Liberals: Thou Shalt!

Thursday, September 12, AD 2013

 

 

Jonah Goldberg has a piece on National Review Online where he notes that social liberals specialize in telling other people how to live:

 

 

 

There is a notion out there that being “socially liberal” means you’re a libertarian at heart, a live-and-let-live sort of person who says “whatever floats your boat” a lot.

Alleged proof for this amusing myth (or pernicious lie; take your pick) comes in the form of liberal support for gay marriage and abortion rights, and opposition to a few things that smack of what some people call “traditional values.”

The evidence disproving this adorable story of live-and-let-live liberalism comes in the form of pretty much everything else liberals say, do, and believe.

Social liberalism is the foremost, predominant, and in many instances sole impulse for zealous regulation in this country, particularly in big cities. I love it when liberals complain about a ridiculous bit of PC nanny-statism coming out of New York, L.A., Chicago, D.C., Seattle, etc. — “What will they do next?”

Uh, sorry to tell you, but you are “they.” Outside of a Law and Order script — or an equally implausible MSNBC diatribe about who ruined Detroit — conservatives have as much influence on big-city liberalism as the Knights of Malta do.

Seriously, who else do people think are behind efforts to ban big sodas or sue hairdressers for charging women more than men? Who harasses little kids for making toy guns out of sticks, Pop Tarts, or their own fingers? Who wants to regulate the air you breathe, the food you eat, and the beverages you drink? Who wants to control your thermostat? Take your guns? Your cigarettes? Heck, your candy cigarettes? Who’s in favor of speech codes on campuses and “hate crime” laws everywhere? Who’s in favor of free speech when it comes to taxpayer-subsidized “art” and pornography (so long as you use a condom, if liberals get their way) but then bang their spoons on their high chairs for strict regulations when it comes to political speech? Who loves meddling, finger-wagging billionaires like Michael Bloomberg when they use state power and taxpayer money to herd, bully, and nudge people but thinks billionaires like the Koch brothers who want to shrink government are the root of all tyranny?

At the national level, who bypassed Congress to empower the EPA to regulate the atmosphere? Oh, and who pushed Obamacare on a country that didn’t want it? Who defends bending the entire country — including religious institutions — into a national health-care scheme dedicated to the proposition of live and let live so long as you live the way the Department of Health and Human Services says you should?

Did legislative and bureaucratic gremlins sneak into government buildings at night and pass all of these rules and regulations while the social-liberal free-thinkers were off not judging people and refusing to harsh anybody’s mellow?

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8 Responses to Liberals: Thou Shalt!

  • George Steele Gordon: “Intellectuals, especially in the social sciences, have a nasty habit of thinking that, ‘This is the way the world should be, therefore this is the way the world can be.’

    “Sometimes the mind just boggles.

    “The Atlantic has an article this month (September or October 2012) with the title ‘Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don’t Realize It).’ I am always curious when intellectuals announce that the people (who in the American constitutional system serve as the sovereign power) don’t know what’s good for them (What’s the Matter with Kansas?) or don’t even know what they want.

    “Implicit in all of these revelations, of course, is the firmest, if never directly expressed, belief of the Left: That the average person is too stupid to run his own life, let alone make public policy decisions. Those few, those happy few, that band of liberal intellectuals, must do that for them.”

  • Reminds me of the famous exchange between Gentile and Croce

    GENTILE “Don’t you realize that the doctrine of the ‘ethical State’ constitutes my ‘new liberalism’?”
    CROCE “That’s a new name for an old way of behaving which is ‘authoritarian’ and ‘reactionary.’”

  • “Feed the hungry” is a corporal work of mercy commanded by Christ: “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” The artificial person of the state or government constituted by the sovereign personhood of its citizens has no authentic authority to impede, prohibit the free exercise of religion, intervene or countermand the laws of God, the virtues or good works of the citizens, who have constituted it.
    Judges are the personification of almighty God’s perfect and infinite Justice. Justice, if not perfect it is not Justice, but a miscarriage of Justice, and like sovereignty is not piecemeal, or like a little bit pregnant. One is or one is not. It is the virtue of Justice or it is a mockery of Justice.
    No judge had the supreme authority to detain Terry Schindler Schiavo’s parents from feeding her. Terry Schiavo’s citizenship constituted the judge’s, all judges, office as Justice. In effect, the judge stripped Terry Schiavo of citizenship and of sovereign personhood, the sovereign personhood who had constituted the sovereign state and by so doing, the judge annihilated the sovereignty of the state, his own office as Justice and dictated homicide.
    Roe v. Wade dictated that the newly conceived human being brought into existence by the creation of a human soul by “their Creator” and endowed with unalienable civil rights to Life, not be accommodated by nourishment in his mother’s womb, that the individual sovereign being who creates the office of mother and father of a man and a woman, be removed from the nourishment of the womb for which purpose the womb is created. Again, the father is disenfranchised of his own seed by Roe, and even if, by choice, the father refuses to nourish the infant child of his loins in utero, he too, becomes an accessory of homicide.
    The virtues, all virtues must be defended and protected by the state for it is the duty of the state to deliver Justice to all of its citizens. It is the duty of the state to eliminate vice to enable itself to deliver Justice. The Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, so help me God is allowed in court. “God save this court” still said by the Supreme Court of the United States of America and “May almighty God have mercy on your immortal soul.” said by the court before the sentencing of capital punishment, the death penalty. The atheist has run amok and devastated our judicial system, but the truth will out, when the atheist demands Truth and God’s perfect Justice for himself. It is the duty of the court to deliver God’s perfect Justice.

  • Although it is the common habit to refer to the “liberal intellectuals,” I think we are giving them too much credit. Intellectual? Educated, albeit some kind of degree, perhaps. And anybody whose paid any attention since the Enlightenment should realize that they are truly “il-liberal” and intolerant except in untying the power of government. Since they think they know everything it is “my will be done” not “Thy.” And then their favorite causes are to excuse them from wanton sexuality or having to personally – with their own hands and pockets – actually touch and give to the poor. OK, not all of them, but many.

  • Liberals are nazis with finer professional liars, er, PR men.

    Plus, “liberal imtellectuals” traffic in ideology not the truth.

    “Liberal scholarship” long ago degenerated into calumnies, clichés/code words, distortions, exaggerations, fabrications, fantasies, misrepresentations, omissions, and outright lies. They engage in data mining and cherry-picking data, events or facts that coincidently support the agendae which seem totally credible, but are completely false. As in, the major historical events of 3000 B.C. Sumeria can be explained by: European (a.k.a. the white man) colonialism, homophobia, unjust income distribution, patiarchy, racism, red-lining, religion, segregation, and “stop-and-frisk.”

  • Ancient History has become complex to study with all the European cultural influence now involved. Sumerians in my memory had just developed cuneiform writing on papyrus and stored it in clay jars, didn’t they? Really, ‘cuneiform’ was the word that stayed with me because I never got to see a picture of the implement actually. Anyway, I associate it with the time and location of baby Moses floating in the reeds until he was rescued.

    Currents events are equally mysterious. This week past has been of something like quiet power at work. From the day of prayer and fasting for peace called for and led by Pope Francis last Saturday, the people who rode to the nation’s capitol on 9/11, to the wonderful letter to the American people from President Vladimir Putin after the Syrian situation, and other ups and downs from reality as seen by political media, I’ve been trying to follow effects of that power, or turn of events, by reading news or blog posts and comments. Found most recently on Instapundit one called ‘Putin exposes the secrets of American liberalism’, which had some thoughts on its relationship with reality. Anyway, I copied a comment because the information impressed me.

    “Earlier this year Barack Obama skipped Church on Christmas Day while the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, on January 6, 2013, attended mid-night mass services celebrating the Russian Orthodox Christmas in grand splendor in the traditional Vigil liturgy in Saint Christ the Saviour Cathedral in the presence of 4,000 people, including Patriarch Kirill. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas following the old Julian calendar, which is 13 days “behind” the Gregorian calendar.

    Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedeve go to Church frequently, kiss precious icons of the Virgin Mary and seek political and moral counsel from the Russian Orthodox Clergy. Furthermore, to the surprise of many Americans, particularly Evangelical Christians, Vladimir Putin wears a Christian cross with him at all times.

