One Response to Not Ready for Prime Time

  • this Democratic National Committee has live a slightly more beneficial polling locator they call up Raise Your Vote. this great site still needs your handle and zip code, but then displays your own assigned polling station and also best route to get there in your home office.

Half Girl-Half Wolf Blitzer!

Friday, July 23, AD 2010

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.   In my law practice I am sometimes called upon by judges to act as Guardian ad Litem in juvenile and dissolution cases when the question of custody of minor children comes up.  In that capacity I represent the kids in court and give my recommendation to the judge as to who should have custody.  I have often been involved in cases where I thought the kids would be better off being raised by wolves than either parent.  However, being raised by a journalist?  We must draw the line somewhere!

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4 Responses to Half Girl-Half Wolf Blitzer!

  • Good one!

    Since journalism is dead it would be inadvisable for a child to be raised by a dead person or persons.

  • “Being raised by a journalist? We have to draw the line somewhere!”

    Hey, I resemble that remark 🙂 My daughter never talked to imaginary friends by satellite, though, nor has she ever said “par for the course”.

  • I do find legal phraseology occasionally being used by my kids Elaine. The horror! The horror!

  • Cute young lady and very smart for sure but my vote for the most dynamic ten year old lady still goes to the daughter of that Aussie dad killed by the sting ray. She was “totally awesome”!

Christ Rises in the East

Thursday, July 22, AD 2010

A stunningly good story here at NPR on the growth of Christianity in China.  I stand in awe of these Chinese Christians who risk everything for their faith.  Official persecution seems to only spur their growth.  They are worthy children of Matteo Ricci, and countless other missionaries down through the centuries, and generations of Chinese Christians, who, in the face of the most savage persecution under Mao that any Christians have ever faced, have persevered and are now on the verge of triumph.

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You Write Like (Fill in the blank)

Thursday, July 22, AD 2010


Hattip to Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings.  Go here to have your writing style analyzed.  To my chagrin I was advised that I write like the late David Foster Wallace.  Oh well, I’ve never given up my day job!

My second go round I was told that I write like Margaret Mitchell.  Now admittedly that was from one of my Civil War posts, but even so!

Third time around I was told that I write like Cory Doctorow.  I think I will quit while I am behind.

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25 Responses to You Write Like (Fill in the blank)

Jesuitical 11: Jesuits and Drag Shows

Thursday, July 22, AD 2010

Hattip to Creative Minority Report.  Strong content advisory as to the video at the top of this post.

 Part 11 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.  Santa Clara University, a Jesuit University in Santa Clara California, describes its mission:   “As a Jesuit, Catholic university, we are committed to faith-inspired values and educating leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion who will help fashion a more just, humane, and sustainable world.”   

Santa Clara, I assume as part of that mission, has long hosted annual drag shows on campus hosted by a recognized student group sophomorically calling itself GASP (Gay and Straight People for the Education of Diversity).  Here  the group is listed under the Women’s and Gender Studies Program of the Santa Clara website.   The video at the start of the post was taken at the 2010 drag show.

These events are not obscure affairs, but are celebrated on campus.  Here is a story about the 2007 drag show which appeared in The Santa Clara, the official student newspaper:

May GASPED and GALA have your attention, ladies and gentlemen — or ladies dressed as gentlemen — or gentlemen dressed as ladies? The 6th annual Santa Clara Drag Show will be breaking down gender stereotypes left and right, say participants and organizers, tomorrow, May 4, at 8 p.m. in the California Mission Room.

Downstairs Benson Center will be transformed into an eccentric staging area full of students dressed in drag. Along with the usual lip-syncs and dances, there will be some new elements that organizers hope might make you think.

Representatives from Gay & Straight People for the Education of Diversity and Gay and Lesbian Alliance, as well as from Santa Clara Community Action Program, say they have worked hard to ensure that this year’s show incorporates more elements of education about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual/two-spirited and queer/questioning communities. This year, skits and interviews about the history of transgender prejudice that will be incorporated into the show.

Though James Servino, program coordinator of GASPED, said Santa Clara has a history of support for the LGBTQ community, the support is not absolute. “Santa Clara students are aloof to this community unless they actually know and associate with a gay or lesbian person,” he said.

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19 Responses to Jesuitical 11: Jesuits and Drag Shows

The Klan and Progressivism

Wednesday, July 21, AD 2010

(Guest post by Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative.  This post orignally appeared here at Cranky Conservative.)

Michael Zak does what all too many on the left fail to do:  crack open some history books and take a real look at the history of the Ku Klux Klan.  Zak correctly notes that when the Klan was at its zenith during the 1920s, it was a terrorist wing of the Democratic party, and that since its inception, Republicans were at the forefront in trying to take it down.

It would have been far more truthful for the congresswoman to have admitted the fact that all those who wore sheets a long time ago lifted them to wear Democratic Party clothing.  Yes, the Ku Klux Klan was established by the Democratic Party.  Yes, the Ku Klux Klan murdered thousands of Republicans — African-American and white – in the years following the Civil War.  Yes, the Republican Party and a Republican President, Ulysses Grant, destroyed the KKK with their Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

How did the Ku Klux Klan re-emerge in the 20th century?  For that, the Democratic Party is to blame.

It was a racist Democrat President, Woodrow Wilson, who premiered Birth of a Nation in the White House.  That racist movie was based on a racist book written by one of Wilson’s racist friends from college.  In 1915, the movie spawned the modern-day Klan, with its burning crosses and white sheets.

Inspired by the movie, some Georgia Democrats revived the Klan.  Soon, the Ku Klux Klan again became a powerful force within the Democratic Party.  The KKK so dominated the 1924 Democratic Convention that Republicans, speaking truth to power, called it the Klanbake.  In the 1930s, a Democrat President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, appointed a Klansman, Senator Hugo Black (D-AL), to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In the 1950s, the Klansmen against whom the civil rights movement struggled were Democrats.  The notorious police commissioner Bull Connor, who attacked African-Americans with dogs and clubs and fire hoses, was both a Klansman and the Democratic Party’s National Committeeman for Alabama.  Starting in the 1980s, the Democratic Party elevated a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), to third-in-line for the presidency.

I have one quibble with all this.  It focuses too much on the partisan aspect of the KKK and not enough on its ideological drive.  After all, modern day Democrats could just claim that the Klan represented the conservative wing of the Democratic party.  This would be an error.

While most members of the Klan held what would be termed conservative views on social issues, they were hardly purveyors of Burkean conservative values.  In fact the Klan typified the Progressive/Populist movement to a tee: “conservative” socially but decidedly left-wing economically and politically.  They supported government intrusion into the economy and were backers of the New Deal.  Jesse Walker explains some of the areas of overlap between the Progressive movement and the Klan:

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65 Responses to The Klan and Progressivism

  • “They supported government intrusion into the economy and were backers of the New Deal.”

    So did, among others, Fr. Ryan–who, if I remember correctly, actually helped draft certain provisions of the new deal. Any point which applies equally to the Klan and to Ryan (and Day, and Pius XII, etc. etc.) is not really analytically incisive.

  • Rubbish. The whole point of Paul’s essay is that in regard to economic matters by no stretch of the imagination could the Klan be called conservative. Your citing of Monsignor Ryan, who was such a supporter of the New Deal that he was called Monsignor “New Deal” and criticized by many Catholics as being a near socialist, rather helps establish Paul’s point.

  • Exactly, Donald. Also, to re-iterate a point, I’m not saying that all progressives were/are racists or Klan members. Simply put, though, the Klan was not, especially at its peak, ever a conservative institution.

  • There was a strong streak of progressivism/populism amongst southern Democrats during this era, and this essay notes the reformist streak of a pretty horrific racist politician, James (“the Great White Chief”) Vardaman of Mississippi.

  • The point: since its inception, the Democrat party has traded in class envy and hatred, e.g. KKK and progressive/socialist connections.

    Robert L. Bartley, WSJ, October 20, 2003, “The New Deal: Time for a New Look”: “The New Deal was not about economic recovery, but about displacing business as the nation’s predominant elite. . . . ”

    Walter Lippman, New York Herald Tribune, May 16, 1939, regarding the thrust of the New Deal, “ . . . one group is interested primarily in social reform and the other is interested in the control of the economic system.”

    More Bartley from above: ” . . . FDR harked back to the founder of his party. In his 1832 veto of renewing the Bank’s (Second Bank of the United States) charter, Jackson complained that its profits went to foreigners and a ‘few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of the richest class.’ Daniel Webster replied that the message ‘wanton attack whole classes of people, for the purposes of turning against them the prejudices and resentments of other classes.’ The tradition, of course, runs strong even today in the party of Jackson and Roosevelt.”

  • Donald, so what if “many” Catholics–who, exactly?–criticize Ryan for being a “near” socialist on account of his support of the New Deal? Many other Catholics, both American and European, supported the New Deal and interpreted its interventions not as Socialism–there was, after all, still private property in post FDR America–but as necessary interventions made by the State to secure the common good. The point is not that Ryan was or was not right about the New Deal. The point is rather that any argument which claims that the KKK’s support of government intervention and the New Deal tells us anything interesting about the group’s ideology is laughable when you consider the wide array of other groups that also supported the New Deal. This fact simply doesn’t bear on what distinguishes the KKK from other such groups, and so is not analytically incisive.

    Do you understand this point?

  • Progressives and KKK may have been eugenic but for different reasons. The KKK to preserve the purity of the white race. Progressives to get rid of “the unfit”. Republicans supported NSM 200 for the same reason -to get rid of the unfit.

    Tribalism and racial tensions, IMO, are great tactic of the devil to get us at each others throats. Ethnic Catholics have gotten sucked into this as well.

  • The political realignment later that century changed everything. Go to and see if people still support big government.

  • The point is rather that any argument which claims that the KKK’s support of government intervention and the New Deal tells us anything interesting about the group’s ideology is laughable

    Only if you are of the belief that support for the New Deal came from any truly conservative quarter. Of the vaguely named “groups” which supported the New Deal, how many of them can be termed conservative? There were also other elements of the Klan’s platform that clearly favored populist and statist intervention mentioned in the post and the cited articles. Support for the New Deal is hardly the only evidence of the Klan’s non-conservatism.

    he political realignment later that century changed everything. Go to and see if people still support big government.

    Yes, the current manifestation of the Klan is not as statist as the old Klan, but the several hundred whackados that still cling to the white power mantra of the Klan support protectionist policies that are not much different than what was being touted back in the 1920s. More importantly, I was focusing on the Klan when it was a relevant political faction in this country, not a couple of hillbillies who have computer access.

  • Perhaps another way to address the New Deal issue is to point out that it is but one of many things that demonstrate the Klan’s populism. While perhaps support for the New Deal in and of itself is not evidence of the Klan’s non-conservativism, that, in conjunction with the other aspects of their general philosophy show a group that had more in common with the Progressive movement than with traditional conservatism.

  • Paul,

    I don’t find the term “conservative” to be a helpful descriptor here, as it lends itself to imprecision and, at times, equivocation.

