Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Key Elements of Liberalism

So, who is the Liberal again?...

Key elements of liberalism 
1. Individual autonomy
The basis of society is the individual. Humans are primarily motivated by self-interest.
2. Individual rights
If the individual is autonomous, then all individuals must be free and equal. This implies political equality, the protection of individual rights, respect for individual choices, and the use of reason in making decisions. "I am free and thus I rule myself." The key individual rights are freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of worship, and the right to property.
3. Religious toleration
Individuals and the state must respect one's right to worship as one pleases. Implies a separation of church and state.
4. Popular sovereignty and consent
Government should be ruled by the people rather than by a monarch, a religious figure, or some other elite. Government's legitimacy rests on the consent of the governed..
5. Limited and representative government
The government's role in society and the scope of its power should be clearly defined. The purpose of government is to protect individual's life, liberty, and property. Further, in a society of autonomous individuals pursuing their own self-interests, government must represent the various interests of that society. This implies representative government, majority rule, constitutional government, and the rule of law.
6. Private property
Society should generally encourage the private accumulation of property rather than place restrictions on it. This implies an economy of free markets, equality of opportunity in the market, and competition. In sum, liberalism defends capitalism.
7. Universalism and progress
All people are fundamentally the same. Differences of culture, religion, race, gender, nationality, etc. are ultimately superficial. Overall, liberalism tends to interpret historically progressively: society, economy, technology are all advancing and elevating the human condition in the process.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Here are some "healing" quotes that I've been thinking about recently.

"A lot of people say they want to get out of pain, and I'm sure that's true, but they aren't willing to make healing a high priority. They aren't willing to look inside to see the source of their pain in order to deal with it."
- Lindsay Wagner

"There are hurts so deep that one cannot reach them or heal them with words.”
- Kate Seredy

“When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze at the stars for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal!”

“For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.”
- Reba McEntire

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."
- Hellen Keller

"Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future."
- Lewis B. Smedes

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Charlie Chaplin's Final Speech

Ah, how little things change. Here is Charlie Chaplin's final speech from the movie The Great Dictator. The first is one with music and video added, which is pretty good. The second is the original.


Original Speech without the modifications.


Join the Blackout on January 18th.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There are More Planets that Stars?

Just in case you didn't already suspect that there might be other planets out there, NASA Kepler researchers have found the smallest rocky planets to date. The three small extrasolar planets are all smaller than Earth, and are circling a red dwarf, which is the most common type of star in the milky way. This suggests that there may be many more planets in our galaxy than originally thought, and possibly even more planets than stars.

Planets seem to be everywhere. See the full Nature and AP links below.