Dee Finney's blog
start date July 20, 2011
Today's date June 10, 2012
updated 10-4-12
page 239



I watched a video today, which I do not wish to name, nor quote, but he gave me an idea.  What is personal freedom, and what if everyone decided to act on that all at the same time?

Let me tell you right now, that here and there I'm going to get on my SOAP BOX and tell  it the way it is.  This isn't going to be a whole page about religious hogwash and just talking spiritual love and joy.  The truth is going to be told following this, so know this in advance.

To begin with, know we spend a good deal of  life in a kind of slavery, a slave to duty, to myths of freedom, a slave to the isms of politics, political correctness and religion.. We are a slave to the ideas of money and the false idea that if one had money one  succeded and if not, one is a failure. We are enslaved in the need to acquire, to belong, to be accepted, to have others pass their judgments on ua. Remember how badly it hurt if someone didn't like the way we looked, or what we wore or what we said? The first step to personal freedom is reccognizing thar we are slaves within.

The second step is to recognize that we don't have to be perfect in other people's eyes.  Who made others our judge and jury?  We are all perfect, each in our own way. 

The third step is to take nothing on its face, accept nothing as the truth unless it is the truth for you. We need to ask questions of all that is presented to us. We need to ask what is right and wrong and make our own decisions based on how it feels within ourselves. 

To own the self and belong only to ourselves is  the basic key to personal freedom.

Slavery starts in infancy, but we don't know that as infants.  When we are infants, all we require is food and water, a clean diaper and a clean place to sleep and grow..  It's really nice to have a mother and father to hold us and love us.

If you choose to be a parent, thats what you owe them.  Your freedom was in choosing to be a parent and we need to do that wisely.  Being a parent is a great responsibility so make sure you choose it for yourself, not let others talk you into it because its right for them.  That's the freedom they choose for themselves. 

It's a great joy to be a parent, after we get enough sleep and the baby doesn't cry all the time because we are feeding it junk food and its tummy hurts.  Been there - done that, right?

If you haven't yet been a parent, know that it comes with the territory.

The rules of society jump right in to tell us how to be a good parent.  First thing when a boy is born is for the doctor to insist that it be circumcized.  Oh really?  Then why was the child born the way he was?  Think twice on choosing that for your child.  Don't base it on religion or things you've heard.  If you are the Dad - how is it working for you?  As in the vaccine question that comes next, once done, it can't be undone.

The next thing we have to decide is vaccines and there are tons of laws about that, and scary stories on both sides of the issue. 

Here are 42 pages of facts to read and to make up your own mind with:  Remember that once your child is vaccinated, it has to live with your choice forever - the rest of its life.  It cannot be undone.

Once, fed, clothed and loved, your child will want TOYS!  The child needs to entertain itself, learn from  toys.  It'll make a toy out of anything it can reach and touch, even before it can crawl.  The child doesn't need anything fancy - just make sure its clean because the child will put it into its mouth and chew on it no matter what it is.  So, no sharp edges, and nothing poisonous.  And once a tooth appears, it will be shredded in the mouth too, so be careful what you choose, even paper, books, and newspaper tastes great to a child, and anything it finds on the floor if that is where the child is laying.

Children don't need fancy toys.  What you see on TV  (I hope you have unplugged it by now) the child can learn from anything around the house.  A child can even learn from its own body parts, like fingers andr toes, noses, hair, arms, legs - start there because you are teaching your child in a loving way and that's all it cares about right then.

Every parent knows that a child will like the box a toy came in better than the toy anyway.  Boxes make great toys.  Clean blocks of wood are great too and remember that knocking things down are more fun than buildintg things for a child. 

Play dates for kids?  Yikes!  I pity the kids for the choices you make for them.  Not every kid is a great role model for a child.  Notice I have differentiated between kids and your child for a reason.  You don't really know what that other kid is going to teach your child do you?  Thinkk twice about that.

You have to use daycare?  Are you sure?  How about grandma if you have to work outside the home.  You'd be better off for a father and mother to work different hours if necessary,  OR, live in a cheaper place so Mom can stay home and take care of the child herself.  Your child will be so much better off to live in a small home than in a daycare center no amtter how great the teacher is.

But, that is your choice to make and nobody should make it for you.   Make that decision for yourself, not because someone else tells you what to do.

Don't make your decision based on what Dee Finney said because she raised six great kids and was a stay at home Mom for most of their childhood.  Their Dad worked three jobs to make that happen and we had a fabulous garden and Mom learned to cook, can, sew, barter clothes, whatever it took back in the 60's before women's lib came into fashion and changed the world.

NOTE FROM DEE:  I can see you rolling your eyes and laughing about now, if not groaning in derision. .  My children were raised in the 60's when we had a different life than people do now.  This is a different genreation - actually two generations separate me from you.  just keep in mind that we are trying to change the world for the better and you have to do that for yourself first.

Who your child plays with is your next decision and even I had to make those decisions - even in the 60's.  a kid from around the corner couldn't play with my kids because he brought a Playboy magazine to our backyard behind the garage and showed it to my sons.  He was only six years old.  Believe me, he never came back to our house.  I have to say here that he ddin't live past his teens either because of how he was raised, but I can't judge his parents -  it might have been another reason that kid turned out the way he did.

Then we come to school age, and I have a lot to say about our school system because I was raised in it during WWII and to do the duck and cover drill in case the bombs came.  My father wore a helmet when he walked the streets at night to make sure we were safe.  We lived on ration stamps then.  Other wars came and went while I was growing up, bomb shelters were built, jet planes flew overhead, breaking the sound barrier. 

Other generations have lived through other wars.  Every generation lost parents, friends, relatives to war.  Mine too!  That's what we need to change as fast as we can.

But, lets get back to education - I don't like the publc school system for a variety of reasons and what they teach is first on the list.  From friends I have heard that parochial schools are probably worse, where they get religion drummed into them first before the other lies get taught to them.

Education for the most part is LIES!  If you don't already know that, then you shouldn't have children because that is what is going to be taught to them.  Then once you get beyond the lies and teach science - know that real science is yearsr ahead of  what is taught in schools because old codgers can't let go of what was taught to them and get with real science.

Reality is so much different than what everyone thinks it is.   As an example, when are school going to teach kids that people from other solar systems came  to earth and changed humanity - actually created humans?   When are schools going to start teaching the truth about Christopher Columbus and what the white people of Europe did to the Native Americans?  The atrocities were horrible, and we sitll celebrate Columbus Day and celebrate Thankskgiving? 

If you prefer to homeschool, and I really like that idea, just know that 'you' are the truth teller and not the books, so you had better know the truth for yourself because you are the only one your child is going to hear it from.  The books you teach from come from the lying school system if they are the 'public' school systemm. 

I can't speak for or about charter schools or other systems because I haven't read their books, so you will be on our own with them.  Your child will trust you to know truth from lies.  Get your information from the internet because there are a lot of wise people telling the truth out there and you have to decide what is true and what is not.

Once you are done with the school system, your child will make his/her own decisions about what you taught them.  By then, truth will have changed accordingly depending on what you read to begin wtih.

I can tell you here that if you read the word 'theory'  - that's what it is - it is not gospel truth and even what is called 'gospel' is not necessarily true either. 

The only thing really TRUE can be proven in some way.  If it can't be proven, then it is questionable.

I don't intend to tell you how to raise a teenager, because teens raise themselves the way they want to no matter what you tell them because they think for themselves according to what their friends say.  Unless you jail your children over the age of 10 or 11, you can't stop them from learning from others - right or wrong.

Maybe by then, somehow you can tell them right from wrong but even then, they have their own minds and will do what they want when they want to no matter what you say unless you scare them into behaving properly and I really hope you don't scare your kids the way my parents scared me. 

I still have fears taught to me by my parents, but I learned that getting on a bus doesn't mean I'm going to die in a ditch just because another bus drove into a ditch and a kid died.

Watch carefully that you don't put a lot of fear into your children.

If you have a special child who has gifts of one kind or another, encourage them to pursue it even if you don't have the same gift.  Children, these days are born knowing things from birth that many of us didn't learn until we were in our 40's. Don't tell your children 'you can't see' something they say they can, or say they 'know' something.  Many childrena are being born 'knowing things' or 'hearing things' that we couldn't as children. 

And don't squelch creativity no matter what it is as long as they aren'nt hurting themselves or burning the house down. 

My own children told me when they were in their 20's, some of the things they did creatively when they were young.. Some of the things they did were electrical and gasoline powered rockets.  Those kinds of thingS would scare any mother. 

Of  course at some point, we all can take stock of where we are in life and think about what we want to do or be in life if we haven't done it at the same the time we raised our children. 

Some people don'nt have the energy to do all that at the same time, but some do if you are lucky to have that type of personality.  It's like being able to watch TV and do other things at the same time, talk on th ephone, take notes, read, all kids of things -  that is called multi-tasking.  Many of us can do taht, even when we get older and take the time to think about whether we can make this a better world - better than when we came into it.

Especially like when we think about how many wars we've lived through and are facing another one, and we have always trusted the government to do what is right, and then discover that government play games when we aren't lookining for other reasons than what is good for its own citizens.

You know that right?  At least I hope you do. 

Here's what we need to think about - even though it isn't affecting us personally.   At least we hope it isn't, but some of those things affect us even when we aren't looking, and hold us back from what is really how people on the whole want to live -  its not just about government -  its about personal freedom.


BREAKING -->> Federal Court RULES "in favor of indefinite DETENTION"

FREEDOM is dead !!
Just like in North Korea, China, Cuba etc U.S. Freedom is dead, You have

none of your other Constitutional protections because now you can be
arrested and imprisoned indefinitely with No charges, No evidence,
required and then you have No rights to a lawyer or ever having a trial
by your peers. (Or even a phone call telling others where you are !)

Federal Court overturns District Judge decision & rules in favor of
indefinite detention

In and around Sept 12, 2012 District Judge Katherine Forest ruled to
ban the enforcement of part of a new law that permits indefinite
military detention, a measure critics including a prize-winning
journalist say is too vague and threatens free speech.

HOWEVER, the Federal government's wheels turned quickly and in
no time judges appointed by Obama overturned her decision.

As the NDAA's co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech

on the floor in December, it was the Obama administration that demanded
the removal of language that would have protected Americans from being
subject to indefinite detention.

The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American

citizens was in the bill that we originally approved ¦and the
administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S.
citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this
section, said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

It was the administration that asked us to remove the very
language which we had in the bill which passed the committee ¦we
removed it at the request of the administration, said Levin,
emphasizing, It was the administration which asked us to remove

the very language the absence of which is now objected to.
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Eileen Dannemann
Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2012 9:12 AM
Subject: BREAKING NEWS: Federal Court OVERTURNS District Judge constitutional decision & rules in favor of indefinite DETENTION

Federal Court overturns District Judge decision & rules in favor of indefinite detention
 In and around Sept 12, 2012 District Judge Katherine Forest ruled to ban the enforcement of part of a new law that permits indefinite military detention, a measure critics including a prize-winning journalist say is too vague and threatens free speech.
HOWEVER, the Federal government’s wheels turned quickly and in no time judges appointed by Obama overturned her decision.

As the NDAA’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor in December, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have protected Americans from being subject to indefinite detention.
“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
“It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”

Best regards,

Eileen Dannemann
Director, National Coalition of Organized Women
319 855-0307



Who Was Lilith?

Myths and legends of Lilith date back farther than the original texts of the Bible.
Learn about Lilith in the Christian Bible, Lilith in Hebrew Mysticism, Lilith as a ...

I've written about Lillith before: 

Dee Finney's blog January 22, 2012 page 112 DO WE REALLY HAVE FREE WILL?

Here is just a few paragraphs from the other page:

The Bible's dual accounts of the creation of the first woman, which led its author to the conclusion that Adam had a first wife before his marriage to Eve. Adam's original mate was the demonic Lilith who had been fashioned, just like her male counterpart, from the dust of the earth. Lilith insisted from the outset on equal treatment, a fact which caused constant friction between the couple. Eventually the frustrated Lilith used her magical powers to fly away from her spouse. At Adam's urging, God dispatched three angels to negotiate her return. When these angels made threats against Lilith's demonic descendants, she countered that she would prey eternally upon newborn human babies, who could be saved only by invoking the protection of the three angels. In the end Lilith stood her ground and never returned to her husband.

The story implies that when Eve was afterwards fashioned out of Adam's rib (symbolic of her subjection to him), this was to serve as an antidote to Lilith's short-lived attempt at egalitarianism. Here, declare the feminists matronizingly, we have a clear statement of the Rabbinic Attitude Towards Women!

There is only one slight problem with this theory: The story of Lilith is not actually found in any authentic Rabbinic tradition. Although it is repeatedly cited as a "Rabbinic legend" or a "midrash," it is not recorded in any ancient Jewish text!

The tale of Lilith originates in a medieval work called "the Alphabet of Ben-Sira," a work whose relationship to the conventional streams of Judaism is, to say the least, problematic.

The unknown author of this work has filled it with many elements that seem designed to upset the sensibilities of traditional Jews. In particular, the heroes of the Bible and Talmud are frequently portrayed in the most perverse colours. Thus, the book's protagonist, Ben-Sira, is said to have issued from an incestuous union between the prophet Jeremiah and his daughter. Joshua is described as a buffoon too fat to ride a horse. King David comes across as a heartless and spiteful figure who secretly delights in the death of his son Absalom, while putting on a disingenuous public display of grief. The book is consistently sounding the praises of hypocritical and insincere behaviour.

So shocking and abhorrent are some of the contents of "the Alphabet of Ben-Sira" that modern scholars have been at a loss to explain why anyone would have written such a book. Some see it as an impious digest of risqué folk-tales. Others have suggested that it was a polemical broadside aimed at Christians, Karaites, or some other opposing movement. I personally would not rule out the possibility that it was actually an anti-Jewish satire--though, to be sure, it did come to be accepted by the Jewish mystics of medieval Germany; and amulets to fend off the vengeful Lilith became an essential protection for newborn infants in many Jewish communities.

Eventually the tale of Lilith was included in a popular English-language compendium of Rabbinic legend, and some uncritical readers--unable or unwilling to check after the editor's sources--cited it as a representative Rabbinic statement on the topic. As tends to happen in such instances, subsequent authors kept copying from one another until the original error turned into an unchallenged historical fact.

Certainly there are volumes of real texts and traditions that could benefit from a searching and critical feminist analysis, and it is a shame to focus so much intellectual energy on a dubious and uncharacteristic legend of this sort.

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What is Personal Freedom

What is personal freedom? The reference point for most of us is an inner experience. It can relate to outer conditions or your personal values or your identity. It usually means “from” something like limitation, fear, prejudice, or lack.. Thomas Leonard, a founder of the modern coaching movement talked about the need for surplus in key areas of our lives like money, time, space. He felt that this was a way to have a cushion from the hard knocks of life. That is one way to try to ensure your optimum life. Have enough of what you want and a surplus to do what you want when you want. It is based on creating external conditions in your life, and that is a reasonable component of freedom and happiness. it's good and worthwhile to take care of those areas.However, you can have all of the external components in place and still be miserable. Fear, guilt, anger or incompleteness may dominate your inner life and that is certainly not free. So a second level of the optimum life is a healthy inner life, and one that expresses your authentic self. A person who self actualizes, operates on a higher level of personal freedom. When you fulfill your inner nature there is a joy and freedom that can't be obtained by external circumstances alone.

A third level of personal freedom is totally inner based. It is a state of contentment and peace that isn't altered by anything outside of you. It is transcendent in nature. It comes when your personal self expands in unity with a universal nature. Expanding your identity to a larger state that is made of love, peace, and joy transforms the idea of your existance. You have now become truly free. You have been to the mountaintop and that will never leave you.





**This round will be Lincoln-Douglas style**

Throughout the ages, mankind has sought many things: wealth, prosperity, power, and fame. But among these things rises something greater, more valuable, than any of these things combined, and that thing is freedom. Gandhi said of freedom, "It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?" Because choosing personal freedom possesses more inherent worth, not only in situations where personal freedom and economic security conflict, but in all areas of life, I Affirm the resolution: When in conflict, personal freedom ought to be valued above economic security.

To establish some common ground in today's debate, let's examine some definitions:
Personal freedom: the power or liberty to order one's own actions and property as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

Economic security: the condition of having a stable source of financial income that allows for access to basic infrastructure needs pertaining to health, education, dwelling, information, and social protection
Conflict: incompatibility or mutual exclusivity as of one idea, desire, event, or activity with another
Value: consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial

With the definitions established, it's necessary to ask why we ought to Affirm the resolution.

The value we are presented with are those of personal freedom and economic security, and thus the value that I as the Affirmative will be upholding is that of personal freedom (as previously defined). Personal freedom is not only valuable because of what it brings us–independence–but also because of what it is–arguably the most important right that human beings are endowed with. To prove why the resolution is true, let's examine three contentions:

Contention 1: Conflict is the limit
When analyzing this resolution, it is essential that we only look at examples of personal freedom and economic security when they come into conflict. After all, there are a number of scenarios in which we find personal freedom and economic security to be in perfect harmony. Thus, the question of the resolution is specifically limited to the area of conflict: when we must choose one over the other. Additionally, it's important to recognize that we must compare these values from the perspective of an third party, because it's impossible to use your own personal freedom to devalue that same freedom. Likewise, if you choose to value economic security, you are exercising your personal freedom in that very action. Therefore, we have to consider personal freedom and economic security when they are valued by an external actor–someone else must be doing the valuing. So why is personal freedom superior? This leads directly into

Contention 2: Valuing personal freedom creates independence
Independence is commonly thought of in terms of the American Revolution, cries of liberty, and rights being fought for. But at it's core, independence is so much more than just being free. Inherent within the idea of independence is that not only are you free, but you are free from the control of others. Independence is defined as, "not depending on another's authority; not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence." When we value personal freedom, it allows us to become less reliant on others for our needs, and more reliant on ourselves. The problem that arises when valuing economic security over personal freedom is that it necessitates dependence on others. For example, when you go out and get a job, you are exercising your personal freedom, and as a result, gain finances for basic needs–economic security. However, when a decision must be made–get a job and exercise personal freedom, or slack off and get checks from the government–we find that valuing economic security leads to dependence on others, and creates an irresponsible and irrational mindset. The government has two options: allow you to exercise your freedom to go get a job, thereby valuing personal freedom, or send you monthly checks so long as you don't have a job, thereby valuing economic security. The fundamental problem is that this encourages an others-reliant mindset, instead of a self-reliant mindset. Part of the reason why the free market is so successful is because the system values personal freedom above economic security as a fundamental precept. In a society's marketplace, there is conflict: we have to choose to either value freedom of those in the market to make their own decisions, or we must choose to value the economic security of society as a whole, and try to ensure that everyone has a fairly equal level of goods and services–basically socialism. The superior choice–capitalism–creates a system where people must learn to be reliant upon themselves, while the latter choice incentivizes laziness, a mindset of entitlement, and a state where we are dependent on the government to supply our every want and need. Ultimately, the mindset created by valuing economic security over personal freedom when in conflict, is a negative one, that leads to failure in the long run. Valuing personal freedom allows people to be independent, make well reasoned decisions, and learn to become self-sufficient in the long run.

Contention 3: Personal freedom is inherently valuable
[quote]. Freedom is the most important of all the rights that mankind has. Without freedom, what use is life? We are merely slaves to another, our lives dependent on the whims of another. Without freedom, our property means nothing–for all we are concerned, we *are* property. While economic security has its place, it can never take the inherent value that personal freedom has when the two conflict. This principle is illustrated perfectly in the historical example of slavery. Much of the south viewed slaves as property, and decided to take away the personal freedom of the Africans, for the supposedly "higher value" of economic and financial security. In the end, however, the government realized that not only was slavery unfeasible for the long term success of America, but more importantly, it was a gross violation of rights and freedoms, and was inherently immoral.

In the end, personal freedom ought to be valued above economic security when in conflict, because while economic security necessitates dependence on others and has no intrinsic worth, personal freedom possesses both practical and moral value, due to the independence it creates and the inherent value it has. What would you not be willing to pay for your life? And what good is your life, unless you are free.


I agree with my opponent's definitions.

Contention 1: Economic security is a foundation of a good life
For most of us, school is a lot of hard work. Not only are we not allowed to spend the time at school as we wish, but after school, we must do a lot of time-consuming (and mostly useless) homework. It's obvious that school restrains our personal freedom. Why then do most of us attend school? The answer is that school promises us a well-paying career (a.k.a. economic security), and a well-paying career promises a luxurious life. Thus economic security is more valuable than personal freedom.

Contention 2: Economic security is the limit of personal freedom
What you have limits what you can do. No where is this concept more prevalent than in finances. Those who have money can build giant buildings, make multiple movies, and buy whatever the heck they want. Those who don't have money can only watch enviously. Since personal freedom is a measure of your liberty to do the things you want, it makes sense to state that economic security is a measure of personal freedom. Thus economic security must come first.

Contention 3: Independence depends on economic security
When a person without money wants to accomplish something that is above his/her financial means, he/she has to borrow from people who have money. The person without money is dependent on the people with money. If that same person had adequate financial means, he/she would not be dependent on others, and thus would be independent. Thus economic security is more important than personal freedom, since without economic security you cannot be truly independent, and without independence you cannot truly be free.
Debate Round No. 1


In this argument, I'll be addressing Con's case, and then reiterating the validity of my own case.

I'm assuming that since a value wasn't explicitly presented, Con is supporting economic security as their value.

Response to Con's Contention 1: The entirety of Con's argument here is that because economic security is necessary, and because it comes first, it is superior. This argument, however, has no legitimate grounds. I'll address these ideas, and then refute the example of schools.
1. While it is true that everyone needs some sort of economic security, this by no means proves economic security to be superior–necessity does not equal superiority. In Soviet Russia, or other Socialist nations, people were guaranteed a certain level of economic security, having access to things like food, shelter, a form of income, and other basic infrastructural needs. However, their quality of life was very poor, their valuing of economic security over their freedom led to reliance on a corrupt and illegitimate government, and the moral value of personal freedom was implicated. Economic security led to others-dependence and a devaluing of morality.
2. Con commits the logical fallacy "post hoc, proper hoc," saying that because we have economic security before we have a high-quality life, economic security is more valuable. Con also commits circular reasoning: by valuing economic security, we have a luxurious life. What is a luxurious life? Essentially, having lots of economic security! Con proves nothing. The example of schools is also fallacious, as it not only is based on the flawed circular reasoning, but also is simply untrue. Several highly successful people have dropped out of school and yet had success. Without the freedom to pursue your life in a meaningful way in the future through an exercise of personal freedom, economic security and "luxury" ends up being meaningless.

Response to Con's Contention 2: Con's second contention, unfortunately, falls prey to the same problem as the previous: circularity. Con constantly appeals to the standard of economic security to prove why economic security is good. Second, the examples of "building giant buildings" or "making multiple movies" really have nothing to do with the resolution, since they don't show personal freedom conflicting with economic security. Even if you accept that personal freedom is limited by economic security (which it isn't–nations that have been in deep poverty have been able produce intelligent people and resourceful commodities), that doesn't prove economic security is more valuable, just as a tape measure is not more important than the person that it measures.

Response to Con's Contention 3: Two responses. One, Con seems to appealing to the higher standard of personal freedom, when he says, "without economic security you cannot be truly independent, and without independence you cannot be truly free." This seems as though Con is conceding that personal freedom is the highest goal, and that economic security can help achieve that goal. If that is the case, then a vote for Pro is justified. Two, Con also seems to be agreeing with me in regards to the independence argument. While it may seem that Con is arguing for economic security here, in reality, they admit to my very point: if you want to accomplish something above your financial means (buy a $3000 TV set), and you go out and borrow money from someone else, that is valuing economic security. Even if you disagree with that, the person buying the TV would also be exercising their own personal freedom in order to get economic security–that obviously leaves us in a bind, as I identified in my Contention 1, and it's also not an example of conflict. *When in conflict,* economic security valued over personal freedom (such as the example I gave in my Contention 2) does in fact create others-dependence, and a socialistic welfare state where everyone depends on the government for sustenance.

This being said, let's return to the Pro case and see why not only is it still valid, but it has gone almost completely unrefuted by Con.

In my Contention 1, I pointed out how conflict examples are the only applicable ones to the resolution–all others must be disregarded because of the wording of the topic. I also showed how it's impossible to value economic security higher than personal freedom if you choose to use your own freedom to do that very thing. We must examine all examples of conflict from the perspective of an external actor (someone else doing the valuing). These issues were largely ignored by Con, who went on to use examples without conflict, and examples with the individual as their own actor. As this argument was not refuted, it should be considered conceded, and since Con has not complied with these standards, all of their arguments contradicting this standard should be thrown out.

Under my Contention 2, I argued that personal freedom creates independence–a state where we are reliant upon ourselves for our well being. As a general principle, economic security creates irresponsibility when it's valued above personal freedom when the two conflict, because it allows for your fundamental ability to make decisions to be undermined in return for money. In my example of government welfare, you can either use your freedom to go get a job, or you can sacrifice your freedom and get a check. The latter option clearly provides no long-term stability, and in fact, breeds an irresponsible mindset, which is why we should reject economic security when it conflicts with personal freedom.

My third (3) Contention went entirely unaddressed. Con completely ignored the fact that personal freedom has inherent moral value, that all other human rights and dignity depend on this one concept. Economic security has no intrinsic value–it never has, and it never will. Economic security is money. Personal freedom is the foundation that sets the standard and the principle for the worth of mankind. Without that freedom, man is no better than an animal, and if that's the mindset we hold to, the world would be a terrible place.

In conclusion, personal freedom still clearly reigns superior to economic security when the two conflict, because it is more responsible, creates independence, and is inherently valuable, while economic security is not. For these reasons, please vote Pro.


Response to Pro's Contention 1:

Pro states that a third party should be doing the valuing. My arguments are based on the values of the general public, and not on my own personal beliefs. Therefore, my arguments follow his standard and remain unrefuted.

Response to Pro's Contention 2:

Pro uses a poor analogy to support this contention. It is true that it is your freedom to get a job, but it is also true that it is your freedom to not seek jobs. On the job, you are under the command of your boss. Your boss restrains your personal freedom, but provides you with economic security. If you don't have a job, you have all the personal freedom you can ever want, but your economic security is limited to a monthly check from the government (or not even that, depending on what country you live in). That my opponent uses this analogy means that he concedes to the fact that economic security comes first.

Response to Pro's Contention 3:

All values are inherently valuable, but some are more valuable than others. Some values can only be realized if certain other values are realized. Since the latter values must be realized first, they are inherently more valuable. I have shown that for one to have true personal freedom, one must be economically secure. Thus economic security is inherently more valuable than personal freedom.

I will now support my own case.

Con Contention 1:

My opponent claims that people of Soviet Russia were guaranteed a certain level of economic security but were deprived of their freedom, and thus their quality of life was poor. I'd like to see his source for this.
Also, I could give a counterexample that would immediately refute his point. The people of present day Communist China, although not free, still maintain a relatively high quality of life. Don't argue with me on this point, because I have visited China many times.

My opponent also claims that my school analogy is fallacious. He claims that several people drop out of school and are successful. Now I pose this question to you: what percentage of the human population can actually do that? You would find that a very small percentage of people actually do this, and that the vast majority of people depend on education to gain economic security.

My opponent concludes his response to my contention 1 by saying that without freedom, economic security is meaningless. I'll pose him this question: if he lived in another country, and the government of that country suddenly decided to take away all his material belongings (his house, his electronics, his groceries, etc.), would he relinquish his belongings and avoid jail or go to jail and keep his belongings?

Contention 2:

My opponent misses the point. Your personal freedom cannot go beyond your economic security, therefore making economic security more valuable, as through economic security you obtain the means to realize two values, and through personal freedom you obtain the means to realize none. Pro then compares my point to a tape measure. This is highly inaccurate, as a tape measure in no way limits the height of a person, it only measures the height. Economic security is the limit, not the measure, of personal freedom. Thus a better analogy would be the exoskeleton of an insect, where the exoskeleton limits the size of the insect, and if you destroy the exoskeleton, you destroy the insect.

Contention 3:

Pro claims that I am conceding that personal freedom is the highest goal. Whether or not it is the highest goal depends entirely on the individual, and thus here Pro deviates from his own standards (third party has to do the valuing). My point is that while personal freedom may emphasize independence, one cannot have independence if one is not economically secure. Thus my opponent's second contention supports my case and not his.
Let me show you how borrowing money is an example of conflict between personal freedom and economic security. When you borrow money, you are expanding your personal freedom but undermining your economic security, as you are going above your financial means. Obviously, with some people struggling to pay off credit card debt, borrowing money isn't always a good decision. This leads me to the following conclusion:

When personal freedom is valued over economic security, the result is a vicious cycle of economic dependence on others leading to further undermining of one's economic security.

My conclusion has been proved, while my opponent's is only a claim and has not been backed by hard evidence. Thus it has been proved once again that economic security must come first. For the above reasons, I urge a CON ballot.
Debate Round No. 2


In this speech, I'll address what Con said against my Contentions, and then reassert what I said against his case.

Contention 1: Con misunderstands the argument here. I'm not saying that our own personal beliefs can't be brought into the debate. Rather, I'm saying that in all examples of conflict, it is imperative that the subject of the example not be doing the valuing themselves. For example, a person cannot choose to devalue their own choice. But when we take into account an external actor (like the government), that external actor can do the valuing for us. We'll see how this applies later on.

Contention 2: You can use your freedom to not get a job, but that example doesn't show any conflict with economic security. I'm not sure of the point Con was attempting to make with this response. While Con's response to the freedom restrained with a job may sound plausible, the problem this falls prey to is the contradiction of Contention 1 (that he agreed to). If an individual goes and uses their own freedom to go get a job (thereby limiting their own freedom), they are valuing personal freedom in order to restrain personal freedom, which obviously presents us with an impossible and unresolved principle. The only possible way this can make sense in the context of the resolution is if an external actor values one thing or the other. If you don't have a job, your freedom is limited by the government in the sense that you cannot go out and get a job without losing the economic security you have. The two are directly in conflict. It is not the case with using your own freedom to get a job, because 1. that doesn't work under this topic, and 2. You'd be using your own freedom to get economic security (in which case, there really is no actual conflict, which was defined as mutual exclusivity). This doesn't refute my response that primacy does not equal superiority (the earth existed before humans did, but that doesn't make the earth of superior value to human beings).

Contention 3: Incorrect. Not all values are inherently valuable. Money can be a value, but money has no inherent worth–it is what is known as a pragmatic value, something that is good only because of what it brings us. In the same way, economic security is merely having a stable source of finances to have basic services. That is not by any means an inherently valuable goal. Pragmatically valuable in some cases, sure. But not inherently valuable. Con's argument that primacy equals superiority is fundamentally flawed, as it can be empirically denied. Extremely impoverished nations can have large amounts of personal freedom, but little to no economic security. Personal freedom is not defined by what you can make (that's economic security: making money), but by how dependent you are on others, and when you choose to throw away personal freedom to gain economic security, you will inevitably lose independence and become more dependent on others. That is what conflict is defined as. When you throw out economic security, however, to value personal freedom, it is much more likely that one can be self reliant as they are making choices of their own accord, which necessitates wise and responsible decisions.

Response to Con Contention 1: Here's my source quote: "Although the country suffered enormous devastation and lost more than twenty million lives, it had gained considerable territory and now ranked as one of the two great world powers along with the United States. Nonetheless, life in the country continued to suffer. Industrial production was once again concentrated on heavy industry, agricultural failures produced widespread famine, political freedoms were restricted even further, and another huge wave of purges was carried out. As the Cold War got underway, an increasing proportion of the Soviet Union's resources were funneled into military projects, further exacerbating the quality of life." [1]
Examples are great, but that doesn't prove the principle I was illustrating. I agree with Con, based on statistics, that China has somewhat of a high quality of life. This was not my main argument in my previous response, although it was a secondary one. The main response to the quality of life argument was that initially brought up: quality of life = a high degree of economic security. This argument hasn't changed, and Con's argument is still circular. Even if you agree with Con's argument that economic security creates quality of life (which has already been shown to be false in some instances, true in others–leaving us with an inconsistent principle), that doesn't prove anything, other than that economic security achieves greater amounts of economic security.
In response to the school analogy, the percentage of people who can do this has absolutely nothing to do with our debate. The point of that analogy was to illustrate that 1. Con's argument was circular (which he hasn't yet refuted), and 2. that Con's principle was not true in all situations. Examples illustrate the truth of principles, and if we only debate over examples instead of principles, nothing will really be resolved. Economic security simply isn't the highest value because it doesn't allow one to be self-reliant when you throw out personal freedom, and it doesn't possess any intrinsic worth.