    Who’s the Athiest? BHP or Putin?”

    Also, I love the picture with the article. It is a happy and cute St. Bernard puppy being lovingly held by Vladimir Putin.

    (Juxtapose that to another puppy recently traveling with team of agents on a military air tran$port.)

  • Pat

    The church you mention – Christ the Saviour [Хра́м Христа́ Спаси́теля – Kram Khrista Spasitela] was a richly symbolic choice for Mr Putin to attend for midnight mass.

    On 25 December 1812, Tsar Alexander I issued an ukase for the building of the church in honor of Christ the Saviour “to signify Our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from the doom that overshadowed Her” and as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russian people. Tchaikovsky’ 1812 Overture was first performed at its consecration.

    Stalin demolished it in 1931 to make way for his projected Palace of the Soviets, planned to be the tallest building in the world, with a colossal statue of Lenin on top. It was never built.

    Boris Yeltsin ordered its faithful reconstruction, which took five years from 1995 to 2000. One of the first services to be held there was the canonization of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, Nicholas II, Tsar of All the Russias, Tsarina Alexandra, Tsarevich Alexei and the Grand Duchesses, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.

    Alas, the building itself is a tasteless piece of kitsch, rivalled only by the Sacré-Cœur in Paris.

  • The EWTN web site has a rather long dissertation by Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany in 1886 entitled, “Liberalism Is a Sin.” I see nothing in the video or post above that would negate what this work states, with which the formerly active Sacred Congregation of the Index agreed when it was transmitted to Rome to be banned. Obviously the opposite happened.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/theology/libsin.htm

Potty Discrimination

Thursday, June 13, AD 2013

 

 

Adam Winkler in The New Republic, warns us against the evils of potty discrimination:

 

Restrooms are one of the last explicit vestiges of segregation on the basis of sex. In a nation evolved enough to allow women to serve in combat and have women on the presidential ticket, we still maintain strict and outdated rules that discriminate in who can use which restroom. Even at liberal law schools like UCLA, where I teach, the bathrooms are all clearly marked for gender uses in a way that no one would accept for race: there are rooms labeled specifically for men and others specifically for women.

Most people don’t question this form of separate-but-equal, perhaps because there don’t appear to be inequalities engendered by gendered bathrooms. (This, despite the fact that there often seem to be much longer lines to use women’s rooms.) The controversy over transgender students, however, may force us to reconsider our sex-specific bathrooms. As our society becomes more tolerant of gender differences, especially in the context of transgender people, the issue will continue to arise. More and more people, even children, are comfortable admitting their gender identity, even if it isn’t the one that matches their biological gender at birth, and parents are increasingly willing to fight school policies that prevent their children from using appropriate facilities.

We don’t necessarily need to eliminate gender-specific bathrooms to solve the problem—or even create a third (and fourth) category of bathroom. We can simply allow transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. In the school setting, this can be easily accomplished by having parents with transgender children choose which bathroom their kids will use. Especially for underage schoolchildren, this shouldn’t pose a threat to anyone. (And if the idea of a transgender person using your bathroom makes you uncomfortable, consider that that you share a bathroom with gays or lesbians all the time—and probably don’t even notice it.)

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15 Responses to Potty Discrimination

  • I think this is another example of the thesis that the philanthropic sector absorbs people too silly for commercial or public employment.

  • This is a gross example of liberal idiots’ (repetitive, sorry!) misallocated sentimentality and willful ignorance. Accomodation to stupidity leads to more stupidity; tolerance of evil leads to more evil; etc.

  • I thought this was a joke. Then I realized it was just stupid.

  • Ugh . . . and he teaches future lawyers. How sad to spend all that money and be subject to his classes or at least poor legal reasoning. Glad, I did not go to such a law school but then again my law school, even though Catholic, hired former Sen. Feingold . . . so who am I to criticize such stupidity.

  • Not just an exercise in make believe, but a credo of “if it ain’t broke, let’s fix it.”

  • Sorry, this isn’t just ‘pretend’ or ‘make believe’ or ‘stupid’.
    This is a LIE and it is only a matter of time before we are compelled to speak and live this LIE under penalty of the law.

  • Well we better all just cut our throats right Mike? The defeatism in conservative quarters truly nauseates me. Here is an idea. Instead of doom and gloom lets all get off our dead hind ends and defeat the idiots arrayed against us at the polls.

  • This yo-yo is a full professor at the UCLA Law School and conned the John M. Olin Foundation into granting him a fellowship (unless the borg has gotten to the Olin Foundation as well). Before that he was an attorney at Katten, Muchen, one of those “entrepreneurial” megafirms that have done so much for the common life.

    Well, Donald, those of us following this debate over immigration law are discovering that the idiots arrayed against us appear to include somewhere between six and twenty-five Republican senators and perhaps the Republican floor leaders in both caucuses.

  • Oh, and Kelly Ayotte and Marco Rubio lied through their teeth on this issue during the penultimate election cycle. Sweet.

  • I would suggest Art contacting every Republican member of Congress and insisting they vote no on the immigration bill. Make enough noise and this bill is going nowhere in the House.

  • And to think, once The New Republic was a serious journal of progressive opinion.

    But then Progressives used to be serious.

  • This fella is a sitzpinkler.

  • In France, public toilets are often unisex, with a single row of cubicles and a urinal separated by a pair of bat-wing doors. Most have an attendant, usually female and resembling, in manner, dress and disposition, a tricoteuse during the Terror.

  • In France, public toilets are often unisex,

    And stopped up.

    Most have an attendant, usually female and resembling, in manner, dress and disposition, a tricoteuse during the Terror.

    Who hasn’t showered in a week or two.

The Left Suddenly Uncomfortable with Concept of Judicial Review

Wednesday, April 4, AD 2012

Don has covered President Obama’s not too subtle threat to the Court that it not dare strike down all or even part of Obamacare.  Yesterday he somewhat toned down his remarks, but still managed to step in it.

At an appearance this afternoon, a reporter asked Obama a question following up on yesterday’s comments: “Mr. President, you said yesterday that it would be ‘unprecedented’ for a Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by an elected Congress. But that is exactly what the court’s done during its entire existence. If the court were to overturn the individual mandate, what would you do, or propose to do, for the 30 million people who wouldn’t have health care after that ruling?”

Obama’s answer to the question was that he expects to win in court, and “as a consequence, we’re not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies.” He went on to talk at some length about the “human element”–that is, people who would supposedly suffer in the absence of ObamaCare. Message: Obama cares, though not enough to spend “a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies.”

But the most interesting part of his answer was the beginning, in which he tried to walk back, or at least clarify, his statement from yesterday. He spoke slowly, with long pauses, giving the sense that he was speaking with great thought and precision: “Well, first of all, let me be very specific. Um [pause], we have not seen a court overturn [pause] a [pause] law that was passed [pause] by Congress on [pause] a [pause] economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce. A law like that has not been overturned [pause] at least since Lochner,right? So we’re going back to the ’30s, pre-New Deal.”

As James Taranto points out, this response is wrong on multiple levels.  The case that Obama cites in fact pre-dates the New Deal by a good thirty year.  Second, the full title of the case – Lochner vs. New York – tells us that this was a case involving state law, not federal legislation.  As Taranto further explains, there have been plenty of Supreme Court cases in which the high court struck down state laws, some dealing with economic matters.  And there of course have been plenty of cases where the Court has in fact declared federal statutes unconstitutional.  In fact two cases in the late 90s – US v. Lopez and US v. Morrison – directly implicated the commerce clause, and in both cases the Court rendered a 5-4 decision overturning acts of Congress which relied upon the commerce clause for their justification.

But other than that, I guess Obama was spot on.

The broader issue, other than Obama’s seeming ignorance of constitutional law, is that the left has suddenly decided that they don’t much care for this concept of judicial review.

