RE: Can you tell the difference?
Didn't Pontius Pilate ask this of his wife in The Passion of the Christ?
No, I don't think I always can. I have a general idea of what I think are basic truths in all areas, including politics and government. (The Constitution is the basis for all truths in government, if they don't square with that, they will fail the test.) I have a basic understanding of economics. I have to run what I hear through the filters of basic truths. If they pass the test, then they can either be accepted as legitimate opinion, or can be added to the library of truths. I may not always be correct in these interpretations, and I have had more than one basic truth disproved over the course of my life, but I think I'm batting over .500.
Some basic truths that I accept:
I accept that no person (even unborn) should be deprived of life without due process of law. This means that I can oppose abortion as practiced and support the death penalty without having a moral conflict.
I accept that second amendment has more to do with our ability to arm against enemies to our Constitutional government, even if those enemies hide behind it, than it has to do with hunting. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary for responsible citizens to be able own more than hunting rifles and shotguns.
I accept that we sometimes have to go to war, and that the decision to do so is seldom done by popular concensus. I believe the best way to ensure peace is by being prepared for war.
I accept that there are honest differences of opinion on issues, and I'm willing to hear the other side if the other side is willing to hear me. I enjoy spirited discussion, but I don't like being preached to.
I accept that, if 5.6 percent employment was a sign of prosperity in 1995, it is a sign of prosperity in 2004.
I accept that, if John Kerry does not act to prevent outsourcing in the corporations he holds stock in, he probably won't be effective in stopping it in the businesses he doesn't.
I accept that outsourcing probably isn't that big of a deal, anyway.
I accept that taxes can be lowered without lowering the standard of living of anyone but the tax collectors.
I accept that you can't give tax breaks to people that don't pay taxes.
I accept that higher taxes tax the economy.
I accept that spending more on education does not improve education.
I accept that smaller schools do a better job than the large student warehouses of today.
I accept that unionized teachers do not teach any better than non-unionized ones.
I accept that punitive damages are unjust. If they are, as the name implies, a form of punishment, then they are the responsibility of criminal, not civil, courts.
I accept that freedom of expression includes the right to express hatred, but not to act on it.
I accept that action and speech are different entities.
I accept that, if John Kerry commited attrocities during the war, as he said he did, then he is unfit to be president of the United States.
I accept that, if John Kerry didn't commit attrocities during the war, as he said he did, then he lied to Congress and is unfit to be the president of the United States.
I accept that George W. Bush did not mislead us into the war in Iraq, and that the war was and is justified.
I accept that we will win the war in Iraq if we stay committed to the cause.
I accept that George W. Bush is committed to the cause.
<small>[ 09-15-2004, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: Shapley ]</small>
Quod scripsi, scripsi.