christianity into the mix.

Mr. Hargis, I sense a tad bit of animosity towards christianity? I do commend you though for your honesty and frankness on the subject.

I dont recall saying all avenues of making money were evil, I was merely trying to point out that I believed our country has slowly moved from a christian principles to secular humanism principles.

Where do I (US PEOPLE) get the silly notion of our country founded on christian principles, you ask?

A few quotes not all inclusive:

Mayflower Compact of 1620; "....Having undertaken for the Glory of God, the advancement of the Christian Faith,......"

The Fundamental Orders of 1639; "...Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Almighty God by the wise disposition of His divine providence....."

Colonists Rights of 1772: "...to state the rights of the Colonists and of this Providence in particular, as Men, as CHRISTIANS, and as subjects;....."

Virginia Bill of Rights 1776; ".... it is the mutual duty of ALL to practise CHRISTIAN forbearance, love, and charity towards each other."

Declaration of Independence 1776; "....all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights.........Assembled, appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE of the world......with firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE,....."

Northwest Ordinance of 1787; Article III " RELIGION, MORALITY, and knowledge, being necessary to GOOD GOVERNMENT and the happiness of mankind......"

Also some Founders quotes:

John Adams 1776; " Let them revere nothing but Religion, Morality and Liberty." (letter to Achibald Bullock)

Sam Adams 1776; "Principally,I resign my soul to the Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying on the merits of JESUS CHRIST for the pardon of my sins". (writ in his will)

Ben Franklin 1776; " A BIBLE and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district-- all studied and appreciated as they merit--are the principal support of virtue, MORALITY, and civil LIBERTY". (committee proposal)

I could quote countless more from Fisher Ames, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Daniel Webster, Noah Webster, George Washington, Thomas Paine, John Jay and on and on and on.....

This is where US PEOPLE get the crazy loose notion of our founders basing this country on christian principles.

Mr. Hargis said:

"..... what Christian principle underlies the right to keep and bear arms? It can't be "turn the other cheek?"

That's pretty much an apples and oranges comparison, or out of context. That passage is about personal relationships. You can find it in Matthew 5: 1-48 if you care to know its' meaning.

The Monarchist said...

Hargis is right in this respect - there was a definite commune plan to the original settlement(s), which was quickly scrapped when it was an utter failure.

Yes, we were and still are a Christian nation - nearly 80% of Americans describe themselves as such. And I don't see anything that would suggest principles of free markets and Christianity are incompatible, and I don't think that was Mike's point. Nor do I think anyone suggested that early America was a church until secularism tricked people into making money. I'll send you all to your rooms if I must. ;)

-AH

Call Me Mom said...

Mr. Hargis and Mr. Wales, please reference Luke 22.
Of course, if that doesn't work for you in the matter of "to keep and bear arms" as a Christian principle, perhaps you could be convinced that, because we have a government "of the people, by the people and for the people", we then have a greater responsibility for doing what is necessary to keep that government in line with the (largely) Christian values of our nation than would those of other nations. I believe, as did many of the founders, that the right to keep and bear arms is the most effective way to insure that we the people are running the government rather than the other way around.

Mr. Hargis, please also note that due to poor planning, the Plymouth colony at one point had to send young men begging to another colony for food, which was given to them in as fine a display of Christian values as anyone would like to see.

To our rooms with us! lol ;)

J. said...

HMnn ,

I think that we have got off the point once again. Although I do agree that this statement needs to be examined

""..... what Christian principle underlies the right to keep and bear arms? It can't be "turn the other cheek?"

Turn the other cheek means -if your assailant still has grievance against you after hitting your first cheek(rightly or wrongly is not the point) then you must help him remove the rest of his anger so you offer him the other cheek to help him reduce his karma.

To raise your arms against anyone with fist gun or weapon of mass destruction in the name of your God is blasphemous. NO God would encourage humans to be violent with one another and sanction war on any human being or nation in their name. We must turn the other cheek as in Christianity or as in Falun Gong we have great forbearance for those who attack us.

Have you heard of Mr Gao Zhisheng a devout Christian Human rights lawyer in China? He as the heart of a lion and is fearless when dealing with the Ccp.