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36 Responses to The Left Suddenly Uncomfortable with Concept of Judicial Review

  • Much of the Left is going through a collective melt down that is a pure joy to behold. They really did buy into the malarkey that Obama was going to be FDR II. Now that he has turned out to be, on his good days, Jimmy Carter II, they are left to rant against the Supreme Court to attempt to save the miserable ObamaCare, the sole accomplishment of the Obama administration, unless they consider an accomplishment the amassing in three years of the amount of debt it took the Bush administration eight years to run up.

  • I rarely disagree with Don (or Paul for that matter), but my take on Obama’s commentary differs. I don’t think he is registering any discomfort with the concept of judicial review. He is simply claiming that the Court should be deferential to the legislature rather than activist in its own understanding of its role. And he is pointing out that this is a conservative principle that should be embraced by a conservative Court, implying that to do otherwise would be hypocrisy. Of course, the real hypocrisy rests with Obama et al who normally have no problem with judicial activism trumping state or federal legislation that they find disagreeable.

    I think the claims that the administration is somehow suggesting that an adverse ruling by the Court would be invalid or illegitimate are over the top and largely just grandstanding attempts to score rhetorical points. When he suggests that the Court would be over-stepping its powers to strike down the mandate Obama is saying exactly the same thing that we conservative said, and quite correctly, with respect to the Court’s decision in Lawrence. We were making a claim on the merits, as is he. No one is suggesting that the Court is without the legal power to render a decision with which many will disagree and honestly believe is wrong and therefore an inappropriate exercise of authority.

    With respect to judicial activism, this case presents a clash of two conservative principles. First, courts should be uphold laws even if they disagree with them, as long as they are constitutional. In other words, courts should not confuse their policy preferences with constitutional boundaries. Second, courts should respect the fact that the Constitution allocates only limited powers to the federal government, with those unallocated (including general police powers) resting with the states, subject to the Bill of Rights. Opponents of Obamacare are relying on the second principle to trump the first. Obama and other proponents are citing the first principle as a tactic to convince the Court and the American public that the mandate is constitutional, even from a conservative perspective — nothing out of bounds about that really.

    Finally, I don’t think that Obama’s inference of hypocrisy misses the mark completely. The mandate issue is not an easy one. On the one hand, plainly it is an attempt to regulate interstate commerce. But doing so by requiring people to purchase a product whether they want to or not was almost certainly beyond the comprehension of the Framers and also without precedent. But nor is their precedent to the contrary. As odious as this legislation is to me, I do not consider its constitutionality an easy question. just because the Framers may not have envisioned an expansive federal government does not mean they didn’t give us the architecture to allow for it.

    Obama is a terrible President for a host of reasons. We hardly need to manufacture any phony ones — and I think this one really is phony.

  • Perhaps it’s not a direct refutation of the concept of judicial review (though in the case of Dowd, she is certainly implying as much). What Obama is doing is casting doubt on the legitimacy of the Court’s decision, and I suspect we’ll see a lot more of this in various corners on the left over the coming months. I do honestly think that his original comments were made in attempt to sway the Court. Plan B is to convince the public that the Court is usurping its legitimate authority.

    Do I put it beyond Obama to try and make an end-run around the Court? No. At least, there is greater than zero chance that he would try and pull an Andrew Jackson. I’m not saying it’s likely, but sadly there is a chance.

    As odious as this legislation is to me, I do not consider its constitutionality an easy question.

    I do, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on that question.

    We hardly need to manufacture any phony ones — and I think this one really is phony.

    I’m not sure it’s phony to point out that Obama is attempting – as usual – to demagogue an issue in order to cover his ass.

  • Obama’s minions are taking up the cudgels in support of his bullying of the Court. David R. Dow, Cullen Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, calls for the impeachment of Justices who vote against ObamaCare if they strike down ObamaCare.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/03/impeach-the-supreme-court-justices-if-they-overturn-health-care-law.html

    What makes this hilarious is that Dow wrote a book called America’s Prophets: How Judicial Activism Makes America Great.

    http://www.amazon.com/Americas-Prophets-Judicial-Activism-America/dp/0313377081/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

    Mike, I have a huge amount of respect for you, as you know, but there is nothing phony about this issue. Obama knew precisely what he was doing when he picked this fight with the Court. This may well become the major issue this year, after the economy.

  • In 2008, it was “Hope and Change!”

    In 2012, it’s “Obey me!”

    They don’t know how to think. They only know what to think.

    Don,

    Plus, clueless Prof. Dow ain’t too smart. He apparently confused which SCOTUS impeachee he was ranting over.

    From an Instapundit commenter.

    “He’s not even writing about the right justice.

    “Samuel Chase is the justice who was impeached in 1805. Salmon Chase was the chief justice appointed by Abraham Lincoln in 1864.”

  • If they can make you buy health insurance, what else can they make you buy or make you do, or . . . ?

    The New York Sun: “Ex Parte Obama”

    “It’s been a long time since we’ve heard a presidential demarche as outrageous as President Obama’s warning to the Supreme Court not to overturn Obamacare. T he president made the remarks at a press conference with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. It was an attack on the court’s standing and even its integrity in a backhanded way that is typically Obamanian. For starters the president expressed confidence that the Court would “not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” . . .

    “It is outrageous enough that the president’s protest was inaccurate. What in the world is he talking about when he asserts the law was passed by “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”? T he Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act barely squeaked through the Congress. In the Senate it escaped a filibuster by but a hair. T he vote was so tight in the house — 219 to 212 — that the leadership went through byzantine maneuvers to get the measure to the president’s desk. No Republicans voted for it when it came up in the House, and the drive to repeal the measure began the day after Mr. Obama signed the measure.

    “It is the aspersions the President cast on the Supreme Court, though, that take the cake. We speak of the libel about the court being an “unelected group of people” who might “somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.” This libel was dealt with more than two centuries ago in the newspaper column known as 78 Federalist and written by Alexander Hamilton.”

  • For the record, Dowd is an idiot shill. Who cares what she thinks. Dow is also a shill, if not an idiot. He, like many college profs, doesn’t have a bone of academic integrity in him. It may be that these fools are doing Obama’s bidding, but I don’t think one can fairly tease that from the words that Obama has actually spoken. Obama is not attacking judicial review — he is asserting that his legislation is constitutional if considered under a conservative lens. It is not a silly argument, even if hypocritical. Moreover, while Obama failed to mention Lopez and Morrison those cases really don’t help opponents of Obamacare aside from the fact that they stand for the proposition that the commerce clause is not a blank check.

    Finally, regarding impeachment of judges for rendering disagreeable decisions, Dow’s position is silly beyond measure. The mandate question is unprecedented and the commerce clauses reach in that context cannot be easily discerned from the words. Unlike Paul, I can see merit in both arguments. Roe and progeny, however, not so. The Court just fabricated law to suit its policy preferences and in so doing truly did act outside the scope of its power. But even the most conservative jurists did not call for impeachment or governmental disobedience of the decision, although the case for such would at least be tenable. Professors like Dow are whores.

  • “Professors like Dow are whores.”

    Now that we agree on Mike! 🙂

  • Was the DOMA subject to “executive” judicial review when the DOJ, I believe, as ordered/requested by Mr. Obama publicly announced that it would no longer defend that piece of legislation passed by both houses of congress or was that merely an act in contempt of congress, which is ok when the executive branch has “issues” with legislation but is not ok when the, constituionally mandated, judicial branch has problems of its own with legislation it is required to review?

    Why has this man not been removed from office? Oops, I forgot, he is demagogue
    and they control the senate.

  • Speaking of lousy law professors, how bad must Obama have been?

  • Pinky, I can only imagine. The guy thinks Lochner was a commerce clause case involving the scope of Congress’s commerce clause powers. Yikes. What a dope.

  • Well, I certainly didn’t mean any disrespect. And I’m sure he’s an excellent law professor, when he’s in his comfort zone. But apparently making precise public statements about the most basic elements of Constitutional law is outside that zone. See, I’m not a lawyer, so I would’ve thought that ability was important. That shows how little us non-lawyers really understand.

  • Gee, where was Maureen Dowd after Roe V. Wade?

    AMDG,
    Janet

  • Rush suspects that Obama is playing dumb, to some extent, and is playing to the lowest common denominator. I suspect there is something to that. That said, yeesh, I pity any future lawyers trapped in a classroom with him.