    For example, is it or is it not a “conservative” position that government intervention in the economy should be avoided? Well, depending upon whether you are talking about 16th century England or 21st century America you will get two different answers. What we usually mean when we talk about “conservative” economic policies in the twenty-first century is, as you know, more precisely described in terms of neoliberalism, with all its attendent arguments and assumptions, which themselves need to be spelled out, and about which many different people (eg. Bill Clinton or Ross Perot) disagree in particular cases.

    But even assuming that we’re limiting “conservative” to our own historical moment, there are a variety of “conservatisms,” each one of which defines the term in a very different way. Are neo-conservatives, for example, really conservative, or are they ugly reinstantiations of Wilsonian progressivism? Depending on whether you lean more toward First Things, toward the Front Porch Republic, or some other “conservative” blog, you will find different answers to this question. So that’s a brief explanation why, in general, I think labeling historical events/movements from differing periods to be “conservative” or “progressive” is not so helpful, and tends instead to make us read the past as if it were simply an extension of our present obsessions.

  • I was focusing on the Klan when it was a relevant political faction in this country, not a couple of hillbillies who have computer access.

    The upland South generally has a small black population and has had competitive electoral politics since the Civil War. I doubt it was ever fertile territory for the Klan. (Which makes Robert Byrd’s history all the stranger). IIRC, one of the principals of Stormfront in recent years has been James Kelso, who grew up in the Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles. I think David Duke’s background was decidedly bourgeois as well.

  • I don’t find the term “conservative” to be a helpful descriptor here, as it lends itself to imprecision and, at times, equivocation.

    Thanks. Please tell Paul Krugman et al.

  • The Klan, Nazis, and the “white nationalists” of today were all motivated by a desire for white advancement. In the Klan’s heyday, welfare programs primarily aided whites. Today, it is perceived to mainly aid minorities. The racist philosophy hasn’t changed but the policy implications have. They’re rent seekers who will move into whichever house, progressive or conservative, that best promotes their agenda. If they lived in Mexico, they’d be all for free trade with their white brethren in America.

    I will say that today’s liberals should reexamine their protectionist and non-interventionist positions, considering the fact that racists correctly believe that the effect of protectionism and sometimes non-intervention is the advancement of the white race at the expense of non-whites.

  • In the Klan’s heyday, welfare programs primarily aided whites.

    In 1924, about 88% of the population was caucasian. It is not surprising that the ‘welfare programs of the day’ (orphanages, poor houses, veterans’ hospitals, asylums, and sanitoriums) had a predominantly caucasian clientele.

  • AD, exactly, which is why racists didn’t oppose it at the time.

  • Glad to see this article here, Paul. Did you notice how the realignment / Southern Strategy came up?

  • Progressives, exemplified in the political arena by the likes of Woodrow Wilson, sought to radically alter (or simply ignore) the US Constitution so as to permit greater state intervention into most areas of our lives. Wilson wanted America to model itself after Great Britain, turning itself into a Parliamentary system. They wanted to rip apart the institutional mechanisms that the Framers designed that slowed down the machinery of government. Popular reform, according to the Progressive movement, had to happen quicker and without those pesky contrivances like separation of powers and indirect elections (in other words, American republicanism). The system had to be massively overhauled and cater to popular whims.

    This is admittedly a rather crude generalization, but I think it captures the key points of the Progressive movement. And while I’m sure not every man who took that oath on Stone Mountain or at various locations around the country for the next couple of decades agreed with or even knew about each of these tenets, they were by and large sympathetic to most of these goals.

    Call it whatever you want to. Just don’t call it conservative.

  • Glad to see this article here, Paul. Did you notice how the realignment / Southern Strategy came up?


    As discussed at my blog there are several problems with this counter-argument. It tacitly assumes that Republicans and Democrats switched places. Disaffected racist Democrats switched parties, goes the logic, except that they all seemed to switch to a party that was even more hostile to the KKK specifically and was more supportive of granting civil rights to blacks. Curious. It almost makes you think that there just might have been something else to this realignment.

  • “In fact the Klan typified the Progressive/Populist movement to a tee: “conservative” socially but decidedly left-wing economically and politically.”

    I don’t even know about the social conservatism. How do you define that? “Progressivism” extended well into the sphere of morality, only in that day, it was called eugenics and racial hygiene. Many states in this country once had eugenics laws on the books, while racists promoted abortion, sterilization, contraception, and other means to reduce undesirable populations. That’s not the kind of “social conservatism” I know.

    Its safe to say that Nazism and its American equivalent were almost as fanatically dedicated to equality as their leftist counterparts – they just wanted equality among one race.

    We see plenty of that today as well; among the “progressive” elements of the pro-immigration debate, there are vicious Hispanic racist groups. “For the race everything; for those outside the race, nothing” is the slogan of one of their groups. They march with signs that say “whitey go back to Europe” and other racially charged rhetoric. And they know full well that in this country, they are semi-officially allowed to conduct themselves as full blown racists without any political or media censure by the self-hating, self-loathing white liberals.

    I don’t see anything particularly “racist”, therefore, about protectionist policies. Hispanic racists want open borders and free trade to facilitate the reconquista.

    I agree with WJ’s comment:

    “I think labeling historical events/movements from differing periods to be “conservative” or “progressive” is not so helpful, and tends instead to make us read the past as if it were simply an extension of our present obsessions.”

    If one must use such labels, at least make them proper nouns. An old-timey Progressive is not a modern progressive necessarily, anymore than an old-timey republican is a modern Republican.

  • The realignment was complete at the party leader level by LBJ though it would take a generation to trickle down. Compare LBJ to Goldwater and Nixon. You’re not suggesting that racists should’ve preferred LBJ to Goldwater, are you?

  • Compare LBJ to Goldwater and Nixon. You’re not suggesting that racists should’ve preferred LBJ to Goldwater, are you?

    Oh of course not. As we all know, LBJ was a forward-thinking saint who didn’t have a racist bone in his body. He was motivated by only altruistic motivations to advance the cause of Civil Rights. Just ask him:

    “I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

    That’s right, LBJ.

  • Right, Paul! Blacks were so dumb not to vote for Goldwater.

  • So, blacks vote for progressive Dems (even former KKK) because . . .

  • Because they are generally more responsive to black interests. If you’re black and your choices are a candidate who supports the Civil Rights Act and the other who doesn’t, it’s not a difficult choice.

    I should clarify that I’m not saying that all Democratic positions favor blacks. Some clearly do not (e.g., school vouchers) but on the whole, the scale tips in favor of the Democrats. That also isn’t to say that issues apart from race aren’t important but at least on issues where race is a factor, there is reason to trust Democrats over Republicans.

    To say otherwise is to imply that blacks are so dumb that they vote against their own interests and values.

  • AD, exactly, which is why racists didn’t oppose it at the time.

    Were there or were there not black inmates in these institutions?

  • While we are at it, is it really your opinion that the relatives of some fellow mad and dying of tertiary syphilis in a state asylum are ‘rent seekers’?

  • I think progressives do seem to think more in terms of group identity so early on it was unions, immigrants and the KKK. Now it has changed to racial groups, women, gays and unions. And that leads to this good of the herd mentality that I find troubling.

    Classical liberals – Hayek for example -wanted to see people as individuals first. Maybe part of the fight in the GOP are between those who want favor the individualist mind set and those who want to preserve
    or rescue a way of life, through get tough laws if necessary.

    As some one who reveres the bill of rights, my sympathies are with Hayek. The tradtionalists though, using the government to enforce morality which seems to be a Catholic view. But that seems to me like the government coercing consciences from which I viscerally rebel.


  • “The point is not that Ryan was or was not right about the New Deal. The point is rather that any argument which claims that the KKK’s support of government intervention and the New Deal tells us anything interesting about the group’s ideology is laughable when you consider the wide array of other groups that also supported the New Deal. This fact simply doesn’t bear on what distinguishes the KKK from other such groups, and so is not analytically incisive.

    Do you understand this point?”

    Oh I understand what you are arguing and it is rubbish. Conservatives in this country uniformly opposed the New Deal. Paul was making the point that the Klan supported the New Deal and were on the Left in this country on economic issues, and therefore to consider them to be conservatives is ludicrous. Your choice of John Ryan to support your contention merely indicates that you know little about the career of Monsignor Ryan.

  • “To say otherwise is to imply that blacks are so dumb that they vote against their own interests and values.”

    That’s more or less what some black political speakers, such as Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, argue. Not necessarily that blacks are “dumb”, but that they’ve been sold a false ideology of resentment and entitlement by the post-MLK “civil rights” leadership, i.e. Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, et. al. Peterson sees black resentment of whites as the key to keeping blacks dependent upon big government.

    Of course you can always label him an “Uncle Tom” if you like.

  • I find it somewhat ironic that progressives will tout books like What’s Wrong With Kansas under the premise that blue collar and rural whites are so dumb that they can be hoodwinked by religious and cultural charlatans into voting against their economic “best interests”, yet recoil at the notion that blacks might be voting against their own interests and values.

  • People vote against their own interests and values all the time, usually due to a misperception of the politicians they are electing, a tribal affiliation to one party no matter what (Parts of Illinois still vote the way they do due to partisan differences dating back to the Civil War) and intense peer pressure.

  • AD, using your logic racists shouldn’t be protectionists because it will help some black people. And I’m pretty sure “rent seekers” was in reference to racists.

  • To be fair, neither national party is in anyone’s interest.

    It is always a question of which is least bad. And sometimes people put more faith in candidates than they do parties. Quite often in fact.

  • And I’m pretty sure “rent seekers” was in reference to racists.

    Who had no relatives in asylums, sanitoriums, veterans’ hospitals, or poor houses, right?

  • AD, using your logic racists shouldn’t be protectionists because it will help some black people.

    No, that is not my logic. Prior to 1933, common provision by public agencies was manifest in institutional care provided by state employees. The employees in question were seldom on the payroll of the central government (the Veterans’ Administration excepted). I think there were some pensions provided by that agency, but that’s about it. It seems rather contrived (though I suppose not beyond the realm of possibility) that the absence of income transfer programs prior to 1933 is attributable to anyone’s supposition that the beneficiaries would be black; I would suggest that the contours of common provision were determined by the common opinion that some sort of conditions so merited (schizophrenia, war injuries) and some did not (general impecuniousness).

  • Not necessarily that blacks are “dumb”, but that they’ve been sold a false ideology of resentment and entitlement by the post-MLK “civil rights” leadership, i.e. Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, et. al. Peterson sees black resentment of whites as the key to keeping blacks dependent upon big government.

    That necessarily means that they’re dumb enough to fall for it. You’ll find plenty of blacks who aren’t fans of Jesse Jackson or Sharpton but they still vote Democrat. And yes, I would consider Jesse Lee Peterson an Uncle Tom. It’s one thing to say that the black community bears certain responsibilities. All blacks would agree with that. But it’s quite another to say that the government bears none when it comes to aiding blacks.

    Don, I find it far more likely that blacks for Democrat because they have a rational reason to.

  • People vote against their own interests and values all the time,

    Or they have their own strata about what matters in public life, which can be regrettable indeed.

  • That necessarily means that they’re dumb enough to fall for it.