IN 2005 he wrote 3 letters to President Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao asking them what had happened to their beloved China? He also represented the poor farmers who have had their land grabbed, aids victims, anti abortionist campaigners, and practitioners of the Falun Gong in China.

He attracted alot of international attention with reporting how corrupt and evil the CCP is before he had his law office illegally shut down and placed under house arrest for 8 months. IN that time he had several attempts on his life and finally was illegally arrested , trialled without legal representation of his choice, and sentenced last week on trumped up charges of subversion to the state.

He was given alight sentence because the international spotlight was on the CCP but they have said if he speaks out or continues to be subversive he will be arrested again.

They will not silence Attorney Gao as he is also very popular with the 800 million rural poor people of the China and he is too strong a believer.

Below is a link to his letter he wrote to President Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao which you may find interesting particularly because he is devout Christian and did not let that stand in the way to recognizing that Falun Gong is good and in the end will save China.

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-12-16/35876.html
This is an excerpt from letter no 3

"Through my experience of continuously communicating with those citizens who are firm in their beliefs, I have truly seen the existence of something most precious to our nation today. Those who can calmly describe with a smile their experiences of dealing with the dreadful process of being persecuted have shaken my soul. I was often moved to tears. In our nation, I have finally seen the spirit that remains faithful and unyielding, holding onto the intangible quality of principles.
The tribulation in the last six years has created a large group of people who have this unmatchable and noble human dignity. Their firmness towards faith, the way they treat the brutal custody with scorn, as well as their optimism that our nation will have a beautiful future earns one's deep respect. Another trend we found in our investigation is that every Falun Gong follower who has stepped out of custody, no matter how long he or she was in custody, becomes more faithful.

This time, during my stay with the Falun Gong group, I also found another delightful fact. In contrast to the current situation where the humanity, conscience, morality, compassion, and responsibility of our society is suffering an overall deterioration, these cultivators, as a group reborn from the old nation, have impacted all of these areas in a positive way. One can feel the powerful way in which faith can change one's soul. Indeed it has allowed me to see a spark of hope for rescuing our nation from its current depraved state.
Through my acquaintance with these believers, I was deeply moved by their calmness when narrating their unprecedented calamity, their compassion toward those that tortured them, and their optimism towards our nation's future. These people take fame and profit very lightly. They continue to quietly assist fellow practitioners whose lives are in danger due to the ruthless oppression. Their patience in assisting the vulnerable children or the elderly relatives of Falun Gong practitioners, who were either illegally detained or killed, is beyond a typical human being's imagination or understanding. How one's belief has such a strong influence over one's soul and morality is unbelievable.

Daniel Webster said...

"Yes, we were and still are a Christian nation - nearly 80% of Americans describe themselves as such. And I don't see anything that would suggest principles of free markets and Christianity are incompatible, and I don't think that was Mike's point. Nor do I think anyone suggested that early America was a church until secularism tricked people into making money. I'll send you all to your rooms if I must."

Well, I was hoping we could continue the conversation about the superior aspects of free trade. I still have questions for Hargis, and I'd like to address Mom's analogy (which I think is pretty good aside from one minor flaw...well, perhaps "flaw" isn't the right word - I'd say you're on the right set of tracks, Mom.), but there seems to have been an (unnecessary) distraction.

Like I said before, in engaging this conversation I'm trying to learn something...about free trade doctrine. I can't keep my religious underpinnings from governing the way I cautiously approach it anymore than I can keep them from governing the way I analyze a particular political candidate's approach to government, or my own approach to the way I conduct my business, or whatever. Not that I'd wish to.

But Hargis is right about something else too...

There ain't no need to make the Pilgrim story out to be a religious fairy tale. There ain't no need in it because...well...it kinda reads like one...if he means what I think he means by "religious fairy tale."

And let's be clear about the second amendment...

There's nothing in it that states that "as long as they're Christians the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," or "...the right of the People to keep and bear arms -a Christian Principle- shall not be infringed." However, when I analyze the superior aspects of this nation and this government, I'm struck by the fact that it was and is a largely Christian professing People that demanded that right, among others, be Constitutionally recognized... And on that note, Hargis, I'd say that once a right is recognized, it's only a matter of time before it is claimed. ...Does that mean the second amendment springs forth from an underlying and clearly distinguishable Christian Principle. Not necessarily. But one cannot deny the connection between gun bearing Peoples, and Peoples friendly to Biblical Christianity...without involving himself in a palpable error, that is.

