Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
by Michael Tubbert
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This is the second sentence in the Preamble to our Declaration of Independence. It is the central principle upon which the whole of our Constitution is based. These values on life and individual freedom and liberty are the foundation that makes the United States of America the greatest among nations.
If there is one group of people I admire more than any other, it is the men and women who volunteer to defend our rights and freedoms in the United States military services. While most of us (myself included) spend our time talking about rights and freedom, these folks, and their families, are putting their lives on the line to make sure we have the freedom to do so.
I think this, more than anything, is why the debate over the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy is a loaded one. On the one hand if equality under the law cannot be had in the United States of America, what right do we have trying to bring it to other countries? On the other hand, one of the most important things we should be doing for our military is giving them defined goals and removing the barriers to achieving those goals so that our service men and women can come home safe.
The real question, I believe, is whether the two are mutually exclusive.
In all seriousness, can somebody please enlighten me? How is it possible that the President of the United States of America can go on the record saying that Fox News is “destructive” and no one bats an eye? I don’t recall former President Bush ever saying something similar to news outlets that were ideologically opposed to him.
These are words from the same party that wants to have the Fairness Doctrine re-instituted to combat the popularity of talk radio. The United States is supposed to be about freedom of speech and the freedom of the marketplace. I get it: some of you disagree with the point of view that many of Fox News’ pundits, such as Sean Hannity hold. The difference is that these same pundits aren’t out there advocating for the removal of those on the opposite side of the political aisle such as Chris Matthews.
When I moved to the Albany, NY area in the Spring of 2007, I created a profile on a number of social networking sites as a springboard to building a new life and meeting new people in my new hometown. In the beginning I had the typical information describing me as a person who valued “a, b, and c” and enjoyed the company of people who where “x, y, and z.”
During that first summer, I wrote something that I still have a hard time classifying: an essay? a short story?
If you’ve read any of the stuff I’ve written before I started blogging, you might know that my one hot-button political topic is fiscal responsibility. A coworker of mine said something to me today that, to me, demonstrates a either a misunderstanding, or a lack of knowledge regarding financial matters. While this statement had been made a few times in the past, today my brain made the connection with the political arena.
The most famous "blockhead"
If you’re anything like me, you grew up reading the Sunday comics which invariably started with the “Peanuts” strip by Charles Shultz. You likely remember the number of times Lucy called Charlie Brown a “blockhead” in one amusing situation or another.
If the title wasn’t obvious enough this post isn’t really about analyzing the Sunday Comics. However, when I started to write this, with the title already in mind, I had no idea how appropriate some of the iconic imagery and concepts featuring America’s favorite “blockhead” would be.
When it comes to Healthcare in the United States, I believe the argument has less to do with the quality of care than it has to do with how to pay for it. If you truly want to compare the quality of care, you need to look at hospital survival rates, not life expectancy. Countries, such as Great Britain have a higher life expectancy because they don’t have the same level of gang and gun violence that we have in the States. These young deaths quickly hack away at life expectancy.