    RR, most people do not follow public affairs. They have other things to do with the space available in their head, things rather more important for their immediate livlihood.

  • But it’s quite another to say that the government bears none when it comes to aiding blacks.

    Do you mean blacks as blacks or blacks as individuals in certain social circumstances?

  • AD, what is your explanation as to why racists turned against wealth redistribution programs?

  • “And yes, I would consider Jesse Lee Peterson an Uncle Tom.”

    Wow, ok. Well at least you’re honest about your contempt for black people who dare to disobey the party line.

  • No, I’m okay with Colin Powell, Condozella Rice, and Justice Thomas. But at least you’re honest about your belief that anyone who disagrees with Peterson’s self-hatred does so for partisan reasons.

  • AD, what is your explanation as to why racists turned against wealth redistribution programs?

    I am not familiar with the degree to which the two positions have been correlated over time.

    Huey Long advocated redistributing assets and there was a point in time when both George McGovern and William Loeb advocated confiscatory estate taxes, though for different reasons. However, this sort of thing has been fairly unusual in American public life.

  • RR,

    You’re really unhinged on this one. You usually defend the center-left view quite reasonably, but not this time.

    You seem to be insisting that blacks ought to vote as a herd, that individual black people couldn’t possibly have interests apart from blacks as an abstract group. It isn’t as bad as slavery, but it is still a form of dehumanization.

    You think Peterson hates himself? I’ve read his book, I’ve heard him speak, and I’ve met him in person – nothing could be further from the truth.

    You’re so desperate to cling to this narrative, and to keep black people squarely in the D column, that you’ll resort to saying malicious things about a person you know nothing about. It scares you that the black man might stop unthinkingly towing the line, doesn’t it?

    Peterson’s message is a Christian message, a deeply Christian message – that people must let go of their hatreds in order to liberate themselves from oppression.

  • You seem to be insisting that blacks ought to vote as a herd

    No, I didn’t.

    You’re so desperate to cling to this narrative, and to keep black people squarely in the D column

    No desire to keep blacks in the D column here.

    It scares you that the black man might stop unthinkingly towing the line, doesn’t it?

    I’d be more than happy if he stopped unthinking.

    Peterson’s message is a Christian message, a deeply Christian message – that people must let go of their hatreds in order to liberate themselves from oppression.

    Yes, blame the victim. That’s exactly what’s wrong with him.

  • Yes, blame the victim. That’s exactly what’s wrong with him.

    You labeled the man an Uncle Tom simply because he refused to toe the line that you expect him to toe. It is fitting that you should do so, because in a discussion about racism it’s helpful to have a reminder of one of the nastier forms of racism – that of the left-wing, paternalistic variety. We wouldn’t want black people to have to think for themselves and try to help themselves, now would we. Superman whitey to the rescue.

  • Just for the record, the Klan did have some GOP supporters in the 1920s, most notably Gov. Edward L. Jackson of Indiana, elected with the explicit endorsement of the Klan, and the all-time worst governor of Illinois, Gov. Len Small. By the mid-1920s more than half the seats in the Indiana legislature were held by Klan members — representing three political parties!

    Perhaps the Democratic connection to the Klan was largely a Southern phenomenon, since in the northern states, and especially in large cities, the Democratic Party was (and in many cases still is) firmly controlled by Irish and other ethnic Catholics — exactly the kind of white people the KKK most despised.

    I say this not to cast any aspersions on present-day Republicans but simply to point out that the Klan’s bigotry crossed political boundaries.

  • You labeled the man an Uncle Tom simply because he refused to toe the line that you expect him to toe.

    If he toes Uncle Tom’s line, what else am I supposed to call him?

    We wouldn’t want black people to have to think for themselves and try to help themselves, now would we.

    I’m the one here claiming that blacks can think for themselves. Others here and Uncle Tom are arguing that they cannot.

  • Yes, blame the victim. That’s exactly what’s wrong with him.

    Whatever this fellow Peterson’s message is or is not, nursing grievances in the sort of social circumstances there are in this country is bound to be a superlatively unproductive activity.

    I can think of three or four public policies which have been or might be quite beneficial to the black population and a mess of others which are less beneficial (or injurious) and do collateral damage to boot.

    I have been reading newspapers for thirty five years or so and the indicators I have seen are that the fraternity of black politicians so rendered has no interest in the former and is militant on behalf of the latter. All of which is regrettable.

  • If he toes Uncle Tom’s line, what else am I supposed to call him?

    You haven’t demonstrated how he actually fits this disgusting label. The ball’s in your court.

    I’m the one here claiming that blacks can think for themselves.

    Yeah, you keep thinking that RR. It’s amusing to see someone so wrapped up in self-denial.

  • Paul, I will keep on thinking that blacks can think for themselves regardless of what people here claim.

    AD, that politicians have conflicting interests should be no surprise. Those who stick to principles against pressure are rare.

  • AD, that politicians have conflicting interests should be no surprise. Those who stick to principles against pressure are rare.

    Your response is perfectly non sequitur.

  • Did the Klan support the New Deal? I thought by that point the organization was all but defunct.

  • If he toes Uncle Tom’s line, what else am I supposed to call him?

    It’s not clear to me how you can think Peterson “toes Uncle Tom’s line” but not Justice Thomas. Their politics seem pretty similar.

    Incidentally, I was just reading the Wikipedia entry for Uncle Tom, and it’s fascinating how an originally admirable character was turned into a term of abuse.

  • It’s not clear to me how you can think Peterson “toes Uncle Tom’s line” but not Justice Thomas. Their politics seem pretty similar.

    Because it’s not about politics. You can be a black right-winger and still not be an Uncle Tom. I admit that I don’t much about Justice Thomas’ views on race other than his opinions in the Michigan cases which I found reasonable. I could be wrong about him but I give him the benefit of the doubt.


    I just chanced on this piece in which Pat Buchanan says it was Nixon’s strategy from the start to attract the Southern Wallace Democrats. One memo stated “We should do what is within our power to have a black nominated for Number Two, at least at the Democratic National Convention.”

  • If you are going to cite Buchanan restrainedradical, you really need to go to the horse’s mouth. Here is a column from 2002 in which Buchanan,while lambasting his usual bug-a-boo the “neo-cons” denies that the Southern Strategy was about race.

    “Richard Nixon kicked off his historic comeback in 1966 with a column on the South (by this writer) that declared we would build our Republican Party on a foundation of states rights, human rights, small government and a strong national defense, and leave it to the “party of Maddox, Mahoney and Wallace to squeeze the last ounces of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice.””

  • Notice that rr still has not offered any evidence to justify his claims about Peterson. Evidently, though, it has something about daring to think unlike other black people about race.

    And yes, the fact that we even use the term Uncle Tom at all is pretty sad, doubly so when we consider the nature of the character in the novel.

  • I just chanced on this piece in which Pat Buchanan says it was Nixon’s strategy from the start to attract the Southern Wallace Democrats.

    Exactly what public policy pursued between 1969 and 1977 would have done that? The Philadelphia Plan, perhaps? How about the Office of Minority Business Enterprise?

    Politicians seek votes. They do not inquire too much into the inner lives of members of the electorate in so doing. Is it your contention that Nixon should have told a quarter of the American electorate to not vote because they were unfit to vote or perhaps cast a ballot for Hubert Humphrey?

  • Don, the piece I linked to quotes directly from the horse’s mouth.

    AD, Nixon apparently rejected Buchanan’s more racist proposals but I think it’s safe to say that Nixon painted the party as somewhat less hostile to racists than the Democratic party. Why did Strom Thurmond switch parties?

  • Paul, I agree. The hateful charge of Uncle Tom, like the puerile psychobabble about “self-hatred,” is a scoundrel’s refuge and should have no place on a blog grounded in reason and Catholic morality. Very disappointing. Reasonable men can believe that government welfare systems are poisonous to culture and the human spirit, and that includes reasonable black men.

  • I have no insights as to why Strom Thurmond did what he did at any point in his life.

    Barry Goldwater had a libertarian objection to civil rights laws. It was enough to garner Goldwater a mass of support in the Deep South, a ballot from Thurmond among them. However, that view was quite atypical in the Republican Party (80% of the Republican congressional caucus casting votes for such legislation) and not replicated by any other post-war Republican candidate for that office.

    The breakdown of the political monopoly of the Democratic Party in the South began in 1952 and was not complete until 1994. It was a process that antedated and post-dated the more limited range of years when agitation over the terms of race relations was salient (1955-71). You might consider that Southern voters, like anyone else, can be motivated by a number of vectors and concerns. Characters like Richard Russell and James Eastland were no longer functioning as effective gatekeepers on these matters, the national elites of the party were often represented by the likes of Adlai Stevenson and George McGovern (critics of America as a political society who made the position of the Democratic Party as a voice of Southern identity increasingly untenable), and the modal view of Democratic politicos on other questions was incongruent with Southern preferences.

  • Notice also how RR mocks and dismisses Peterson’s Christian message about overcoming hatred of others as some sort of delusion that perpetuates his oppression by “the man”.

    What crude materialism! I guess God’s love and salvation aren’t enough either – he better start doling out celestial welfare checks and establishing racial quotas for admittance into heaven.

Prayer at an Abortion Mill

Tuesday, July 20, AD 2010

Rockford, IL July 16, 2010 – Before the Northern Illinois Women’s Center opened on Friday morning to end the lives of children in the womb, four Catholic Priests firmly stationed themselves at all four corners around the abortion mill and began praying the powerful prayers of the Church found in Fr. Thomas Euteneuer’s book Exorcism and the Church Militant.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12

Almost immediately upon the Priests’ beginning their prayers in unison, the landlord of the abortion business came out of the building like a shot.

He wandered back and forth around the parking lot. Then he roamed the sidewalks, calling the Priests and pro-lifers names.

It certainly seemed that while the Priests were surrounding the abortion mill with prayer, the landlord, who is well-known for his dislike of the Christian religion and Catholic Priests, could not stand to be inside the building….[Read the rest!]

Prayer for the Closing of an Abortion Mill
Priests for Life

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One Response to Prayer at an Abortion Mill

  • OH! MON DIEU! Merci! Merci! Chèrs prêtres! J’ai vu les souffrances de ces tous petits! J’ai reconnu mon péché de la luxure qui mène vers la mort! Au Canada, on a interdit la peine de mort pour les meurtriers de peur de faire péri injustement un innoncent!Mais combien plus inoccents sont ces tous petits!

7 Responses to Human Life and Risk

  • I remember watching “Free to Choose” on PBS in 1979 with my wife. Great television, and my first introduction to a still rather young-ish Tom Sowell.

  • Interesting video. The kids screws up the facts of the Ford Pinto case, which is hardly surprising. It’s true that Ford did a cost/benefit analysis of how much it would take to fix each car vs. the number of lives lost. What’s not as widely known is that they did this for the government. At that time the NHTSA had an informal rule that they would only adopt regulation that passed a certain cost/benefit formula, and the cost/benefit analysis was part of a letter sent to NHTSA opposing a particular regulation.

    Friedman’s point is valid either way, but it’s still worth noting.

  • I struggle with this. One the one hand I understand the need for a value b/c otherwise everything would grind to a halt as being to risky. On the other hand, I don’t know how you square this with the Church’s teachings of the sanctity of human life or even the fact that most people would value their own lives at infinite value (whether they have the resources to spend the utmost on protecting their lives is another question). It makes me think the calculus Friedman is presenting has only limited utility but I waffle on that.

  • Obviously, the value of a statistical life should never be used to justify immoral activity. I can’t justify murder by claiming that the victim was committing economic waste in excess of the value of a statistical life. But it has to be used to assess amoral more even morally good activities that carry risks.

  • most people would value their own lives at infinite value

    Most people do not value their own lives at infinite value. If they did, then no one would smoke or drink or eat fatty foods, or go swimming or drive in a car unless they absolutely had to. For that matter, if people placed an infinite value on their lives then no one would ever fight in a war, or work in a hospital, or have a child. You get the idea.

  • Good point BA and I think we can express it in another way. I wouldn’t necessarily argue with Michael’s words (“value their own lives at infinite value”) if term life wasn’t merely refering to the condition of being alive. If we were to use the term in the sense of the course of existance (to love, to work, take pleasure, experience activities, etc.) I would agree that people value their lives infinitely. So much so that they would (and do!) risk their corporal existence every day to live.

  • Ba:

    I’m not persuaded by that argument. It assumes that people are rationally understanding the risks of their activities and their own mortality. Most people don’t. I don’t eat McDonald’s thinking that I’ve taken a step closer to dying, nor do I consider the risks when I buckle up in the morning.

    I concede that people have sacrificed their lives, but when they do it is usually for the good of other human lives or if less noble for less tangible things (fame, glory, honor, etc.).

2 Responses to Lincoln, the Gekko and Honesty

Are The Rules Changing?

Monday, July 19, AD 2010


Jonah Goldberg has put into words what I have been thinking and feeling since the financial meltdown of 2008.  We have turned a page and entered a new era in American history.  He wonders if, as a result, the political rules have changed.

But what about when the rules change? For nearly a century now, the rules have said that tough economic times make big government more popular. For more than 40 years it has been a rule that environmental disasters — and scares over alleged ones — help environmentalists push tighter regulations. According to the rules, Americans never want to let go of an entitlement once they have it. According to the rules, populism is a force for getting the government to do more, not less. According to the rules, Americans don’t care about the deficit during a recession.

And yet none of these rules seem to be applying; at least not too strongly. Big government seems more unpopular today than ever. The Gulf oil spill should be a Gaiasend for environmentalists, and yet three quarters of the American people oppose Obama’s drilling ban. Sixty percent of likely voters want their newly minted right to health care repealed. Unlike Europe, where protestors take to the streets to save their cushy perks and protect a large welfare state, the Tea Party protestors have been taking to the streets to trim back government.

Go here to read the rest at Townhall.  When Obama won election there was much talk among his giddy acolytes in the media that he was the second FDR and that Obama would usher in a Second New Deal.  The cover of Time magazine that graces the top of this post is a prime example of the millennial fever that gripped the Left in this country at the beginning of the Obama administration.  Now it has all turned to dust and ashes for a large section of the Left.  In exchange for years of effort on their part they have an administration that has roused an angry electorate against it.  This bemuses the Left since many of them view the Obama administration as a failure because it has been too moderate (Yeah, I do find that hilarious), as noted by Eric Alterman in The Nation:

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4 Responses to Are The Rules Changing?

  • Is it possible, thanks be to God, Obama and the Marxists who have guided his rise to power and supported his progressive agenda were so overwhelmed with the thrill of victory in 2008 and the desire to implement all of their “crisis” driven agenda upon America as quickly as they could that in their arrogant haste the cycle of propose, pass, sign, and implementation of their ill willed socialist hope and change fast forwarded public awareness of what was happening to our country before our very eyes and awakened our senses to where we (i.e. the Tea Party) have demanded a halt to their victory charade?

  • Obama did try the nostrums of the New Deal in 2009. He passed the huge stimulus. He has increased government regulation. It hasn’t worked. The Great Recession continues. Unlike Roosevelt, Obama lacks the salesmanship to convince the American people that a manifestly bad economy is on the mend.

    Just wish to point out that domestic product had, by early 1937, come close to returning to 1929 levels and that per capita income was perhaps 5% below its peak. Both metrics exceeded 1929 levels by 1941. The economy was mending in this most salient respect, and mending rapidly. However, the labor market remained severely dysfunctional, with about 15% of the workforce either unemployed or stashed in low productivity jobs in the Works Progress Administration and other agencies.

    The problem with B.O. is that he is quite unlike Mr. Roosevelt. FDR had 11 years under his belt as a public executive at the time he was sworn in and (through recommended legislation and executive order) engineered effective and immediate first aid and surgery to the financial system. Obama turned the task over to Bwaney Fwank and Friend-of-Angelo Chris Dodd, who produced a 2,400 page bill (which has in it God-knows-how-many bon bons for people on the patronage of these two characters). The original session law erecting the Social Security system was 28 pages long.

  • I wouldn’t blame Obama, at least not primarily. The electorate has changed. FDR won in 1932 by 18 points and 413 electoral votes which is still the largest margin ever against an incumbent. Obama won by 7 points and 192 electoral votes. Congress was to the left of FDR and passed spending bills that FDR vetoed. As you mentioned, austerity is much more popular these days.

    I was recently wondering whether it’s possible to take advantage of this anti-big-government public opinion while still applying Keynesian policies. I think it’s possible, but probably not now. During good economic times, it would be possible to enact automatic stabilizers which may not do much at the time but which would really kick in during recessions. Things like expanded unemployment insurance (preferably individual savings accounts backstopped by subsidies). They’d have to be designed as individual accounts or entitlements so they don’t get axed in recessions. During bad times, let austerity run rampant. Government would slow its growth or even shrink while the automatic stabilizers keep spending up temporarily.

  • I don’t know that the rules are changing. We just found a new group of really cool friends with a lot of the same interests, and there are a bunch of cute boys, and we’re hoping that one of them will be Mr. Right. When we actually get into a relationship, though, we’ll find out that he has other friends, and he doesn’t want to be changed, and there are a lot of things we don’t have in common. It’s too early to tell if we’ll find love.

    (Apologies for the prolonged analogy.)

Lincoln and Under God

Sunday, July 18, AD 2010

As readers of this blog know, History is quite important to me.  Nothing makes my blood boil quicker than the misuse of the historical record in order to fight current political and cultural battles.  The latest issue of the magazine First Things has an article by Robert George entitled God and Gettysburg which explores such a misuse.

George relates how a pamphlet has been issued by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, a liberal group, which contains the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.  Perusing the pamphlet, George noticed that the phrase “under God” was omitted from the Gettysburg Address.

When, from 2000 to 2004, the atheist Michael Newdow was challenging in court the inclusion of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, he and his supporters pointed out that the words were not in the original pledge created in the 1920s. They were added by Congress in the 1950s in the midst of the Cold War, in response to a campaign led by the Catholic men’s organization the Knights of Columbus. The words were introduced into the pledge to highlight the profound difference between the United States, whose political system is founded on the theistic proposition that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and the atheistic premises of Soviet Marxism.

Newdow has cycled back into the news in recent months with a new case that was appealed to the Supreme Court in March 2010, but what he and his supporters have avoided mentioning is that the pledge’s words under God were not pulled from a sermon by Billy Graham or a papal encyclical. They were taken from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The pledge, as amended, simply quotes one of our nation’s founding texts.

This fact is more than a little inconvenient for those who hold that government must be neutral not only among competing traditions of religious faith, but between religion and atheism—or, as it is sometimes put, “between religion and irreligion.” The constitutional basis for their claim is the Religion Clause of the First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Their evidence for the claim that these words were intended to forbid such things as descriptions of America as a nation “under God” in official government documents is that the founders (allegedly) sought this “strict separation” of church and state.

But this puts the American Constitution Society in a sticky position. In assembling their pamphlet, they were eager to include Lincoln as a founder—the author of one of America’s founding documents, the Gettysburg Address. But the Great Emancipator’s characterization of the United States as a nation under God appears to undermine the strict separationism that the American Constitution Society wishes to promote. What to do?

The answer they hit on was simply to make Lincoln’s inconvenient words disappear. Now you are thinking: How did they imagine they could get away with it? The Gettysburg Address is the opposite of an obscure document. Millions of Americans can recite it by heart.

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8 Responses to Lincoln and Under God

  • Good post!

    It seems disingenuousness “comes with the (godless) territory.”

    I once read that a requirement to join the Masons is that one must believe in a Supreme Being – any Supreme Being. Sounds “American” doesn’t it? Well, that book stated the reason for this is that if one does not believe in God, one cannot be completely trustworthy nor loyal.

    So, (with that in mind) it seems consistent that atheists distort, omit, fabricate and outright lie to impose on the rest of us their their ideology: irreligion.

    Another godless goal I think (many here are better qualified) is to distort the Constitutional right of “free exercise” to a right to private worship, and a total ban of any religious symbol or moral teaching from public debate/discourse.

    Finally, (now I’ve run off the tracks) If Congress hasn’t passed a law regarding establishment of religion, I see no need to run a SCOTUS case . . .

    I started with an ad hominem, then an insult, and finally went irrational – I must be turning into a liberal.

  • Boy I hope nobody ever shows them Lincoln’s second inaugural address. There’s not enough white-out in the world to take out all the allusions to God in that one.

  • That is what I was thinking Paul when I read this story in First Things. The omission was so transparently fraudulent, and to no purpose.

  • “Boy I hope nobody ever shows them Lincoln’s second inagural address.”

    I also hope nobody ever shows them the House Divided speech, the defining phrase of which (“A house divided against itself cannot stand”) was taken directly from Christ’s words in the Gospels.

  • My family and I will be down in your neck of the woods on Tuesday Elaine making our annual pilgrimage (that word should get neo-Confederate juices flowing!) to the Lincoln Museum and the other Lincoln sites. I can’t wait to see what treasures we uncover at the Prairie Archives!

  • If you have time, Don, don’t forget to make a stop at the Cathedral too, now that the renovation is finished.

  • A side note, Don, but I’ve a couple times heard atheists claim that Lincoln was among their number — any idea what the deal with that is? It certainly doesn’t seem to fit with his rhetoric.

  • “If you have time, Don, don’t forget to make a stop at the Cathedral too, now that the renovation is finished.”

    I will put that on my list Elaine.

    Darwin here is a link to a post where I explored Lincoln’s religious views:

    The bottom line is that I think the evidence shows that throughout most of his life Lincoln believed in God. During the war he became more religious, and by the time his life ended he was probably a Christian.

    He wrote the following in the White House with no intention that it ever become public knowledge. He wrote it for his personal contemplation:

    “The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party — and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true — that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”

    As his Second Inaugural Address indicates, few Presidents, indeed few men or women, have thought harder about the will of God.

5 Responses to Obama Bumper Sticker Remover

Stonewall Jackson’s Way

Saturday, July 17, AD 2010

Something for the weekend.  Stonewall Jackson’s Way, sung by the endlessly talented Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences.

Of Thomas Jonathan Jackson, nicknamed Stonewall by General Barnard Bee at the battle of Bull Run, it was said he lived by the New Testament and fought by the Old.  Certainly throughout his life he was a convinced Christian.  As a young man he would attend services of various Christian denominations.  In Mexico, during his service in the Mexican War, he attended mass, although sadly he did not convert to Catholicism.  Instead he eventually became a Presbyterian.  His Bible was his constant companion, and he would often speak of God and theological matters in private conversation.

Jackson in his professional life was a soldier.  Just before the Civil War he was a professor of natural and experimental philosophy (science) and artillery instruction at the Virginia Military Institute.  As a teacher he made a good soldier.  His lectures were rather dry.  If his students seemed to fail to grasp a lecture, he would repeat it the next day, word for word.

His home life was a mixture of sorrow and joy.  His first wife died in childbirth along with their still-born son, a tragedy that would have crushed many a man less iron-willed than  Jackson.  His second marriage, like his first, was happy, but heartache also haunted it.  A daughter died shortly after birth in 1858.  A second daughter was born in 1862, shortly before Jackson’s own death in 1863.

He and his second wife established and taught a Sunday school for black slaves.  At the time it was against the law in Virginia to teach slaves to read, but apparently that is precisely what Jackson and his wife did.   One of the last letters he ever posted was his regular contribution he mailed off throughout the war for the financial support of the Sunday school for slaves he and his wife had founded.

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18 Responses to Stonewall Jackson’s Way

  • Thank you sir. I know we have had our tussles over the War for Southern Independence before and I do know that we both agree that men of honor should be remembered.

    Rally behind the Virginian!

  • Thank you for this page. It is nice to know he is still remembered as a lover of God, if he had more time on earth he would have become Catholic, don’t ask me how I know this, I just do. God Bless You!

  • I just want to point out that I live less than a mile from the statue of Gen. Jackson that appeared at the end of the vignette of mostly Kunstler paintings and that statue stands very close to the spot that Gen. Jackson actually sat atop his steed – it is on the field of battle – that battle was First Manassas. It happened on a field and not in the stream of water that runs nearby – that stream is Bull Run. You Yankees have a funny way about naming battles. Y’all make me laugh.

  • Thank you AK and ginaelise for your kind words. Jackson was an American original: a military genius and a man who dedicated his life to God. His importance in the Civil War is demonstrated by the dimming of the chances for Southern victory immediately after his death.

    After the war, on May 10th, 1881, in New Orleans a statue and monument to Stonewall Jackson were unveiled. Father D. Hubert, who served as a chaplain during the war with Hay’s Lousiana Brigade, gave the benediction. I have always been struck by this phrase in his prayer: “And Thou knowest O Lord, when Thou didst decide that the Confederacy should not succeed, Thou hadst first to remove thy servant, Stonewall Jackson.”

  • An ancestor gave his life at First Bull Run with the 69th NY Militia.

    Jackson’s military philosophy is identical to the Nazi General Staff’s blitzkrieg, except their army was equipped with panzers and stukas.

    Jackson’s infantry was so fast and mile-devouring that it was called “foot cavalry.”

    We will never know. I imagine if General Jackson had lived, the Confederates would have taken that unmanned hill the first evening at Gettysburg; or would have defeated the Union left on the second day; or would have moved earlier and faster on the center the third day.

    AK: You mean the unconstitutional War of Northern Aggression. The federals named the battles for creeks/rivers (Antietam, Bull Run), the Confeccderates for towns and cities.

  • T. Shaw,

    I don’t have a problem with calling the conflict the War of Northern Aggression; however, it seems to me to miss the point. All wars are aggressive and I think we lose some of the uniqueness of the conflict when we identify it thus.

    We don’t call the War for American Independence the War of British Aggression. I prefer the War for Southern Independence because it echos the same purpose as the war of 1775.

    I think Yankees miss the point when they name battles after bodies of water. For the most part, the war was a land war and although naval operations played a part, especially with the Southern tech innovation of the CSS Hunley, the most decisive battles took place in towns and cities bringing us the horrible modern innovation of total war (especially perpetrated by Sherman’s destructive march).

    I visit the Manassas Battlefield often, but I have never set foot in Bull Run.

  • I prefer the Northern Crusade for Human Liberty myself. 🙂

  • That may be a nice thought; however, the anti-slavery nature of the war was not the intent of the North when they thought they could destroy Lee’s Army at First Manassas. The noble cause of freeing African slaves was not employed until the North needed propaganda to prevent European powers from entering the conflict on the side of the CSA. It worked – Christian nations are not prone to want to be known for entering conflicts in order to secure the ‘rights’ of some of God’s children to enslave others of His children. At least not publicly.

    Trampling states’ rights in order to ‘liberate’ blacks was a benefit to no one. We are still dealing with it. Wouldn’t it have been better to free blacks more organically rather then subject all of us, including blacks, into slavery?

  • “Wouldn’t it have been better to free blacks more organically rather then subject all of us, including blacks, into slavery?”

    Considering that the Confederate Constitution specifically forbade the Confederate Congress from enancting any anti-slavery legislation, I can only imagine that Confederate victory would have meant the continuation of black slavery for the foreseeable future. I suspect that virtually all the black slaves then, and virtually all their descendants now, are quite happy that the war ended slavery. Come to think of it, that was also the view of Robert E. Lee at the end of the war. He said that he rejoiced that the war had ended slavery. Additionally AK, calling what defeated Southerners experienced as slavery is simple hyperbole. Real slavery is what blacks suffered in this country for over two and a half centuries. It took a Civil War to end this stain on American honor, and it was worth every drop of blood shed to accomplish that task.

  • Our Constitution forbade women, blacks and eighteen year-olds from voting and we amended it. Slavery would have ended and the Confederate Constitution would have been amended. Of course, we can’t know that, but I doubt the CSA would be the last place in the West with legalized slavery. Not only did great men find slavery morally reprehensible, like Gens. Lee & Jackson, but it would also have become economically unviable.

    Gen. Lee did see the silver lining in the defeat of the South in that slavery ended. He also said he would rather have died with his sword in hand had he known the evil manner in which the victors occupied the South. However slavery ended is a good thing simply because slavery ended. The issue is that 600,000 Americans did not need to die to do it and we did not need to lose states’ rights to do it.

    Additionally, the money power that instigated the war in order to divide the emerging United States, has now succeeded in making all of us, blacks too, slaves. The difference is that African slaves knew they were in shackles. Modern slavery uses invisible shackles and convinces the slave that he is free and happy. It is much, much harder to gain freedom when you aren’t aware that you are in a cage.

    Also, please note that my defense of the position of the South is NOT a defense of the Southern position on slavery. I love my chosen homeland despite the stain of slavery, not because of it. Losing states’ rights has been one of the gravest mistakes America has made because it forces all of us to be subservient to an out-of-control national Leviathan, well on its way to becoming a regional (North American) monster with designs for a global totalitarianism. This is not good for anybody whether their ancestors were salves 150 years ago or over 2,000 years ago.

  • We did not lose states rights due to the Civil War. I know this is a favorite neoCon talking point, but American history says otherwise. The real growth in the powers of the federal governments dates to the Progressive era, beginning with Wilson but exploding with FDR. In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War to the beginning of the Progressive era federalism was still respected, and the 10th amendment more than a simple truism.

    And I’m sure the CSA would have gotten around to ending slavery. We could have caught it all on video when they made the announcement.

  • Wow, I am not sure how “Civil War” got butchered into “silver due,” but that might be the greatest typo ever. No wonder I hate typing on laptops.

  • Corrected it for you Paul, although I do agree that was a typo for the record books!

    “Our Constitution forbade women, blacks and eighteen year-olds from voting and we amended it.”

    Actually our Constitution was completely silent on who could vote. Blacks voted in some northern and southern states prior to the Civil War, although all southern states forbade free negroes from voting by the time of the Civil War. Women began voting in Wyoming in 1869, and voted in some Western states and a few Eastern states, including I am pleased to say Illinois, prior to the amendment granting female suffrage. Several states allowed 18 year olds to vote prior to the 26th amendment.

  • favorite neoCon talking point

    You mean Thomas Woods, not Elliot Abrams, right?

  • You mean Thomas Woods, not Elliot Abrams, right?

    Yeah. You can tell by the capitalized C.

    Not to derail the thread even further, but I use the term half-jestingly mainly because neoCons so despise neocons. But I do wish we’d stop adding neo- to every political term. Usually it is just a stand-in for “bad,” and in most cases the thing described as neo ain’t so neo.

  • Great post. Jackson was a fascinating character, with a surprisingly soft side. After his service in the Mexican War, his habitual term of endearment for his wife was “mi esposa.”

  • “And I’m sure the CSA would have gotten around to ending slavery. We could have caught it all on video when they made the announcement.”

    What an absurd insult Mr. Zummo!

    The answer to your marxist comment is that the 13th Amendment passed by the former seceded states whereas the 14th did not.(Video was a pipe dream then).It took the radical reconstruction acts to expel the same states so the ILLEGAL ratification of the 14th could take place!

    Duh! What history did you learn in the government indoctrinated schools? Face it. Lincoln was a marxist. He and Karl Marx corresponded often and admired each other. What other reason would explain why exiled Marx followers were made colonels and generals in the Union army?

    No sir our troubles began in 1865 and have worsened since. True Wilson and FDR accelerated the problems, but ole Abe started them when he perverted the Constitution.

    The CSA was correct in seceding. You just can’t accept the truth or are forever entitled to remain DUPED.

    PS Not related to the yankee Elliot.

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11 Responses to Sheila Jackson Lee: Today We Have Two Vietnams, Side by Side, North and South

  • Wow. Prediction: She claims that she meant Korea.

    She’s a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She used to serve on the NASA subcommittee before she asked whether NASA has pics of Neil Armstrong’s flag on Mars.

    And she went to Yale then U Virginia law school.

  • If she went and graduated from Yale and UVA, then I feel a whole lot better earning my degrees.

  • Great juxtaposition Tito. I do believe that Paul the Octopus would do less harm in Congress than the Honorable SJL.

  • This is what happens when you confuse credentials (degrees) with education (knowledge).

    Wisdom is only given to those who pursue virtue, worldly knowledge is limited and apparently for some it is very, very limited.

    Elections reveal the character of the electorate. Fools will elect fools. Do this often enough and the United States of America will become the Divided Fools of America and then the barbarians won’t need to break through the gates. We’ll be the barbarians within the walls, assuming we know how to build walls.

  • Twain wrote, “Suppose you were a congressman. And, suppose you were an idiot. But, I repeat myself.”

    Worse for the beloved country: many voters want to give such imbeciles even more power to make even graver mistakes with health care, energy, and our economic well-being.

  • Just realized that she can’t even claim she meant Korea because she correctly cites the “58,000 dead” from the Vietnam War.

    It’s not like she was born after the war. She would’ve been in her last semester at UVA when Saigon fell.