  • Late in commenting. Just my typical hell fire and brimstone. I don’t expect there to be any justice on this earth.

    Every single one of us mortal human beings are going to be subject to Judicial Review. We will on that Great and Terrible Day be judged by the Supreme Justice Himself, and that judgment will be based on our deeds. Those who today call the murder of the unborn the right to choose, and the filth of homosexual sodomy civil rights will stand before the Great White Throne with no excuse, facing eye ball to eye ball the Almighty Himself. May God have mercy on their souls, and on ours for no one is exempt. God, being perfect Love, is absolute Justice, and He will NOT let the murder of the unborn or the filth of homosexual sodomy go unavenged.

    Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act. It’s name is tenuous. The words “protection” and “affordable” are vague and subject to changes over time, meaning to say that coverage of what for whom is not set in stone. Since the government has no money to pay for anything, the administrators of the insurance can change and eventually deny coverage. There’s an issue in Massachusetts with limiting the dental procedures of MassHealth. And, he’s talking about the people, ‘human element’, that would suffer without this – call it an etch a sketch act because, I think, it applies more to the 2700 pgs. of HHS Admin (and not Gov. Romney). Considering the way this administration cannot budget after years on the job, I doubt that it would happen with health insurance.

  • From what I understand, Obama was not a Law professor, just a lecturer.

    “Obama is attempting – as usual – to demagogue an issue in order to cover his ass.”

    Yes, that’s his M.O., but although Barry is certainly a gifted demagogue, how do you get people angry because a law they never liked or approved of in the first place has been struck down? Two years ago, when this monstrosity was forced through Congress, I recall libs pooh-poohing the polls which showed Obamacare was despised by a majority of Americans. The conventional wisdom among leftists was that although the dumb American public (so inferior to those progressive Europeans) would initially resist the change, Old Silver Tongue would explain the goodness and necessity of the law so eloquently that our hard hearts would melt and we’d all be foursquare behind Obamacare by the time 2012 rolled around. Well, here it is, election year, and most Americans still think Obamacare stinks on ice. That wasn’t in the Dem script.

    Demagoging the issue will certainly motivate the Dem base. But the rest of us, who didn’t like the law then and don’t like it now? It’ll be a very tough sell, she said with a smile on her face.

  • Does anyone else think it’s ridiculously funny when Leftists whine about priests in ages past getting paid 10% tax which actually went to feeding people whereas now people have to pay something like 50% tax to the government and you don’t know what the hell most of it is funding. As far as health insurance goes if we had a monastary near every town and city the poor man could get free health care from monks. As far as I can tell Obama is a sneaky bastard who can’t be trusted as president, he is inconsiderate of the supreme court simply because of his acutely obvious overconfidence in his statements.

  • Someone compiled a list of why Obama can’t run on his record. Any other “firsts”?

    • First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

    • First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

    • First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States

    • First President to violate the War Powers Act. .

    • First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico .

    • First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

    • First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

    • First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.

    • First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

    • First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat. .

    • First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. , including those with criminal convictions.

    • First President to demand a company hand over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

    • First President to terminate America ’s ability to put a man in space.

    • First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

    • First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

    • First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.

    • First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory.

    • First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

    • First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

    • First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

    • First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office. .

    • First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 90 to date.

    • First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.

    • First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

    • First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’.

    • First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

    • First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

    • First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

    • First President to assets the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.

    • First President to take a 17 day vacation.

  • Dow, Dowd, Holder, Obama, et al are children of Satan. They do their father’s bidding.

    They were never on the side of truth.

    There is no truth in them.

    They do what is natural to them. They lie.

    Their father is the father of all lies.

  • I’m confused. So what’s the big deal? Obama says that Lochner was the last time that the court struck down a legislative measure. But conservatives are saying “Ha! That was only state legislation, not federal legislation!!”. What’s the point? Obama is not wrong about it – and you’re all agreeing with him: Lochner was struck down regardless if it’s state or federal.

  • What’s the point? Obama is not wrong about it – and you’re all agreeing with him: Lochner was struck down regardless if it’s state or federal.

