Recently, researchers did a study interviewing 87,000 people asking about their eating, sleeping, and smoking habits. The point of the study was to ascertain the causes of obesity. Researchers concluded that people who get less than six hours of sleep per night have a higher rate of obesity than those who get at least eight hours.
The knee jerk reaction to this data is to recoil surprised assuming those who are up more are burning more calories, correct? The study showed that people who get six or less hours of sleep per night are much more likely to eat more so whether or not they are burning more calories is beside the point.
Managing a plant that runs three shifts I often find myself up at weird hours and I often get less than six hours of sleep. I often find myself at the twenty-four hour drive through for a quick bite at three in the morning. In spite of the fact that I have always had a fast metabolism I now find I could lose a few pounds. I have complete faith in the veracity of this study.
News outlets have been reporting this study for weeks and on my drive into work today it was reiterated. After explaining the whole story the news anchor culminated, I don’t believe it, people who sleep less burn more calories!
The news anchor completely missed the point. Burning more calories is clearly unimportant when the benefit of burning more calories is completely mitigated by an increased intake of calories.
I can only imagine what the head researcher of this study would have to say to the recalcitrant news anchor, Listen dipshit, did you understand a word we said?
When someone elevated to the position of television news anchor, supposedly bright and educated, can’t even grasp the simple concept that increased calorie intake equates to weight gain, how on earth does one confront the esoteric arguments encountered in political debate and communicate convincingly to readers the philosophical beliefs that are embraced by each side of the political spectrum?
From time to time, instead of commenting on news of the day, I recklessly venture to engage these philosophical debates. In Liberalism’s Tragic Soul I attempted to explain the ideology behind contemporary liberalism and contemporary conservatism. My style is to use analogy and metaphor to make my writings entertaining and colorful. For that I receive consistent comment critical of my opinion suggesting I use ad hominem and straw man arguments, yet I am rarely engaged on points.
This column has certainly attracted detractors but rarely have detractors and I managed to engage particular subjects whereby we might move forward in mutual understanding. Declaring that our Founding Fathers were liberals says nothing about what liberalism is today.
Conservative ideology, at its zenith, endeavors to preserve the character and theme embodied by America’s Constitution. Conservatism recognizes the Constitution cannot be a living document , to recognize it as such allows its character and its theme to be changed. Conservatism, as America’s Constitution, establishes government subservient to individual freedom and allows government limited power for altruistic ambitions.
Democrats do not embrace this ideology and few among today’s class of Republican politicians do either.
Contemporary liberalism bills itself the great champion for injustice, but selectively subjugates its citizens to transfer power from the people to the bureaucrats, manifestly in opposition to that character embodied by the Constitution.
I ask detractors to consider these points:
The Declaration of Independence boldly includes, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Life is not coincidently set first, liberty second, and the pursuit of happiness third. If one of these inalienable rights conflicts with another, the latter shall yield to the former.
Furthermore, government does not have jurisdiction over these rights; they are endowed to us by God. Government does not have authority to arbitrarily assault one’s liberty to ostensibly save another’s life. Government’s only role can be to establish the societal framework which guarantees all citizens their inalienable rights. Additionally, citizens cannot arbitrarily trade life for liberty creating quite a quandary for that mother intent on abortion.
Contrast this philosophical intent with liberalism’s insistence that government shall have authority over anything it (it being government bureaucrats) deems worthy and righteous. This is the same statist philosophy embraced by tyrants Mao, Stalin and Hitler.
Consider the contemporary liberal positions on abortion, taxes, religion, and guns. Each is designed to subjugate morality, God, and individualism in favor of the state, all the while professing to work for the greater good.
Sex should include no more consideration than drinking a glass of water. Stalin advocated such ideology not bent on promoting some liberating philosophy, but to break down society’s moral fiber which holds allegiance to God and resists unethical dictate promulgated by the state. Only by creating an immoral class can government wrestle allegiance from God.
It is fine if American citizens don’t like their Constitution and want to change it, conservatism only asks to make such changes using the provisions included within the document, Article V.
Liberalism attempts to usurp the Constitution by infiltrating our educational and government institutions encouraging those institutions’ officials to make law and skew policy without consenting the governed.
Liberalism says it wants to take guns away from people to protect them, yet every study shows in those communities where concealed weapons are prevalent crime is lower, never mind we have a 2nd Amendment which guarantees the right to bear arms.
Liberalism says it wants to provide health care for the poor and destroys our health system for all. Many California trauma units have been shut down because government insists they provide services without payment. Now, fewer services are available due to government policy.
Liberalism wants to takeover healthcare from unethical insurance companies because healthcare is too expensive and not available to all. All examination shows that when government controls healthcare it still is not available to all because it is still too expensive. It then becomes rationed and bureaucracy dictates for who and when healthcare shall be dispensed.
Liberalism says it wants to eradicate poverty yet the more it spends the more dependent souls government creates.
Liberalism says it wants the rich to pay just a little more, Hillary Clinton says that number should be 39% and Barack Obama says it should be 52%, yet when taxes are raised the rich change their behavior to make less money shifting the tax burden further to the middle class. When liberals say they embrace the philosophies of our Founders, remind them that Ben Franklin thought it quite harsh that government would take as much as 10% in tax from its citizens.
Liberalism says business is evil and it subjugates the little guy. Investigate McDonalds, Microsoft, or Amway and see how many millionaires those businesses have created; then do the same investigation of our federal government to see how it stacks up.
Liberalism wants God out of the school. Liberalism wants citizens unable to defend themselves. Liberalism wants abortion on demand. Liberalism wants unfettered access to your earnings. Liberalism wants private property up for grabs by those developers and bureaucrats who believe they can obtain greater receipts with that property than you do. Liberalism wants citizens subservient to the state.
Regardless what rhetoric it uses, liberalism endeavors to subjugate the Bill of Rights.
Because liberalism is an ideology which abhors individual excellence and individual independence outside constraints of the state. Individual power is a threat to bureaucratic power.
Individual power comes from excellence and achievement. Bureaucratic power comes by towing the party line.
Bureaucrats are made up of people who can’t succeed in the arena where excellence reigns supreme, they succeed in the arena where allegiance to party is paramount; excellence, achievement, and superiority are only meaningless details that little people bother with.
The venerated Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes where he lamented, noticeably dejected, I keep repeating myself.
I guess I’m in good company.
Mia has generously contributed comments to this website at our post Liberalism’s Tragic Soul. Her arguments are emotional and polite, quite a departure from my aggressive and acerbic manner. She originally arrived here searching for information describing differences in liberal and conservative thought.
Ultimately, ideology must be appraised not by its promises but by its results. Not by rhetorical guarantees but by plenary examination of intended and unintended outcomes.
Capitalism, the ideology embodied in America’s founding documents where the individual would never be subjugated to political whim gave us the most prosperous nation on earth.
Socialism, Communism, and Statism, the ideologies embraced by Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and today’s liberalism gave us the Holocaust in Germany, history’s greatest state sponsored eradication of citizens in China and Russia, and a modern United States, militarily impotent, economically teetering, morally bankrupt, and financially desperate.
Liberalism cannot insure that no one will suffer, but it may insure that no one will prosper.
Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo