Tag Archives: human rights

Not Voting Is a Powerful Form of Dissent

Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Imagine living in a country in which the two major parties had nominated a statist, war-mongering crook and a nasty authoritarian narcissist. Imagine being embarrassed that after more than two centuries of existence this apparently was the best your beloved country could do. Imagine considering that the best option on Election Day might be committing ritual Seppuku, but deciding to stay home instead.

The Freedom to Stay Home

Politicians have no right to insist that the disaffected suffer through the humiliation of voting.But then imagine government officials showing up at your door, demanding that you accompany them to the polling place to vote for one of the candidates who you would scratch your eyes out before actually watching speak. That is the world which some high-minded “civic activists” desire.

Every election can be expected to unleash ponderous commentaries bemoaning low voter turnout. Many Americans don’t register, let alone cast ballots. Why, oh why, won’t they get out and participate—which usually means vote left? It is so unfair, we are told. The wealthy, elderly, and well-educated disproportionately participate, which “skews policymaking,” complained the Economist. Just think of all the government programs the underrepresented could vote for themselves if only they showed up on Election Day.

Of course, there is another way of looking at the process. Today those most likely to follow politics, understand issues, watch the news, and know the candidates vote disproportionately. Which might “skew” policy, but presumably in a very good way. Those choosing America’s leaders are actually more likely to know something. Amazing thought!

Forced to Vote

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Is Male Circumcision A Violation Of Human Rights?

July 25, 2015 by .

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While flipping through the WestJet TV lineup on a recent cross-country flight, I reluctantly settled for a popular daytime talk-show (my other options included Days of Our Lives and re-runs of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo), which saw a panel of 4 diversely opinionated women duking it out to see who could make their co-host seem like the bigger idiot. Sigh.

Interestingly, however, the subject they were debating that day happened to be male circumcision, a surprising topic for daytime TV.

Two of the female hosts in particular were taking the stage with polarizing views on the matter. One host saw the medical procedure as a hygienic practice that lowered the risk of disease while the other saw it as an archaic and highly irrelevant surgery.

In the end, the audience was left undecided. I, however, was left with an ignited curiosity about a medical procedure that I had never really taken time to question.

I was impressed by the research the anti-circumcision host had prepared for her debate, and it got me thinking intently about the ethics behind the globally rooted practice.

How Did Circumcision Come To Be Globally Recognized?

Ancient Medieval era circumcision Italy. Source: Wikimedia

While the true origins of circumcision are largely obscured, the procedure undoubtedly has ancient roots, as documented in findings from several ethnic groups, including ancient Egypt, Greece, and Sub-equatorial Africa.

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