“Taxation, to be justified, must serve a genuine public purpose… When the majority forcibly dispossesses people of their resources in order to subsidize others in their pursuit of private projects, it violates the principle that persons should be free to set the ends toward which they will use their powers.”—Fernando Tescon, Classical LIberalism Defended.
I think the problem with this is it assumes there is a single moment, a point at which you are self-responsible and self-controlling when, for most of us, it’s an oscillating thing. I can be self-controlled most of the time. I can be responsible and take responsibility for my actions most of the time. And I certainly do both of these things more as times goes by. But I still have my moments of lack of control, and I think most of us do. It’s not to say we’ve regressed, merely that it’s not an either-or proposition, but a process.
“A small group of people self-selected for their commitment to some set of shared goals and values may be able to pick a set of slogans to chant in unison, or resolve their limited disagreements by consensus process. But real democracy in a pluralist society involves deep and often ineradicable disagreement—and not just on the optimal uses of public parks and other commons. It’s true, of course, that concentrated and wealthy interests routinely capture the apparatus of government, and use it to serve ends inimical to the general good. But a frame that sets up an opposition between “the 99%” and “the 1%” —or, if you prefer, between “Washington/media elites” and “Real America”—suggests a vain hope that profound political differences are, at least in some spheres, an illusion manufactured by some small minority.”—Julian Sanchez, What Democracy Looks Like
“The sustainability of the whole expansion exercise rests not on whether GWS can be successful this year, for even the definition of success would obviously be highly qualified. What these boys who have been drafted tonight do next year is important, but not vital. What will matter is how they’re playing in five years. And, probably more importantly, where they’re playing. It’s easy to justify the remarkable concessions now, when lists must be filled, but any AFL-imposed equalizing after Giants and Suns are established would be problematic at best and, at worst, would threaten the integrity of the entire competition. So the desire for these new draftees to go home to their states where football is loved and family is close once these initial contracts are over, just as the teams are losing their “we’re new” excuse, is cliff face in the distance for the AFL’s expansion plans”—Early next year, I’m launching a football site called “The Rookie List" with my friend Claire. Earlier tonight, I went to the AFL draft and wrote a piece about it, and decided to put it up on The Rookie List, a taste of what’s to come (though, please, take it with a grain of salt: it takes a while to develop a tone for a site).
America alone cannot police the world. We should increase burden-sharing for the protection of the global commons among countries that share our values and security objectives. Unfortunately, we are not the only democracy stuck in a Cold War mentality. It is time for countries such as Japan and India to play a greater role in regional security matters. We must also throw out the old map and forge new security arrangements with regional partners such as Vietnam and Brazil.
As we prepare to fight in the new battle spaces, we need to let go of old “sacred cows.” Our military and defense establishment must be effective in the cybersphere, dominant in space and able to handle the increasingly lethal and accurate ballistic and cruise missiles being acquired by many of our potential foes. This will likely mean trade-offs away from heavy armor units, fighter air wings and aircraft carriers toward a more advanced cyberwarfare infrastructure, more capable unmanned aerial vehicles and more flexible sea-based assets.
The fact that he’s not a serious Presidential candidate makes me genuinely sad. I get that he’s running for 2016 already, but his willingness to challenge Republican orthodoxy is impressive. I would dearly love to see an election battle between he and Obama.
Though possibly not, because I would rather Obama wins, and Huntsman would be pretty damn appealing to independents.
“Madeline had a feeling that most semiotic theorists had been unpopular as children, often bullied or overlooked, and so had directed their lingering rage onto literature. They wanted to demote the author. They wanted a book, that hard-won, transcendent thing, to be a text, contingent, indeterminate, and open for suggestions. They wanted the reader to be the main thing. Because they were readers.”—Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
So I have two younger brothers, both of whom are still really involved in the church. The first got married in July to his high school sweetheart at the grand ol’ age of 22. The second is getting married in two weeks, at 25.
I’m kind of dreading the wedding, because I know relatives will come up to me and make comments about “when will it be your turn” and pitying me, not only because I am unmarried, but because I am unattached. Despite the fact I’m 27, have a full and wonderful life, with lots of friends and no shortage of interest from men. I’m just not ready for all that.