The fact is that the second amendment springs forth from one's right of self-preservation, which itself springs from natural law, or the laws of nature, which come from nature's God. When one admits of the right to self-preservation, he also admits of the means for securing it, else the former is utterly useless. If Christianity's God and "nature's God" are one and the same God, then I'll be dadgum if the second amendment ain't derived from a Christian Principle afterall.

It's also an interesting coincidence that neither the second amendment, nor Christianity itself makes any distinction between persons in their unalienable right to self-preservation; that both, in their genuine forms, recognize in each individual a brother or a sister with equally unalienable rights...and the means for preserving them.

But anyway...

michael hargis said...

OK, OK. I got aggravated at something Mr. Wales said, and I'm sure he didn't mean it the way I took it. Also, to mangle a quote from Kant, nothing convinces me of the existence of a Creator like contemplating the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. Christianity is a different thing, however. I'll leave it at that. Anyone wishing to discuss it further may obtain my email address from our hosts.

While we're tossing around quotes:

"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a Virgin Mary, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away [with] all this artificial scaffolding." --Thomas Jefferson

"I know that Gouverneur Morris, who was in his [George Washington's] secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that Genl. Washington believed no more of that system [Christianity] than he himself did." --Paul Boller, George Washington and Religion, quoting a letter written by TJ.

Back to the main point...

It is freedom, not religion, that has made this country great. Specifically, freedom to pursue one's own definition of happiness, which is to say self-interest. In doing so the greater good is brought about even if that was not the intended result. Now, you cannot separate the pursuit of happiness from trade, nor can you say that trade is simply about making money. I'm not making money when I buy groceries, but I'm a lot better off having a steak for dinner instead of a ten dollar bill.

One last wisecrack: If 80% of Americans describe themselves as Christians, then I'd say that at least half of them are either lying or don't know what the word means. You can call a dog's tail a leg, but that doesn't mean a dog has 5 legs.

What were those questions about free trade doctrine, Webster? I am chompin' at the bit.

The Monarchist said...

Hey DW,

Maybe we still can have that conversation, but things were beginning to get off track in a major way, so I figured I'd point it out.

And, Mike, I agree: how can so many people profess to be something that so few know much about? Witness the idiocy of John Edwards just a week ago in his interview on faith.

-AH

JWales said...

Mr. Hargis said:

" If 80% of Americans describe themselves as Christians, then I'd say that at least half of them are either lying or don't know what the word means".

Now that my friend, is something we agree on!! Kind of like some of our politicians; Republican in Name Only or Democrat in Name Only, or how about Public Servant in Name Only.

Sorry to sidetrack you'all, carry on.

J. said...

If that was your polite way of telling me I have strayed off the point in a major way then i accept your criticisms.

I sincerely hope that all of you will accept that what is happening in China is evil for all suppressed people but even more so for cultivators of a righteous way the FAlun Gong.

I hope my links and posts while not on the main topic have touched your hearts in a good way and you can see clear to acknowledging that Falun Gong is good and the communist regime is evil. Its as simple as that.

Thanks for reading..

JWales said...

Is it me, or were we just "infomercialled" by Falun Gong?

Daniel Webster said...

Okay y'all, I'm having some internet connection problems here, so let me say a few things and get back to you later...

First, Mr. Wales, there's enough blame to go around, and I think we all recognize it -Hargis got aggravated at something you said, I got aggravated at something he said, and etc... Don't worry about it, man. :)

Second, Jana, I don't think anyone meant that you were disrupting the class. I personally have yet to go to the links you provided, but don't let that dismay ya, I'll get around to it eventually. However, it isn't necessary (in this blog) to state the obvious. All of us here recognize the fact that the chicom regime is evil and oppressive. We just have different opinions about how best to deal with them.

One more thing...