If I were in jail, my material belongings would be pretty worthless. However, if the government took away all that I owned but allowed me complete personal freedom, I could go and get another job, another house, more food, etc. Besides, we already agreed that economic security is defined as "financial stability that allows for access to basic services," and it's entirely possible to survive without having money (difficult, granted, but possible).

Response to Con Contention 2: Economic security is only the financial means one has, not the ability of that person. If you want to get "luxurious" life and have lots of expensive things, economic security might be useful. But valuing a stable source of income will theoretically achieve luxury (which is simply the accumulation of wealth). I didn't miss the point of Con's argument, I simply addressed it at it's root: economic security doesn't limit someone, and even if it did, that doesn't show conflict (and thus has nothing to do with the debate). The argument Con makes is also circular. Therefore, his contention falls.

Response to Con Contention 3: I don't deviate from my standard, and I didn't claim that it's based on the individual. I simply pointed out a contradiction on Con's part. My point is that, while I and Con both agree that economic security and personal freedom are important and work together often times, the question of the resolution is explicitly which is more valuable in conflict. Whether one works well with the other has nothing to do with that. If we must choose between either one or the other, personal freedom allows for independence because it requires one to make decisions that will be responsible, while on the other side of the coin, economic security essentially encourages laziness, and thus dependence.

1. Borrowing is not a conflict, and 2. It's not an external actor. When you borrow money, you choose to value access to those goods and services. Obviously you choose to borrow money. Which is why you can't exercise your own personal freedom in order to value your personal freedom (that ends up in a circle, which we want to avoid, as it proves nothing).

When you value personal freedom over economic security, you can still survive, and have the ability to provide for yourself. But if you choose to have a stable income and throw away your free choice, that inherently leads to depending on whoever is giving you said stable income. Personal freedom forces you to be self-reliant. Also, economic security is a pragmatic value, personal freedom is intrinsic. Personal freedom is more valuable than economic security. Since I win both justifications, please vote Pro.


Since my opponent will be out of town this week, Round 3 will be the last round.

I'll address my opponent's rebuttals, and then reassert my rebuttals.

Contention 1: The quote that my opponent used was about Stalinist Russia. There are several things wrong with using Stalin as an example for this debate. First of all, how may people like Stalin have appeared throughout history? I know about only two, which means that the cases that my opponent mentions are quite rare. Second, Stalin's reign does not show a conflict of economic security and personal freedom. Because of Stalin's paranoia, the people of Russia would have been deprived of their freedom whether the USSR was a world power or not.

In the vast majority of cases, economic security does significantly affect quality of life. A simple example would be a millionaire's mansion compared with a slum dog's shack. Thus my contention still stands.

In response to my school analogy, my opponent claims that because some people can drop out of school and be successful, my reasoning is circular and not true in all cases. Even if this is so, my reasoning is true in the majority of cases. Thus my principle is upheld.

My opponent claims that if he were in jail, his material belongings would be useless. That may be so, but you are guaranteed survival in prison, whereas if you are penniless and out of prison, there is no saying whether you would survive. Remember, I said you were in a foreign country. I did not say whether or not they had programs to help the poor survive. If I were him, I would reassess my decision.

Contention 2: What I meant by this contention was that one's financial means are limited by one's economic security. Your personal freedom is limited by your financial means. My opponent has not addressed this. Notice that I don't give a situation here, because this contention is just a reason to choose economic security over personal freedom. My opponent says that this contention doesn't show conflict. I can say the same about both of his contentions.

Contention 3: I have already shown that borrowing money is a conflict between personal freedom and economic security. My opponent has not refuted my reasoning. Just because you choose to borrow money doesn't mean that borrowing is not a conflict of values.
From the borrowing example I concluded that personal freedom valued over economic security leads to a vicious cycle of debt and dependence on others. Pro has not refuted this conclusion.

Pro's contention 1: In any sort of conflict, the only one who can do the valuing is the subject of the conflict. Therefore Pros contention 1 falls. Pro has changed his contention from 'all arguments should be debated in the perspective of a third party' to 'the subject of a conflict should not be doing the valuing'.

Pro's contention 2: Economic security comes from work, but the workplace also robs you of some of your freedom. There is obviously conflict between economic security and personal freedom here, and most people choose economic security.
My opponent's version does not work. You don't lose economic security if you get a job. No matter what job you get, you always get a higher paycheck than the government gives you. When you get a job, you lose some of your freedom.

Pro's contention 3: Pro tries to refute my argument that economic security comes before personal freedom by citing impoverished nations as an example. The question is, is the personal freedom enjoyed by people of impoverished nations any use? There are few useful things that they are able to do, and each day hundreds of them die from disease.
Pro goes on to say that personal freedom is defined by how dependent you are on others. This definition does not agree with the definition he stated in Round 1, and I've already shown that a lack of economic security necessitates dependence on others.
Pro also says that not all values are inherently valuable but provides no explanation as to what inherent value is. He says that money is good only because of what it brings us. In Round 1 he states that economic security is "the condition of having a stable source of financial income that allows for access to basic infrastructure needs pertaining to health, education, dwelling, information, and social protection." Economic security is necessary for survival. By devaluing economic security, my opponent is devaluing life itself.


Because economic security is the foundation of a good life, is the limit of personal freedom, and allows independence, I urge a CON ballot.




The Ten States That Restrict Personal Freedom (And Those That Protect It)

The debate about who is “free” in the United States is older than the Bill of Rights. Whether people are better off with laws designed to protect them but limit their freedom, or with very few laws, allowing them to fend for themselves, clouds the issue.

