Friday, January 07, 2005

A Hotdog Post
from the mind of  Zeke_Wilkins.

For those of you not familiar with Zeke Speak, a "hotdog" anything is usually an ungodly mixture of things; in this case opinions, observations and such.

Yes, Washington recount!
Up here in Washington we've had a vote, two recounts, court opinions and hopefully we'll have a revote. Felons, illegal aliens and the deceased turned out in droves to support Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire. So much so that in heavily democratic King County it is reported that 1200 more votes were cast than the total number of registered voters on the county rolls. Some argue that the millions of dollars needed to fund a revote is too high a cost. I argue the opposite: it is money well spent. A revote would settle the election and bring to the forefront the integrity of our system by affecting the pocketbooks of the citizenry; and that is what will really put pressure on the government and both political parties to maintain the honesty and integrity of the system. Hell hath no fury like a populace that has to pay to clean up the mess of a high-profile government snafu.

Libertarian Radicalism
A week or so ago I was listening to a libertarian guest on Sean Hannity's show. The guest was stating that no one should pay taxes, they should be completely voluntary. When asked by Sean how would roads be built and maintained, etc., the guest just reiterated that taxes should really be voluntary contributions. Now, I could be classified as libertarian in some respects (definitely not all), and I know that some on this website have libertarian leanings. But the guest on Hannity's show displayed a trait that I have belittled the radical left for having. That trait is the naive belief in the inherent goodness of people and the possibility of utopia.

The Founding Fathers and most conservatives are astute enough to know that not all is right with the human race. Human government from time to time must use force to promote the greater good. It is so with taxes: leave it to voluntary contribution to provide infrastructure and secure the common defense and very little will be accomplished. The heavy burden of admitting this fact is to walk a fine line between collective good and government abuse. The conservative creedo can be summed up as "as much as needed, and not a penny more". In order to determine what needs to be funded and how much should be raised through taxes we must have a clear picture of the function of government: to provide for the common defense against foreign and domestic enemies, and to preserve the union. It is though these key insights that we can (and must) justify the government's power to levy taxes, and at the same time set rigid limits on that taxation. Alternatives, including the idea of voluntary contribution proposed by radical libertarians, would be (and are) disasterous.

A Tale of Two Worlds, or "Schizophrenic Zeke"
I've always enjoyed pursuing an education. I've also always known the joy and value of "working with your hands". When I went first to college, and then to graduate school I felt an increasing sense that though I talked like an academic, often thought like an academic, and enjoyed the academic lifestyle I was secretly not like them. I had working-class blood in my veins. I did not have an aversion to do manual labor and come home at the end of the day exhausted and sore. I did not have nearly the contempt towards those who made a living doing dirty and unglorified jobs as did my academic peers.

Now that I have graduated with a Masters degree and have bills to pay while I try to start up my career, I find myself working at a hardware store doing exactly the kind of job I saw academics look down on with contempt. For the most part I fit in well. I work hard, talk rough and get along with the other employees. And yet, I feel this increasing sense that though I talk like a laborer and often think like a laborer, I'm secretly not like them. I find myself trapped in the netherealm between the working-class and the academic elite; able to speak both languages, but completely comfortable as neither.


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