Each individual, as I said before, has a natural right to self-preservation. If I'm awakened by a home-invader, it's reasonable for me to assume that he intends to kill me, and/or my family members. It is my right (not to mention my responsiblity) then to take whatever measures are appropriate to stop him. Even to go so far as to kill him if need be. So I reject, out of hand, your assertion that effectively makes God out to be an accomplice to a thief or a murderer.

Third, Mom, a couple thoughts on your analogy. The first one I think you recognize, but I'll state it anyway -whenever my relationship with my government is looked upon as a child to adult relationship -me being the child- I get a little nervous. The second one has to do with the idea that our duly elected government is acting in a stupid manner. If we're unable to insert a little bit of rationality through the electoral process, then what makes us think we have the wherewithal to deal with the likes of the chicom regime effectively? Shouldn't we be straightening out our own mess before we go off trying to straighten out someone else's?

Fourth, Hargis, I'll re-read everything up to distraction point, and get back to you with my questions. I think you're right, btw, that your's is a moral approach; that it has more to do with extending human liberty than with making money...for you. For someone else, however, the opposite would be the case. But as you said, that's irrelevant IF the result is extending human liberty. Beyond that, I want to re-read all the relevant posts.

Thanks to all for engaging this important topic, and for displaying those characteristics which tend more to solve, than to create more problems.

-DW

Call Me Mom said...

Mr. Webster, you will kindly note that I said in my earlier post:
"Admittedly, this scenario has some problems, the biggest of which is that our government is not meant to be a parental figure but rather more of an unruly child, governed and restrained by the will of an informed and responsible population. "

I'm not implying that our government ought to have any sort of parental role, I was just trying to get a simple handle on the questions you posed earlier. It is deceptively easy to assign the parental role to the government in this type of scenario, because like a parent, the government has different goals when negotiating with a different country than an individual. The government has concerns (such as security) that may not be apparent to an individual businessman. (I still cringe when I recall hearing Mr. Clinton recount his surprise at being required to personally sign off on the business deal with China that gave them missile guidance technology.) I know it's not a perfect analogy, but it does give me, personally, a way to negotiate mentally through the reasoning processes. Perhaps it would be better stated as a bodyguard/bodyguard's employer relationship. I'll have to think about it.

michael hargis said...

Sometimes a person will tell you "Oh, yes. I believe in God. Definitely." Then a look of such profound reverence will cross his face that you think maybe the Almighty is appearing to him in a vision right at that moment. Of course, at a later time, when you reflect on that person's actions, you wonder if in fact he's ever even heard of God.

People are funny critters, that's a fact.

J. said...

re Daniel Websters comment

"So I reject, out of hand, your assertion that effectively makes God out to be an accomplice to a thief or a murderer."

Are you referring to something i said ? cause i would not have said that any God would be an accomplice to murder or thief so there fore I can only assume that there is a misunderstanding somewhere which i would like to address when you can have time. And i am really happy that you all do recognize that the ccp is evil. Many dont because of their self interests. And yes i agree there there are many ways to deal with them because everything they have infiltrated has become corrupt. .

Daniel Webster said...

Okay, I think my mind is back on track now. Mom and Jana, I'll get to you both in a bit...

Hargis, in one of your replies you mentioned the trade relationship between two nations - Great Britian, and the United States. The main point I took from it was this: that "...the private citizens of each nation are the ones doing the deals primarily." I acknowledge the truth in that assessment. However, when we talk about trade between friendly nations, and trade between nations at odds with one-another, the point is lost, is it not, because of the evident contrasts between the two? That's the first concern, and I'll leave it at that for your rebuttal.

Something else you mentioned in the same post is this idea that the British government places certain hoops in your way, as a private citizen of a foreign nation, through which you'll have to jump in order to purchase a particular British product. The point you seem to be making there is that in jumping through those established hoops, you're not negotiating terms with a foreign government. I think that's a pretty fair assessment as well. But here again, I think we're talking about hoops established by a legitimate government (perhaps we're merely talking a matter of degrees here too, but nonetheless) in the name, and by the authority of its people. In whose name, and by what authority does the chicom regime enter trade negotiations with other nations, individual businessmen, or whomever?

Then there's this matter of my painting with too broad a brush in calling the Chinese People slaves to their government. Once again I own that I'm guilty as charged. I agree with you too, that wherever there exists in China pockets of free enterprise, we should encourage them as much as possible; that there's a lot right in that.

