Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Civics Lessons

A Right, But Not a Duty

Although I have never been impressed with the "If you don't vote, you can't complain" argument, as it seems at odds with the 1st Amendment, I do think it is important to exercise the franchise. Whether the candidates or initiatives I vote for ultimately prevail is less important to me than knowing that I did what I could to support them. Voting is one of the most satisfying aspects of civic engagement.

Roger Sandau filing papers to run for City Council

It felt good, for instance, to know that I helped a political newcomer, local businessman Roger Sandau, win a seat on the Council Bluffs City Council. I am hopeful that he will do a good job, but in a democracy it is important to regularly inject new blood into our political institutions, so sometimes we have to take a flyer on
a fresh face with no political track record. I wish Mr. Sandau well.

Unfortunately, every single !@#$% election day we have to listen to progressives whine about how not everyone exercises their right to vote, and how things would simply be ever-so-much better if only we could find a way to make sure everyone votes. A typical example of this kind of mutton-headed drivel appeared in The Atlantic on November 2, the day before the most recent Election Day in most parts of the country.

For some reason, the totalitarian mindset that dominates the progressive left in this country has gone all-in on the notion that every positive behavior (and I do consider voting to be such) must be made mandatory.

It is an idea that must be vigorously resisted on all fronts.

With regard to compulsory voting specifically, Libertarian Scott Shackford offers a logical rebuttal in Reason magazine, and Michael Walsh does likewise on the PJ Media website.

We are truly privileged to live in the freest nation in human history, but we must be prepared to defend that freedom with our voices, with our pens (well, I guess "word processors" is more apt these days), and with our votes. There will always be people who don't understand how freedom works, and who are just itching to get rid of it...

"There are too many kinds of deodorant, damn it.!"

Things That Make Me Happy: Celebration Edition

So, the turnout for the World Series victory celebration of my beloved Kansas City Royals at Union Station was pretty good...

It was, all kidding aside, a massive turnout, and the most amazing thing Kansas City has seen in...well, maybe ever.

I couldn't find a way to embed it, but please do watch the short video taken along the parade route included in this article. Incredible, but fittingly so, given the incredible championship season we just lived through...

2015 World Champions

"That's a mighty nice looking piece of hardware. And that picture makes you cry, doesn't it?"
Yes, it really is...and yes, it does...

Why Am I Not Surprised?

From the marvelous Chip Bok, whose editorial cartoons can be viewed here.

Until Next Time...

Now that baseball season has finally ended, I can fully embrace the fall season. Leaves are changing colors, and falling from the trees, the temperatures are cool but not unpleasantly so. Autumn is actually my favorite season. And while it might not be the most popular of Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons concerti, Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293 (L'autunno) is my favorite. Even though autumn officially started over a month ago, I'm not going to apologize for sharing it a bit belatedly.

Today's send-off is a live performance of the piece recorded at the National Botanical Garden of Wales. It features violinist Julia Fischer playing with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Enjoy...

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