So here’s my plan: if someone says “when is it going to be your turn”, my reply will be “when I meet someone who is as attractive as me, as smart as me, and who earns as much money as I do.”
They’re kind of like 19th Century Christian missionaries.
They speak as though have The Truth About Life, the perfect way for everyone to live, and they seek to impose that model on society.
Want to work more than 35 hours a week? Let us disproportionately tax you for that. Want to educate your children a different way? Let us make that difficult. It seeks to incentivize and de-incentivize certain behaviors because it assumes the state knows better than its citizens. It enshrines majority wisdom and effectively discourages dissent.
My liberalism is probably best explained this way: people know best how they want to live. It isn’t the responsibility or duty of the state to make sure we all play nicely together, and eat our five servings of vegetables every day. The government has a responsibility to ensure its resources are used in a way that doesn’t discriminate against its citizens, and to tax to provide genuine public goods.
There’s a certain paternalism about the left that really bothers me. It has some fairly major classist undertones, for one. But more than that, starts with the assumption that they have the truth. And any cursory look at cultural imperialism throughout history shows how dangerous that is.
During my first and second years of med school, some rough stuff went down.
At the end of Heme phase, my uncle died from complications of metastatic prostate cancer. I missed my clinical skills lesson on “breaking bad news” to go home for his funeral.
Next, during the…
Automatic therapy-is-great reblog.
I was having a really tough time last week, but my session on Friday was just incredibly useful. It helped me recognize that I was angry at the world which, somehow, in the mix of feeling sad and lonely, I’d missed. Once I identified the anger, I could feel it, then deal with it.
It sounds so simple, but sometimes that outsider’s perspective does more than you can imagine.
Plus, she told me my first responsibility this weekend was to look after myself. So I made decisions based on what I thought would help me feel better and, with the help of some friends, I definitely do now.
Though I didn’t make the right decision re: sunscreen application. My lack of thoroughness will lead to some ODD tan lines.
“Like most women, I currently live in a society where violence, harassment and scary shit can break out at any moment, just because I told some random asshole “no” without bothering to be nice about it. Doing that is so dangerous that most women don’t dare; after a few scary incidents, they learn to make up excuses, to smile, to be sweet and welcoming, to act as if every single random asshole on the street is a precious new friend that they would just LOVE to stand outside of the Chipotle and chat with FOR HOURS, if only cruel fate had not intervened. That’s what it’s actually like, being a woman: Playing nice with every random asshole, because this random asshole might be the one who hurts you. And then, if he hurts you anyway, they’ll tell you that you led him on.”—
I was raised in this pretty small, working class town south of Wollongong. My parents met when Mum was 17 and Dad was 20 and married three years later. They had me four years after that.
Mum was raised in the Anglican church, but Dad wasn’t, and became a Christian under the ministry of this church in our town. The Minister there had been there for 27 years, I think, before he retired.
The minister was virtually deified in practice by members of the congregation. His word was law. Every week, after the 45-minute-plus sermon, we’d exit the church to be handed a flyer with questions about the sermon. In our house, the weekly packet of chocolate biscuits (we could only afford one a week) was handed out for correct answers. We took notes in the sermon. And from age 5, we were expected to sit through it- no Sunday School here!
At the time, of course, I was small and it was all I knew, but thinking about it now, it was vaguely cult-like.
My parents kind of woke up to it when I was about 10, and they made the decision to aggressively pursue opportunities to leave the country, and I think now that was because leaving the community without physically relocating would have been really tough. We still went to church, and it still played a huge role in our lives, but it probably took ten years for me to un-learn a lot of the arrogance and gracelessness that I’d been taught alongside the rigorous theology.
I’ve only really started thinking about it recently, thinking about how strange a childhood it was. I imagine it will take some time to work through.
Sometimes, when I’m on Facebook, I see pictures and status updates from the lives of my many friends with kids, most of whom have really old-fashioned notions of gender. I see them celebrating the fact their kids are “such boys” or “such girls”, never stopping to consider maybe by encouraging certain behaviour, they’re actually demonstrating it’s not nurture, it’s nature.