  • Restrainedradical,
    It doesn’t matter. She will claim she meant Korea. Your a *ist/*phobe for noticing her inconsistencies. Time for you to repent.

  • My guess is that she’ll say what that other congressman said when he made the comments about Guam tipping over: it was a metaphor.

    If she says she was talking about Korea she’s toast.

  • Paul the German Octopus was definitely one of the world cup highlights. I would support him for congress, but at the very least he should become part of Fox’s all-star team (picture him sitting next to Krautheimer and Fred Barnes) or if his political alignment is more European, perhaps on Obama’s panel of ass-kicking experts.

  • DC: Great metaphor: an eight-legged ass-kicker! Like the old adage, “Busier than a one-legged ass-kicker.”

    Five Stars!!!

  • Yeap……….there is the proof their mind set is still buried in the 60’s.
    Who said you had to know anything to hold public office let alone chair a committee……..even her explaination of the “mispeak” wouldn’t fit what she really said.
    Yeap-they never grew out of the turbulant 60’s-they don’t even realize Nixon resigned…….same old battles……JUST GROW UP!!!!!

Brother Can You Spare a Sign?

Friday, July 16, AD 2010

From the “you can’t make this stuff up” files, comes a story of those great champions of the American working man, unions. It can be tough to ask union workers to take time out of their busy days to picket businesses who hire non-union workers, but not to be deterred some unions have followed their arch nemeses in the business world into the realm of outsourcing: hiring non-union low-wage workers to do the protesting union members won’t do.

Billy Raye, a 51-year-old unemployed bike courier, is looking for work.

Fortunately for him, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking paid demonstrators to march and chant in its current picket line outside the McPherson Building, an office complex here where the council says work is being done with nonunion labor.

“For a lot of our members, it’s really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else,” explains Vincente Garcia, a union representative who is supervising the picketing.

So instead, the union hires unemployed people at the minimum wage—$8.25 an hour—to walk picket lines. Mr. Raye says he’s grateful for the work, even though he’s not sure why he’s doing it. “I could care less,” he says. “I am being paid to march around and sound off.”

As it turns out, unions are just the most ironic example of a wider trend — long term joblessness allows well-funded political action groups to stage visible protests by hiring picketers where the enthusiasm of their supporters doesn’t extend to spending time holding signs.

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8 Responses to Brother Can You Spare a Sign?

  • Was this from the WSJ or the Onion!!!?

  • I might’ve shared this anecdote here before, but back when I was a consultant we had a large labor union as a client. One of their ongoing problems? The intransigence of the labor union they used for their clerical work.

  • Classic. In a perfect world, these minimum wage “picketers” would unionize against the union to demand higher wages and better benefits.

  • Wagner Act unionism – an idea whose time has gone.

  • Reminds me of a news story I quoted on my blog a few years back; ACORN had filed a lawsuit seeking to exempt itself from minimum wage and overtime laws:

    “‘The more that ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker – either because of minimum wage or overtime requirements – the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire,’ ACORN said in its court brief.

    “ACORN’s arguments also failed to persuade the First Appellate Court in California.

    “‘Leaving aside the latter argument’s absurdity (minimum-wage workers are ipso facto low-income workers) as well as irony (an advocate for the poor seeking to justify starvation wages), we find ACORN to be laboring under a fundamental misconception of the constitutional law,’ wrote Judge P.J. Peterson for the majority.”

  • Unions have been using rent a mobs for years. I hope many more unemployed are put to such use and that this tactic gets wide exposure in the age of the internet.

  • I’d love to go ask the hired protesters if they would rather have a job protesting for the union or working for the union’s target company. I’d lay odds they would choose the later. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the target company offers medical insurance and a considerably higher wage than the union does.

  • A UNION IS A COMPANY! A UNION IS A COMPANY! I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops for years, and each time I feel like my voice gets completely drowned out, especially when the people whose roof I am on call the fire department.

Is The USCCB Responsible for ObamaCare?

Friday, July 16, AD 2010

The American Life League (ALL) is making a strong case of placing most of the blame for passage of ObamaCare squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

What the ALL is alleging is that the USCCB was very desperate to push for universal health coverage that they compromised on some key principles.  One of which was that of abortion where instead of fighting against abortion they decided to stick their heads in the ground and use “abortion neutral” language.

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10 Responses to Is The USCCB Responsible for ObamaCare?

  • It was imprudent for the USCCB to advocate for universal health care. While it is important and appropriate for the USCCB to explain the moral rules of engagement regarding access to health care, how a society can best satisfy those moral imperatives is outside its competency. Its opinions are no more or less instructive or insightful than mine, yours, etc. One of the most important moral rules of engagement regarding health care is that abortion is unacceptable.

  • I agree with Mike, but this is BS. The bishops (who certainly favor HC reform of some sort and in many or most cases prefer a government based system) were one of the loudest and most influential voices against abortion and the lack of conscience provisions. If it weren’t for them and other pro-life orgs like NRTL Obamacare would have steamrolled through with generous abortion provisions. In large part it was their influence with “pro-life” Dems that resulted in making the matter an obstacle to be overcome by Dem leadership and gaining what little protections there are.

  • There = their. Illiterate or something.

  • RL,

    Got it fixed for you buddy.

    Cardinal George personally telephoned pro-life GOPers to push for the pro-life amendment when it was in the House.

    He didn’t do any such thing when Bart Stupak and his Benedict Arnold’s reversed course and put the death sentence on innocent unborn children.

  • I’m with RL. The USCCB was one of the loudest opponents of ObamaCare. To say that they are somehow responsible for it passing is bizarre.

  • Thanks Tito.

    The bishops spoke to anyone and everyone who would listen. They made it clear to Stupak too. The bishops were rightfully disappointed in the “pro-life” Dems that changed their vote, and outraged at the shenanigans and betrayal of the CHA. I use the owrd outraged because that is pretty much what it would take for them to speak so disapprovingly publicly.

  • Why is it that anyone continues to think that our bishops are men of honor? Which of them would accept martyrdom in support of Church? Why was it necessary for the Vatican to issue rules about the protection of children?

    Blind mouths, as Milton called them.

    Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
    A sheep-hook, or have learn’d aught else the least That to the faithful herdman’s art belongs!
    What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
    And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
    Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw:
    The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
    But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw
    Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
    Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
    Daily devours apace, and nothing said:

  • Gabriel,
    I think you paint with an exceedingly broad and uncharitable brush. And to answer your insulting rhetorical question, I bet quite a few would accept martyrdom if it came to that — but like STM have no interest in initiating or accelerating the process.

  • Politics are a problem for the USCCB. There are many so called “Catholics” who continue their support of todays culture and relativisms in Congress. The only fault of these Bishops , for most of them , is their inability in their teaching of the Church’s tenets to really enforced these teachings on those politicians after meetings and consultations with these so called “catholics” who continue to support the culture of death. A good example is the record of Nancy Pelosi and yet the extreme measure of excomunication is not used. These leaves many of the laity to wonder why they also can not pick and choose what tenets they may or may not follow, or disagree with, or why if these politicians are are able to cotinue their ” standing ” in the Church why then can’t they.

  • Mike Petrik said Friday, July 16, 2010 A.D.
    I think you paint with an exceedingly broad and uncharitable brush. And to answer your insulting rhetorical question, I bet quite a few would accept martyrdom if it came to that — but like STM have no interest in initiating or accelerating the process”.

    My point is quite simple: our bishops are failing in their duty. Compare ours with the bishops in China, Vietnam, Africa.
    A.N.Whitehead described religion in our time as “decoration for comfortable lives”. Our bishops are afraid; they congregate behind the chancery walls and the bureaucratic pomposities of the USCCB.

    Consider but the inanities of Fr. McBrien, published in so many diocesan papers. Uncharitable is permitting his misleading notions to be published under episcopal authority. {One among many examples: Fr. McBrien believes that ensoulment of the fetus happens three months after conception – which is to say that an abortion before the 3rd month is not murder].

    Bishops like hanging around politicians. They are not unlike the Arian bishops who delighted in being received at the court in Constantinople. Plus ca change…

Progressives Are Not Cynical Enough About Business

Friday, July 16, AD 2010

One thing my study of economics has taught me is that businesses will tend to act in whatever way they think will bring them the most profit. There may be rare exceptions, and of course businessmen often have mixed motives. But the overall tendency in this direction is very strong.

My guess is that if you surveyed people, many more self-described progressives would say that they agreed with the statement than self-described conservatives. Indeed, progressives often criticize conservatives and libertarians for being insufficiently attuned to the rapacious self-interest motivating businessmen.

Yet oddly enough, it seems to me that one of the main problems with progressive thought is that they don’t take the idea that businesses act to maximize profit seriously enough. For a group that claims to have a low opinion of businessmen, progressives have a strange habit of advocating policies that will only work on the supposition that businesses won’t act to maximize profit, and then react with shock when they proceed to do so.

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0 Responses to Progressives Are Not Cynical Enough About Business

  • ” If progressives would only be more consistent in their cynicism, their policy prescriptions might improve.”

    Progressives who become more consistent in their cynicism become Marxists.

  • It is not a question of progressive’s being cynical enough, more like being clueless enough of how economic life actually works. Government always trumps private, Federal vs. local. They are extremely ideologically consistent in this. The law of unintended consequences is automatically ignored in staying true to this worldview.

  • Progressives who become more consistent in their cynicism become Marxists.

    A more consistent cynicism might lead progressives to become Marxists, or it might make them into libertarians.

  • Whether it leads to marxism or libertarianism is unimportant. The Progressive movement is utopian, denies original sin, and Jesus Christ. It was condemned prior to Vatican II and Catholics can not be Progressives. Thought you’d like to know.

  • @Tim McCarthy
    What you’re saying isn’t completely right. The Vatican always argues for a “balance” between pure capitalism and socialistic capitalism. I think, for instance, that they would’ve agreed with the raise of the minimum wage; even though some companies are now apperently cutting working hours, a large share of companies simply can’t so their poorest employees are earning more.
    Sure, the idea that we can create a utopia with socialism is obviously not realistic and not in line with Catholic teachings, but I certaintly believe that a Catholic or christian government or business must protect their poorest employees or citizens. We can obviously not stop sin but caring for our brothers and sister is most definitely effective. Again I’m not saying people should adopt socialism, just that there should be some social elements in capitalism.
    See for instance Rerum Novarum and the social teachings of the church.
    Maybe you know all this and I just understood you wrong, I don’t mean to be patronizing (or socialist BTW), but at least others should know this.

  • Richard, you’re right on track. And we can all thank you for reminding us here of what the Church actually has to say about the matter as opposed to letting people like Glenn Beck define our terms for us. Actually, I don’t feel any strong desire to rehabilitate the term Progressive. I do want to point out, though, that when liberals or progressives or Democrats or whatever you want to call them decry the abuses of big business, it is actually an opportunity for conservative enablers of big business (through irresponsible deregulation) to wake up from THEIR doey eyed naivete.

  • Mark,

    Here’s a list of the irresponsible (bank) deregulation since 1864.

