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The Expansionist
Monday, August 19, 2013
 
Insane Sentencing; PIE
The Cleveland pervert who kidnapped two girls and held them captive for a decade was reported in the press as life imprisonment plus 1,000 years (in order to ensure that he would never qualify for parole). That is indefensible nonsense that the law should forbid. Nobody lives 1,000 years, so when a government imposes such a sentence, it holds itself up to popular ridicule and active contempt.
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Everything Government does must make sense. The people are barely able to maintain a semblance of respect for Government as it is. Each time Government does something ridiculous, it diminishes public respect for Government as an institution. That is not just unwise. It is also dangerous, because respect for the law follows from and is dependent upon respect for the Government that issues the laws.
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The bulk of members of society obey the law not because they are afraid of being caut if they don't, but because they consent to the laws as written by representatives whose judgment they trust. If people no longer respect the judgment of Government, they begin to question all the laws, and pick and choose which to obey and which to ignore or actively defy. Then all that Government can do to enforce its rules is impose a police state that watches everyone to make sure they are obeying the law, and inflict draconian punishments to intimidate people into toeing the line.
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Surely we should prefer voluntary obedience to the law as against an oppressive, omnipresent, and hugely expensive Government that has to impose its will rather than simply lead public opinion.
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Neglecting This Blog. I recently discontinued Internet access from home, due to its now-outrageous cost after an unwarranted price rise in this time of economic hardship for the great preponderance of the population, when the Great Recession goes on and on because Republicans refuse to do what needs to be done to end it. Altho there are many issues I'd like to address, I find more personal satisfaction in devoting such wifi Internet time as I can manage to get from my local library and McDonald's, to my fotoblog, "Newark USA", about my own hugely underappreciated city, Newark, NJ. That gives me an outlet for my esthetic energies and a way to express my views on local and state issues to an audience that is usually willing to read them, in part because they are interspersed with fotografs that address things about Newark that the major media do not. I have more influence on that audience, albeit as to only local matters, than on the potential national or international audience that has, for the most part, not found this blog.
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The general public is fickle and superficial. Scores of millions of Americans want to read celebrity gossip, even sports columnists. Only a few million in this country, and proportionately small numbers of people in other countries, are interested in the public-policy matters this blog has addressed, and most of those people have very conventional minds. They have a very limited imagination, and extremely modest notions of what is possible. If an idea has not been talked about for decades, they are unwilling to consider it. And the range of pundits they read is narrow. Those pundits too have few to no new ideas. They have very conventional minds as well, and most of their commentary has to do not with new approaches but with little more than political gossip: who said what, in which forum, and how it was received by the audience and media. That is, little substance, mostly fluff.
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A few days ago, I became impatient with the failure or even refusal of the punditocracy to focus everyone's attention on the one, most-fundamental problem that underlies virtually all other world problems: overpopulation. We wouldn't have to worry about so-called "man-made global warming" if the population of the Earth were only 4 million; nor about starvation in the Third World; nor about habitat destruction and species extinction caused by human activities; nor about most other basic problems of human society. I then put this into a capsule aconym, PIE: Population Is Everything.
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Yes, issues like unfairness would remain, but even as regards economic inequality, overpopulation has much to do with the impetus of the rich in hoarding wealth and keeping as much to themselves as possible. There are so many poor people, and their numbers are increasing enormously, out of control, that the rich feel imminently endangered, about to be overrun and destroyed unless they can somehow acquire so much money and with it, control, that they can defend against the masses.
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A few major social issues might not be affected by overpopulation, but not many. For instance, racism may not be affected by overpopulation, tho the economic fears that underpin socioeconomic racism are. Still, racism is a problem only in multiracial societies, whereas most countries are basically uniracial.
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Religious extremism and bigotry may not have a major population component, but even there, population matters. For instance, curbing human population in countries dominated by the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) runs up against the Old Testament command "be fruitful and multiply". That arose from insecurity about the ability of the relatively small Jewish population in ancient times, surrounded by non-Jewish groups whose population had to be matched or overmatched. That perception in turn produced hostility to homosexuality, which the Jewish leadership felt threatened the ability of Jews to keep pace with the population increase of their enemies (actual or potential). In the modern day, competing religions or denominations are concerned that they might be outnumbered by population increase among others, so they have entered into a planet-destroying population 'arms race' (two per customer).
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Look deeply at almost any major social issue, and you are likely to find an aspect of the population or overpopulation issue in play. But you wouldn't know that from the public policy discussions we see around us, in op-ed columns, television discussion programs, etc.
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Another basic issue you never see discussed is the destructive nature of so many of the national borders that divide people from people, and set them against each other. Nowhere do we see suggestions, in any discussion of the impact of Mexico upon the United States, that the border has to go. It has created two societies, unequal and opposed, which do not serve the interests of either group. The border is unenforceable. We hear that over and over, but each time that reality is mentioned, urgent voices insist that it CAN be enforced, if only we build a physical or virtual fence, demand that everyone carry and show ID that cannot be counterfeited, impose harsh penalties upon employers who hire illegal aliens, etc.
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Why is there no discussion of the obvious fact that, for the United States, Mexico is the single most important country on Earth, and some way must be found to convert our relationship from hostile to cooperative, from "Them against Us" to just "Us"?
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No one discusses converting NAFTA and other free-trade arrangements the U.S. now has into a European Union kind of arrangement, much less simply offering to admit Mexico to the U.S. as a number of States of the Union. Why not? It's basically only emotional defeatism, more than lack of intellectual imagination. Racism and fears of being overwhelmed by a fast-growing Mexican population also play their part — there's that overpopulation issue again.
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No one in major media or the most-read blogs is talking about any of these issues or solutions, for instance, how a North American economic union might be instituted, perhaps in sensible increments, with a common currency and free movement of labor as well as capital across borders, without ruining the richer members of the union. How has the EU handled such matters? You'll never know from the policy discussions of the pundits given a forum by major media.
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I discuss some of these matters in this blog and in the Expansionist Party website (albeit now in a diminished form on Tripod.com). I need to add pages from XP's former, much larger, website (which we had to abandon because of technical issues with our inexpensive webhost, then financial problems), but there's a lot involved in doing so. I hope, now that I have been using the Newark Public Library and McDonald's for a few weeks, that I will find a way to pace myself as to pay more balanced attention to my Newark fotoblog, this political blog, and my (rarely updated) gay blog. We shall see.



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