The thing that makes me saddest are the girls I know who’ve decided to forgo a career or higher education to become Mums are then encouraging their daughter to do the same, as though being a wife and mother is the most fulfilling thing one can be. I have no doubt it is for some, and I fully respect the decision some people make to prioritise that in their lives. But it’s not the only thing, nor is it a better thing. It just seems to be this cycle where women exist for the purpose of either raising men to be leaders or women to be the mothers who will continue the cycle.
That being said, I was raised like that, and I managed to escape it. To this day, my mum says all this sexist bullshit to me, about how men should be the head of the household and about how relationships are different for men than women because there’s “more pressure” on them, but these days I call it what it is: sexist bullshit. And I’m thankful I’ve learnt that.
But it still makes me sad to see my friends who still subscribe to these things as though they’re the absolute truth. Girls should be raised to think they have many, many options, that they are valuable and special, that they should use their gifts to the fullest and they should do what makes them happy and fulfilled. The notion that the domestic realm is where they best fit is ridiculous and outdated.
So my brother Joel is getting married in a few weeks, and I’m lookig after the cake. So I did a trial run tonight. The scary thing is that I haven’t been able to find a recipe I really liked, so I made it up… well, adapted it. But it’s in the oven now, and smells amazing. Basically, I used this recipe for Red Wine Chocolate Cake, but I replaced the red wine with Grand Marnier to make it the chocolate and orange cake they asked for. I’ve also made a orange and dark chocolate ganache. All that’s left to sort is the filling.
This is from an old post I wrote, but I think they stand
Protection of individual liberties. Minimise government interference in the way people live their lives, both directly and indirectly. Fight for a Constitutional Bill of Rights that protects political liberties, including freedom of speech, assembly, worship, and freedom from unlawful search and seizure.
And while we’re working on the Constitution, let’s become a Republic.
Where markets work, leave them be. Where they don’t, intervene to correct them, but interfere as little as you can.
Reform the welfare system. Don’t abolish it, but look at the incentive structure and try to provide incentives for people to work where they can. Reduce middle class welfare, including Baby Bonus and First Home Buyers Grant.
Where possible, tax to price for negative externalities and shift the savings to income tax reductions.
Let people live the lives they want. Stop state-sanctioned discrimination. Institute Civil Unions for the legal recognition of partnerships, and allow “marriage” to be a purely personal label in which the state has no role
“What an invidious choice for a voter who supports better treatment of asylum seekers because a more open border policy is not only humane but economically desirable, as it is consistent with eliminating barriers to trade and capital. And for the voter who thinks Australia’s symbolism of a Queen of England and a flag that features a Union Jack is out of step with the reality of its seeking to appear to the Asian region to be an independent multicultural nation. And for the voter who believes that minority groups need protection from the oppression of the majority in society and so a human rights law that is legally enforceable is necessary to achieve this aim.”—
Greg Barns, a disendorsed Liberal candidate for the seat of Denison before the 2001 federal election, and former member of the Australian Democrats, writes on the missing liberal force in Australian politics.
“What an invidious choice for a voter who supports better treatment of asylum seekers because a more open border policy is not only humane but economically desirable, as it is consistent with eliminating barriers to trade and capital. And for the voter who thinks Australia’s symbolism of a Queen of England and a flag that features a Union Jack is out of step with the reality of its seeking to appear to the Asian region to be an independent multicultural nation. And for the voter who believes that minority groups need protection from the oppression of the majority in society and so a human rights law that is legally enforceable is necessary to achieve this aim.”—THIS.
“I would like to suggest that the government does not belong in marriage at all. The debate about how the government should regulate our love lives and our personal relationships rests on the idea that the government should be involved in the first place. That starting assumption is flawed. Love and relationships do not become better or worse because you inform a politician. Few married people conclude that their love is real only because it has been approved by Anna Bligh or Julia Gillard.”—More from John Humphrey’s submission on marriage equality. I love that so much.