Finally, in answer to your statement to the effect that Uncle Sam has no obligation, or right to see to it that I get a fair shake from anybody (including the chicoms), I think my statement may have mislead you into believing that we differ in opinion here. Let me assure you that we don't. You were responding, were you not, to my statement that: "When a free individual runs up against a situation like that, isn't it his right to freely take measures that'll...even the score?" In searching for the right words to express my thoughts, what I was mainly getting at was that ours is a free government, freely chosen of ourselves to do our bidding for us whenever we, as free individuals, run up against a situation in which the force of a higher authority might be necessary to command their attention and respect. And while we're mangling quotes allow me to make a mess outta Mr. Jefferson's, who said: "as to ourselves, the Constitution establishes us as several; as to other (nations), one."

Mom, I did indeed note your admission that there were problems with the "child to parent" analogy. I wasn't dismissing it, nor had I overlooked it in stating that I get a little nervous at the proposition of my being the child in that relationship. I was simply stating a fact -that I get to feeling a little bit nervous at the thought that I (even for the sake of an explanation) am put in the position of unquestioned obedience to an authority which has none without me. I think there is indeed a much better analogy out there which acknowledges all those concerns you express so well, and at the same time does justice to the relationship between the sovereign citizens of the United States, and their duly elected government.

Jana, I was indeed replying to something you said, namely:

"To raise your arms against anyone with fist gun or weapon of mass destruction in the name of your God is blasphemous. NO God would encourage humans to be violent with one another and sanction war on any human being or nation in their name. We must turn the other cheek as in Christianity or as in Falun Gong we have great forbearance for those who attack us."

The implication is that God does not allow for the individual's, or the nation's right to protect itself against an enemy bent on his/its destruction. That idea makes God out to be an accomplice to thievery or murder because in allowing only for peaceful means in dealing with an enemy, He would effectively be sanctioning murder/taking the side of the guilty over the innocent. If someone physically attacks me for no good reason, I can either use physical means to protect myself, or I can take a pacifist sort of approach and let him beat me in hopes that he has enough self-restraint to stop his attack short of killing or permanently damaging my person. Reason teaches me that if someone attacks me physically for no good reason, then "self-restraint" ain't one of his character qualities. I must assume then, that he intends to do me permanent physical harm or to kill me, and in that case a physical response is absolutely warranted and necessary...and sanctioned of God himself through His laws of nature.

michael hargis said...

Any dealings with private Chinese will be limited and highly regulated, if they even exist, but whether private or governmental, you are still dealing with people. Individuals. They may not regard freedom as all that important, although privately they might, but they are the ones who will see, first hand, what freedom does for us because they are the people you or I would be dealing with.

Now understand, the people I'm talking about are not the high ministers who set policy, but the seaport and airport managers, dock workers, inspectors, and all those millions of people that you don't see but you know are there because you see the work getting done. They are the ones we can most influence because, as I said, they will see it all every day.

To me, the question of whether the chicom regime is legitimate is almost beside the point. The fact is they are there, and they have a billion people at their disposal. Do we wait for the Chinese to win their own freedom, or do we start now and help them undermine totalitarianism every way possible?

You know my answer.

J. said...

re Danial Webster reply

"The implication is that God does not allow for the individual's, or the nation's right to protect itself against an enemy bent on his/its destruction. That idea makes God out to be an accomplice to thievery or murder because in allowing only for peaceful means in dealing with an enemy, He would effectively be sanctioning murder/taking the side of the guilty over the innocent."

I see that non religious people have that right to fight back but as a true Falun Gong practitioner we do not and for good reasons. I understand the Jesus also asked his followers to not fight back.

There in lies the difference between those who truly follow their teachers scriptures or those who only do half heartedly.

The persecution of Falun Gong in China is not being met with return violence but instead legal non violent and peaceful means to stop the persecution.And it is working.

When Falun Gong practitioners (FGP'S) are being tortured and only have compassion for their torturers souls because of what awaits them after death, then miracles happen.

We here of many stories in China where the whole prison will not torture FGP's anymore because they know that Falun Gong only teaches people to be good.Many Chinese individuals have quit the CCP after their association with FGP's.