Consider helmet laws: people who don’t wear motorcycle helmets are probably more often seriously injured in accidents. Is the freedom to ride helmetless worth the increased risk? This is one simplified version of the debate surrounding almost all issues of liberty in the United States.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the George Mason University’s biannual “Freedom in the 50 States” report authored by the school’s Mercatus Center, a libertarian think tank. According to the report’s authors, they “explicitly ground [their] conception of freedom on an individual-rights framework. In [their] view, individuals should be allowed to dispose of their lives, liberties, and properties as they see fit, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.” As a result, a more “free” state in the study will have more liberal social policies and more conservative economic policies. The report considered “a wide range of public policies, from income taxation to gun control, from homeschooling regulation to drug policy.

The Freedom report ranks individual liberty of state residents based on three major categories: fiscal freedom, personal freedom, and regulatory freedom. Fiscal freedom involves issues including state taxes, government spending, and wages. Regulatory freedom involves the impact that local laws have on personal economic choices and property, including labor regulation, mandatory health insurance, and eminent domain. Personal freedom involves individual choice, such as the right to drink, smoke and shoot guns.

One of recurring themes in the report is the issue of eminent domain. People who have their property seized by the state are worse off than those whose property cannot be. That is until, perhaps, they cannot travel easily from their property to some other point because the state could not build a road. The way that the Mercatus Center looks at this problem, people would be better off to own their land and build their own roads. That is a brilliant approach until it becomes clear that it is impractical. People may be better off without regulations for how their children should be educated, but these same people may not have the background to home school their children. They have freedom, but one which may cause their offspring to be poorly educated.

24/7 considered the ten states that the report lists as “most free” and those ten that are “least free.” We have used Mercatus Center analysis and definitions for what makes people free. Here is a list of the most and least free states, according to the Mercatus Center.

Read more: The Ten States That Restrict Personal Freedom (And Those That Protect It) - 24/7 Wall St.



Are you ready to clean up your life?

The Clean Sweep Program is a checklist of 100 items which, when completed, give one complete personal freedom. These 100 items are grouped in 4 areas of life with 25 in each group: Physical Environment, Well-being, Money and Relationships. These 4 areas are the cornerstone for a strong and healthy life and the program helps a person to clean up, restore and polish virtually every aspect of his/her life. The program takes between 6 - 24 months to complete.

The participant's goal is to get a score of 100 out of 100. The objective of the program is for the participant to get complete about 100 possible incompletions in their life. Incompletions are those physical, emotional or mental items, which are in some way not resolved in the current moment. Incompletions of any kind drain energy. That is, they require energy to live with, given it takes work to keep us whole when there is something in the space. To have full integrity (like a complete circle) is normal; the program gives one a way to get there in a natural way.

The Clean Sweep Program promises three things will happen as you increase your scores:

  1. You will have more energy and vitality. There is nothing like a clean space, full communication and self-responsibility to give one more energy.
  2. You will increase your scores just by being in the program. Once you go over the list of the 100 items, you'll find yourself handling some of these without even trying. Others take more work, but you will complete your way toward the score of 100.
  3. You will gain perspective on who you are, where you are and where you are going. When incompletions are handled, one can see what is and has been around them, including one's self. You will see situations as they really are, you'll discern what is going on with you and around you and you'll react less and choose more in your daily life. This higher perspective is essential in the process of designing one's life and it starts with the Clean Sweep Program.

There are 4 steps to completing the Clean Sweep™ Program.

  1. Answer each question. If true, check the box. Be rigorous; be a hard grader. If the statement is sometimes or usually true please DO NOT check the box until the statement is virtually always true for you. (No "credit" until it is really true!) If the statement does not apply to you, check the box. If the statement will never be true for you, check the box. (You get "credit" for it because it does not apply or will never happen.) And, you may change any statement to fit your situation better.
  2. The number of True boxes for each of the 4 sections will be totaled automatically for you as you complete each of the 4 sections. Write down these totals on a separate sheet of paper and then add them up. You know where your baseline or starting point lies.
  3. Keep playing until all boxes are filled in. You can do it! This process may take 30 or 360 days, but you can achieve a Clean Sweep! Use your coach or a friend to assist you. And check back once a year for maintenance.
Physical Environment
Your Physical Environment Total is :
Your Well-being Total is :


Your Money Total is :


Your Relationships Total is :

Add your totals from the four sections. Initial scores for the first-time participant range, on average, between 30 - 70 points out of the 100 points possible. Most people who are "using" the program increase their scores between 2 and 6 points per month. Points are added more quickly at first, slowing down significantly after one has added 20 or so points. Major plateau areas are at 70-75, 85-90 and 95-100. Those last 5 or 10 are the ones which are most worth taking care of, given our egos are well entrenched among these incompletions. You want to take this program on with the intention of getting a 100.

Important Points:

  1. This program is part of establishing a Strong Personal Foundation. With this strong base, one can build a vibrant and attractive future. But it requires an investment.
  2. This program is a backdoor approach to personal growth, business success and happiness. Rather than chase goals or try to figure out one's life purpose, better to get the stuff out of the way so you can get the perspective you need to make better decisions and attract what you really want.
  3. One of the goals is to stop having problems, handle the incompletions you have currently and maintain a clean space, forever, so you can create as you were designed to. The Clean Sweep Program is the first step in that process.

    CleanSweep Program (tm) (c) 1998 Coach U Inc. All rights reserved. May be freely duplicated by Coach U students and licensed users. All other users submit a $25 per use shareware fee to the Coach U Inc.


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