    1. National Bank Act of 1864 (Chapter 106, 13 STAT. 99). Established a national banking system and the chartering of national banks.
    2. Federal Reserve Act of 1913 (P.L. 63-43, 38 STAT. 251, 12 USC 221). Established the Federal Reserve System as the central banking system of the U.S.
    3. To Amend the National Banking Laws and the Federal Reserve Act (P.L. 69-639, 44 STAT. 1224). The McFadden Act of 1927. Prohibited interstate banking.
    4. Banking Act of 1933 (P.L. 73-66, 48 STAT. 162).
    Glass-Steagall Act. Established the FDIC as a temporary agency. Separated commercial banking from investment banking.
    5. Banking Act of 1935 (P.L. 74-305, 49 STAT. 684).
    Established the FDIC as a permanent agency of the government.
    6. Federal Deposit Insurance Act of 1950 (P.L. 81-797, 64 STAT. 873). Revised and consolidated earlier FDIC legislation into one Act.
    7. Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (P.L. 84-511, 70 STAT. 133). Required Federal Reserve Board approval for the establishment of a bank holding company.
    8. International Banking Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-369, 92 STAT. 607). Foreign banks in the federal regulatory framework. Deposit insurance for branches of foreign banks engaged in retail deposit taking in the U.S.
    9. Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-630, 92 STAT. 3641). FIRIRCA. Created the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Established limits and reporting requirements for bank insider transactions. Electronic fund transfers.
    10. Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-221, 94 STAT. 132). Established “NOW Accounts.” Began the phase-out of interest rate ceilings on deposits. Granted new powers to thrift institutions. Raised the deposit insurance ceiling to $100,000.
    11. Depository Institutions Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-320, 96 STAT. 1469). Garn-St Germain. Expanded FDIC powers to assist troubled banks. Net Worth Certificate program. Expanded the powers of thrift institutions.
    12. Competitive Equality Banking Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-86, 101 STAT. 552). CEBA. Expedited funds availability. Recapitalized the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Company (FSLIC). Expanded FDIC authority for open bank assistance transactions, including bridge banks.
    13. Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (P.L. 101-73, 103 STAT. 183). FIRREA – restore public confidence in the savings and loan industry. Abolished the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC), and the FDIC was given the responsibility of insuring the deposits of thrift institutions in its place. FDIC insurance fund created to cover thrifts was named the Savings Association Insurance Fund (SAIF), while the fund covering banks was called the Bank Insurance Fund (BIF). Abolished the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Two new agencies, the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), were created to replace it. FIRREA created RTC as a temporary agency of the government. The RTC was given the responsibility of managing and disposing of the assets of failed institutions.
    14. Crime Control Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-647, 104 STAT. 4789). Title XXV of the Crime Control Act, known as the Comprehensive Thrift and Bank Fraud Prosecution and Taxpayer Recovery Act of 1990, greatly expanded the authority of Federal regulators to combat financial fraud.
    15. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-242, 105 STAT. 2236). FDICIA greatly increased the powers and authority of the FDIC. Major provisions recapitalized the Bank Insurance Fund and allowed the FDIC to strengthen the fund by borrowing from the Treasury. The act mandated a least-cost resolution method and prompt resolution approach to problem and failing banks and ordered the creation of a risk-based deposit insurance assessment scheme. Brokered deposits were restricted, as were the non-bank activities of insured state banks. FDICIA created new supervisory and regulatory examination standards and put forth new capital requirements for banks.
    16. Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-550, 106 STAT. 3672). Established regulatory structure for government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), combated money laundering, and provided regulatory relief to financial institutions.
    17. RTC Completion Act (P.L. 103-204, 107 STAT. 2369.
    18. Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-325, 108 STAT. 2160). Established a Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, a wholly owned government corporation that would provide financial and technical assistance to CDFIs.
    19. Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-328, 108 STAT. 2338). Permits adequately capitalized and managed bank holding companies to acquire banks in any.
    20. Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-208, 110 STAT. 3009
    21. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-102, 113 STAT 1338) Repeals the Glass Steagall Act of 1933. Allows national banks to underwrite municipal bonds. .
    22. International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001* (P.L. 107-56) The law requires financial institutions to establish anti-money laundering programs and imposes various standards on money-transmitting businesses.
    23. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-204) Sarbanes-Oxley establishes the Public Company Oversight Board to regulate public accounting firms that audit publicly traded companies. It prohibits such firms from providing other services to such companies along with the audit. It requires that CEOs and CFOs certify the annual and quarterly reports of publicly traded companies. The Act authorizes, and in some cases requires, that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issue rules governing audits.
    24. Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003* (P.L. 108-159)
    25. Dodd/Frank – In 2,300 pages the culmination of all that preceeded.

  • My opinion of liberals/progressives tells they think businesses and Republicans will to act in whatever manner necessary to make Obama look bad.

    For example, today the racists are selling off the NYSE just to cause people to think that Obama’s socialist agenda is not salutary. The villains!

  • I think you ought to read the documents. It still stands that Progressivism is utopian and as such denies original sin and by extension Jesus Christ. Their was never any teaching allowing socialistic capitalism. What is that ? Socialism and Communism and Progressivism are condemned. Subsidiarity is what is approved. The means of production owned by working men is approved. Re-distribution of wealth is condemned. Moreover what is socialistic capitalism ? Do you mean Distributism written about by Chesterton and Belloc ? Glenn Beck has nothing to do with me, I was taught by the Church prior to Vatican II in the 1950’s. The Church can not change it is until the end of this age, and no lib modernist influence has any place in the Church.

  • Humanistic ideal: “Man is the measure of all things and that our job is to make life worth living.”

    “But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is ‘higher.’ The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man, and all ‘radicals’ and ‘progressives’ from the mildest liberal . . . have in effect chosen Man.”

    Orwell: “Reflections on Gandhi”

  • @Tim McCarthy Doesn’t subsidiarity imply a kind of involvement of the government in for instance health care? Helping society organise systems like that?

  • The most important goal of business is survival. If a business does not survive it can do no good or anything. The main goal of a progressive politician is to get elected; just like his or her conservative counterpart. Ergo, he or she will do or say whatever it takes to stay in office. Why state the obvious. Everybody knows that business people or politicians or bureaucrats driven by fear or lust for power or greed make poor choices that harm themselves and many others and then try to cover their tracks. On the other hand great leaders driven by Faith, Hope and Love make inspired choices that enrich themselves and the world at large. Let’s quit bemoaning human weakness and spread the One True Faith that will once again make a positive difference.

  • @ Richard. No it doesn’t. It means the decision should be taken as close to the action as possible. No Federal nothing unless it can not be resolved at the lowest level. For example parents decide what their children are taught not the Federal Government. But to the contrary the Federal Government should maintain interstate roads. They should regulate interstate trade, getting rid of obstacles for the free flow of commerce. There is no reason not that by applying subsidiarity and free market principles we couldn’t have better cheaper health insurance than what is currently going on. I’m not for turning back the clock, but if we took a look at how the laws were back then and adapted them to now we would be better off. On the one hand we have the party of death, and on the other the zionist neo-cons, and to paraphrase Fr. Malachi Martin when asked who he’d vote for Kerry or Bush he said he intended to be in St. Pats in NYC praying God would deliver us from both of those evils. Progressives are the enemies of the Church.

  • Without the assistance of government, business is shackled by the consumer. If the consumer is vicious, the business will be vicious. If the consumer is virtuous, the business will be virtuous.

    Government has a role; however, a vicious electorate will elect a vicious government and business will secure its authority through the power of the gun. Then there is no check on evil.

    Progressives, especially well-intentioned progressives are dangerous and destructive.

    Capitalists, as capitalism has come to be practiced are corporatists. They secure profits and eliminate competition with the power of the guns of government.

    To think that modern capitalists and progressives are different is simply foolish – they are exactly the same. Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business – Chesterton.

    A government of virtuous men will curtail our disordered appetites and leave the natural free market to serve. No one goes into business, in a genuinely free market, unless they think they have a way to serve others and their profit is the measure of the degree of success they achieve in serving others.

    In a progressive corporatist capitalist construct only those with the lust for power will go into business and should anyone else manage to get in, they will be crushed by the corporate government.

    Debating capitalism, socialism, progressivism, etc. in the current paradigm is a fools errand. The terms we are using are incorrect, the intentions are masked and the idea of Christian justice doesn’t enter into the equation.

    Progressive aren’t cynical about business. Progressives are very much in favor of business provided they control consumer choices – no happy meals with toys, plenty of prescription drugs with deadly side effect, no guns in the hands of the common man, the right to murder a human being simply because of their current location – inside the womb or in the nursing home. They also want to control the businesses – no free market in insurance, managed pools of mandatory insurance instead, no parochial schools, plenty of government indoctrination centers.

    This is the stuff of a ‘scientific dictatorship’, one in which the slaves enjoy their servitude. It is a technological feudal system – we are the serfs and the progressives are the lords. The first thing our lords must do is eliminate the only Lord we should have – His Name is Jesus Christ.

    No King but Jesus Christ for me.

  • Psalm 146:3, “Put not your faith in princes . . . “

  • Someone help me out here – is there a reason the author of the article is not posted with the article – I have never seen a blog that doesn’t list the author. It is EXTREMELY annoying an unprofessional.

  • Jim, the author shows at the bottom of each post on the main page. The individual pages don’t for some reason (and I agree it’s unfortunate, but it’s not that big of a deal once you know where to look). Blackadder was the author of this post.

  • “It is EXTREMELY annoying an unprofessional.”

    Professional? Jim, we are just a rag-tag bunch of unpaid volunteers! 🙂

    As RL said you can see the authors on the main page for each post before clicking on the post. Alternatively, on the main page clicking on a contributor’s name will bring up all the posts of the contributor clicked on.

  • That businesses optimize is a useful assumption in constructing ideal types. I think you will find in practice that businesses satisfice rather than optimize.

    In the case of wage and hour laws, rules on the terms on consumer credit, and the regime in health care finance, public policy imposed costs. Parties to economic transactions make adjustments which distribute the costs between workers, proprietors, and customers. Some of the politicos who imposed those costs did so with the assumption that proprietors would eat all the new costs.

    It may be that these pols are insufficiently cynical. It may also be that they are ignorant or have not come to the realization that other people have their own agendas and their own fish to fry and are not merely characters in Henry Waxman’s doll house. I come from Upstate New York. We have twelve members of Congress. Perhaps four have some familiarity with business or economics from the occupations they have followed or from academic study. Ignorant would seem likely. The extent of narcissism would be harder to determine.

  • After reading this discussion I’m baffled by the republican party. They seem to get the vote of most serious christians (and rightly so, as they are against abortion), but they often seem very unchristian. Seen from Europe I get the impression that they are often a little xenophobic and very warlike. Also the ties politicians in the United States often have with the business world seems very unhealthy for a democracy.
    Are these impressions just wrong? BTW the presidential candidates are obviously the most visible in Europe, so that’s most of all where I’m basing these conclusions on.

  • “Are these impressions just wrong?”


  • ““Are these impressions just wrong?”