The news is spreading fast around China now and the Chinese people do not want the communist regime anymore.

Believers cannot eradicate violence with violence and i admit that it takes a deep and diligent believer to do this. We cannot expect an everyday person to do this and nor are we asking you to.

Buddhas Dao and Gods are not an accomplice in anything we do on the earth.

Daniel Webster said...

"Now understand, the people I'm talking about are not the high ministers who set policy, but the seaport and airport managers, dock workers, inspectors, and all those millions of people that you don't see but you know are there because you see the work getting done. They are the ones we can most influence because, as I said, they will see it all every day."

My friend,

You may have just won "free trade" a convert. Lemme take some time and sort this all out in my mind.

As bad as I hate to admit it, though I knew they were there...I had never entered these folks into the equation. I ain't real sure what that says about me ("one-track-mind", "tunnel vision," "total jackass," or whatever?), but it can't be good.

Anyway, brother, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to educate me a little bit on the idea of free trade. I had a feeling we were on the verge of something...big...I just couldn't put my finger on it. It sorta reminds me of a book I once read (way back when), entitled "Acres of Diamonds." If you've read it you know what I mean. If not...then I'd suggest you read it. ;)

-DW

michael hargis said...

Jana,

At the time Jesus was arrested he told his disciples to put away their swords and not defend him. Now here's my question:

Why were they carrying swords to begin with?

J. said...

Re Micheal Hargis question,

I can't answer that, I wasn't there and I dont know if that was a true scenario or not. Can you?

The only anger I ever heard come out from Jesus was when the money lenders were in and desecrating his Father's House.

The only thing i can possibly offer some understanding is that his disciples were not as enlightened as Jesus was. And being the compassionate man he would never tell someone on a cultivation path directly what to do. Principles are taught but then you must enlighten to the finer issues involved in each behaviors that exist in everyday society and how you respond to them.

For instance after cultivating in Falun Gong when i look back at how I was 6 months ago to my understanding now then i can see vast improvement. When i look back to how i was 5 years ago I am not the same person at all.

I have transcended many bad behaviors and thoughts . Idont know how long Jesus was with his disciples but if was only 3 years it is not along time and perhaps they just hadn't enlightened to a higher level of turning the other cheek. I do know that when Jesus died in this mortal realm the cultivators suffered a persecution where not only would they not fight back but they went willingly to the lions rather than give up their faith. So that speaks volumes of their improvement after his death and resurrection?

I dont know I am just offering what I know of cultivation and the process of cleaning up ones heart and mind of everyday accepted norms of fighting back and being a hero a etc..

Call Me Mom said...

Jana,
The disciples had swords in the garden because Jesus had told them to arm themselves at the Passover supper.
Luke: " 35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. "

I also must take issue with your statement that:
"NO God would encourage humans to be violent with one another and sanction war on any human being or nation in their name."
The God of the Bible clearly states in Numbers 35 that blood defiles the land and it can only be cleansed by the blood of the one or ones who shed it.

"30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.

31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.

32 And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.

33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel."

I will grant you that he instructs us not to take satisfaction in killing murderers, but they are to be killed.

We obey the laws of our country which reserves the duty of killing or imprisoning murderers to each state respectively.
It is bad for a person to kill another. It's bad for them emotionally, physically and spiritually. Bad enough for one person to kill another by accident, but when you have someone who kills on purpose, with malice and planning, that's another creature entirely.
But the discussion has moved on to the next post. I hope to see you there.

Daniel Webster said...

"We obey the laws of our country which reserves the duty of killing or imprisoning murderers to each state respectively."

There are times when involving our public servants (law enforcement officers and the like) in a life or death situation is not possible. In that case, as I said before, individuals have the right and responsibility to defend themselves and their families, etc... Our laws make provision for this as well. I know you understand this, Mom, but I thought I'd point it out anyway. Otherwise...

The Biblical basis for the scriptures you cite on the death penalty is found in Gn. 9: 5-6. We may even go to the first biblically recorded murder (the story of Cain and Abel) and derive some pearls of knowledge therefrom. For instance, Cain was so impressed with this very idea that he even announces: "...everyone that findeth me shall slay me."