  • American Knight’s analysis is spot on. The question is how do we affect real Catholic change. The right are corporatists or zionist trotskyites ( Krystal and Strauss founders of neo con were trotskyites first)
    The Dems are the party of death and it matters little which modifier you use; liberal, socialist, or progressive. My latest suggestion is to keep throwing the incumbents out until they listen to us.
    We are to bring forth the Social Kingship of Christ, not play patty cake with evangelicals that think they are bringing the latter day rain.

  • I find it difficult to understand what this blog post has to do with Catholicism. Following the author’s logic, we should abolish minimum wage, indeed, all regulation of business, because it will affect prices. And it is of course not true that “progressives” are surprised by the reactions of (certain) businesses. If I may quote from your own comments’ policy:
    “I will not exaggerate others’ beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)”

  • Perhaps a better title for this post would have been “Progressives Are Not Skeptical Enough Of Business.” You see, there’s a big difference between being skeptical and being cynical.

    It’s OK to have a healthy skepticism of business, government, or even (up to a point) the Church. Ronald Reagan’s “trust, but verify” rule encapsulates that quite well. Blind and unquestioning faith in the fallen human beings who comprise any institution usually leads to trouble. Being prepared for the POSSIBILITY that one might be decieved, or that the other party has ulterior motives, doesn’t hurt.

    However, that is not the same as cynicism — the attitude that automatically ASSUMES people or institutions to be stupid, evil, or corrupt until (or even if) proven otherwise, and never expects any better from them. Cynicism, like flippancy (an attitude that automatically treats everything as a joke) dulls the intellect instead of sharpening it, and if unchecked turns into a cancerous contempt for others that is extremely toxic to one’s spirtual life.

  • “Seen from Europe I get the impression that (the Republican party) are often xenophobic and very warlike… Are these impressions just wrong?”

    What you are seeing, Richard, is a focus on the most extreme elements of the conservative movement/Republican Party. Every movement or political faction has its “fringe” elements, which don’t represent the majority of people involved, but which unfortunately tend to attract most of the media attention. I’m sure the same thing happens in your country.

    In fact, we in America probably get an equally simplistic, stereotyped or distorted view from OUR media of what’s happening in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It’s just the nature of the news media to do that. I hope that answers your question.

  • America is large and not Europe, though our politicos wish it were and work to change it into it. Look at the stats when this country was strong and wealthy after the last war we did not export but 5% of GDP. We made all kinds of things and now we do not. This is key to prosperity we make things to create wealth we do not take in other’s laundry that’s called service. It is parasitic. This is part of the reason for this crisis we have more parasites than are healthy for a political organism. We must rid the
    body of these parasitic diseases and promote healthy activities like small businesses, while getting rid of the terminal diseases like the Federal Reserve and fractional banking, the IRS, reduce the Federal Government to about 10% of it’s current size. Well you get the idea. We need to stop supporting Europe and pull all of our Nato troops and war machines out. Let the Russians take over. The EU has put obstacles in the way of American free trade in Europe so have a nice day, we are out of there. We can do it alone just like we did in the past and be the wealthiest country on the globe. The US is fighting a proxy war for the EU, or the Mohammedans would have taken over the Continent due to their physical superiority to the fighting forces in the EU. Remember France it was on TV and the French police looked like little skinny girls and could not control the Mohammedans. Fortress America with Catholic Ghettos are what we need again.

  • Tim,

    I agree on many of your points especially the Fed and fractional-reserve banking (usury); however, I would not call service oriented businesses parasitic. All businesses serve, some provide and intangible benefit, some provide manufactured goods, some facilitate (service). All are legitimate; however, we do need to get back to having a manufacturing base, not because there is something wrong with service, but because wealth is created by mixing man’s labor (with the intent on sanctification) with God’s creation for His glory.

    In truth the USA barely needs to import anything and we should be exporting our massive surplus to help the world and enculturate the world to freedom.

    As for letting the Russians take over – I am not cool with that at all. I do think we need to stop our imperial military and have the biggest baddest military around, but not send them anywhere without a firm purpose for defeating an enemy – utterly defeating an enemy. Our military should not be the policeman of the EU, we should not be nation-building and we should most certainly not be using our soldiers within the borders of the USA (on the borders – I am all for that). That being said, we cannot create a vacuum because the Russians, the Muslims and the Chinese will fill it – we can’t have that.

  • We have no surplus to export. We don’t make anything any more. Agri-business has killed vegetable farming we export corn syrup, soy oil, corn oil, etc. We need to import everything, we need food, we need clothes, we need tv’s nothing is made here any more.
    The service industries like accounting are now counted as part of the GNP thanks to Billy Clinton. Accountants do not make anything they count what has been done. This is perverse. It adds no wealth. Service business are a cost of manufacturing which produces wealth. They do not create wealth they suck it out of the economy, but they are clean jobs for college educated clerks.
    The most important thing is this the Chastisement which Our Lady explained at Fatima has not been fulfilled and Russia has not been consecrated. This chastisement which is coming will be worse than the Deluge.

    We have protected Europe it is time they grew up. If they can protect themselves Russia will not take over but I’m betting on Russia, because EU is effeminate

  • @tim mccarthy Russian is Orthodox now, and the EU atheist, so, it’d be an improvement.

  • Tim,

    Most accountants are progressives because they earn their livelihood as a result of burdensome government regulation and graduated income tax scheme. However, their are some services that are useful. Retail is one of those. Most people purchase the goods we used to manufacture through service retailers. Financial services professionals are usually progressives too because they tend to favor the evil Fed and corporatism. Some actually help people make smart decision about the stewardship of their wealth, sadly those are few and far between.

    Not having a manufacturing base is part of the globalization plan to erode the sovereignty of the United States of America. The intent is to kill the shining city on the mountain and it eventually will happen, but it does not have to be now.

    The kings of the earth who had intercourse with her in their wantonness will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her pyre.
    They will keep their distance for fear of the torment inflicted on her, and they will say: “Alas, alas, great city, Babylon, mighty city. In one hour your judgment has come.”
    The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her, because there will be no more markets 5 for their cargo:
    their cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple silk, and scarlet cloth; fragrant wood of every kind, all articles of ivory and all articles of the most expensive wood, bronze, iron, and marble;
    cinnamon, spice, 6 incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human beings.
    “The fruit you craved has left you. All your luxury and splendor are gone, never again will one find them.”
    The merchants who deal in these goods, who grew rich from her, will keep their distance for fear of the torment inflicted on her. Weeping and mourning,
    they cry out: “Alas, alas, great city, wearing fine linen, purple and scarlet, adorned (in) gold, precious stones, and pearls.
    In one hour this great wealth has been ruined.” Every captain of a ship, every traveler at sea, sailors, and seafaring merchants stood at a distance
    and cried out when they saw the smoke of her pyre, “What city could compare with the great city?”
    They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning: “Alas, alas, great city, in which all who had ships at sea grew rich from her wealth. In one hour she has been ruined.
    Rejoice over her, heaven, you holy ones, apostles, and prophets. For God has judged your case against her.” – Apoc 18:10-20

  • The lunacy on this blog is beyond belief. Certainly beyond catholic belief.

  • Why thank you for your kind remark Professor Simons. I am sure you are used to an ideological spectrum at Dartmouth that goes from far left to lunatic left, so I can understand your distress at being exposed to uncongenial currents of thought.

  • I understand the importance of having a strong manufacturing, and for that matter an agricultural, base to the economy — i.e. making, selling, and buying stuff — but since when are service jobs now classified as being bad and unnecessary? Doesn’t this imply that the ONLY “real” economic wealth or value lies in material goods? Aren’t knowledge, independence, skill, and just plain enjoyment of life economic goods as well?

    Service jobs are simply doing for others what they do not have the time, ability, or inclination to do for themselves — thereby freeing them to devote their time to do the things they CAN do, or want to do. When this comes about as a result of genuine demand — and isn’t artificially forced on people through excessive government regulation or other causes — how is that bad? And finally, isn’t the notion that real wealth only lies in “things” and not in serving others basically un-Christian?

  • Spot on Elaine. Although material wealth is measured only by the things produced, so in that sense service isn’t wealth; however, some services enhance wealth. Education and apprenticeship for example, without those how will most people have any idea how to create material wealth?

    As for the true wealth – we know that can’t be measured.

    Look where your treasure is, for there your heart will be also.

  • Simons,

    Care to elaborate? Levying an attack like that without any substance, hmm? When did that stop being beyond Catholic belief?

    You may have a little something in your eye.

  • We have no surplus to export. We don’t make anything any more.

    This is a myth, albeit a widespread one. America’s manufacturing output is actually much much higher now than in previous decades.

    What trips people up is that while the U.S. is making more stuff than ever before, we’ve gotten so efficient at doing it that it takes fewer people than before, so manufacturing employment has declined even as output has risen (the same is true, btw, for agriculture).

  • Bravo BA! That is a simple fact, but one that seems to elude most people.

  • I was a Manufacturing Engineer for thirty five years. I worked start-ups and turnarounds I am the wrong guy to try to bamboozle. This idea that we make as much now as then is another Progressive piece of bent truth. The dollars as a number have remained the same but our share of the industry as a percentage has diminished. I saw it, I fought against it. A single aside in the Chicago Metro Area when I started we had 1200 job shops there. We now have less than 100. These companies were forced out of business by the progressive force of ISO conformance to the EU. The regs were intended to put America out of business. Nafta sent the rest of the jobs to China and India. It is all about how little they pay them, it has nothing to do with anything but that.
    What you really need to do is stop getting you info from the liberal news, watch fox news, but not the talking heads like Hannity etc, they are apostate Catholics which endorse contraception.

  • This idea that we make as much now as then is another Progressive piece of bent truth. The dollars as a number have remained the same but our share of the industry as a percentage has diminished. I saw it, I fought against it. A single aside in the Chicago Metro Area when I started we had 1200 job shops there. We now have less than 100.

    I’m not saying that the U.S. makes as much now as in the past. It makes more. That’s just a fact, as the chart I linked to illustrates.

    It’s true that as a percentage of the world total, U.S. manufacturing output has declined in recent decades. But it doesn’t follow from this that U.S. manufacturing output has declined. Suppose, for example, that total manufacturing output worldwide doubles while America’s share of output falls from 20% to 15%. Our share of industry as a percentage would diminish, but we would still be making more stuff and before. This is basically what has happened (though the numbers are just for purposes of the example).

    Likewise, as I noted previously, a decline in manufacturing employment doesn’t imply a decline in manufacturing output. Indeed, one of the reasons manufacturing employment has fallen is that the manufacturing sector has become so productive that they can produce lots more stuff with fewer people.

  • Today’s Sunday I’m taking a day of rest.

  • A single aside in the Chicago Metro Area when I started we had 1200 job shops there. We now have less than 100. These companies were forced out of business by the progressive force of ISO conformance to the EU.

    In addition to Blackadder’s point, which is undeniable, it’s worth noting that the upper midwest does not the entire US make (although in regards to manufacturing they’re used to thinking so.) The amount of manufacturing employment in the South and in Texas has increased over the last couple decades, even as the Great Lakes states have seen decreases in manufacturing employment (though not necessarily output.)