    Let’s see:

    He was wrong about it being federal legislation.
    He was wrong about the time period.
    He was wrong about the Court not having struck down major federal legislation since the New Deal era.

    So he was wrong about every single element, but somehow he was right?

    And the state/federal difference is not some minor distinction.

  • Has anyone put together a list of decisions that the average liberal supports where the Court struck down federal law? Roe, Griswold, and that Texas sodomy law were all cases where the Court overturned state law, yielding results that liberals wanted. I can’t think of any federal examples though.

  • Pinky,

    Off the top of my head, I would guess New York v. Clinton, which struck down the line item veto.

  • Pinky raises a very important point. Libs favor an expansive understanding of various “rights” hidden deep inside the creases of the constitution. Because these rights almost always serve to limit police powers and because police powers generally rest with the states, Libs tend to favor activist judges vis-a-vis state legislation. Because libs disfavor economic liberty and instead favor sweeping regulation of commerce, they support an expansive understanding of federal power via the commerce clause.

  • Wrong about the time period? The New Deal was from 1933 to 1936.
    Lochner v New York was from 1905.
    Obama said that it was pre-New Deal.

  • I just found a .pdf from the Government Printing Office listing Congressional acts that the Supreme Court overturned. Pretty interesting stuff. Congress keeps violating the commerce clause, and keeps getting called out for it. I also noticed that the Supreme Court really likes protecting obscenity and anything that can loosely be called free speech (such as flag burning).

  • Student – He said ’30’s, pre-New Deal.

  • What law cannot Congress pass that would not be legit by the lib interpretations of the “commerce clause”?

    Plus, Student’s right.

    Obama is never in error.

    Whatever he says is correct because it supports the agenda.

    For all such sons of Satan, the truth is that which serves their purposes.

    Obama is never wrong. He is ever lying.

  • Hey, I’m not saying that Obama’s never wrong.
    I was just about to comment that Zummo proved me wrong.

  • Has anyone put together a list of decisions that the average liberal supports where the Court struck down federal law?

    There was also United States v. Eichman where the Supreme Court struck down a federal statute against desecration of the US flag.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Eichman

    Just to agree with Mike Petrik: when liberals fund expansive federal programs with tax dollars, it is difficult to show standing as a plantiff to bring suit.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_(law)#Taxpayer_standing

  • Thanks Joe Green for listing many of Obama’s presidental actions to date. The list gives me pause on this Holy Saturday. The impulse to drop to my knees and implore God’s Mercy upon this nation whose leadership is so corrupt and the hearts of the citizens so ignorant and apathetic is great. Many are like sheep without a Shepherd; unable to recognize His Voice which beckons them to follow Truth and to receive life in abundance. Pontificating about the interior motives of the Presidents’ heart is speculation and generally a useless waste of energy.

  • I’m not law savvy…. but what is the big deal with the Commerce Clause and why do people feel that the courts should not strike down legislation when it pertains to the commerce clause? I get what commerce is, but what is it that makes it such a big deal for courts to strike down laws that fall under that banner of Commerce Clause.

    I’m liberal, but if Obamacare is wrong then it’s wrong. I’ve spoke to friends who are also liberal and I’ll ask “why is it wrong for the courts to strike down Obamacare?” and I just get the response “because it falls under the Commerce Clause”. Then I will ask “what about the Commerce Clause prevents legislation related to that clause from being stuck down by a court” and the response will be “Courts just shouldn’t do that.”

    It makes no flippin’ sense to me. Please help

  • Student,
    Our constitution grants Congress only limited powers, and each law Congress enacts must come within the ambit of those powers. The constitution grants Congress to power to regulate commerce among the states. The question is whether Obamacare (particularly the mandate) comes within the ambit of that power or is outside it. If the former, then the legislation is within Congress’s power to enact and the Court should uphold it; if the latter, then the legislation is outside of Congress’s power and the Court should strike it down.

  • Thank you for that answer, Mike.

    So then if it would be the former the courts do indeed have no right to strike down that type of legislation.

  • Yes, exactly. What the Court must do is discern whether the power to regulate commerce among the states inludes the power to require citizens to purchase health insurance. If it concludes that it does, then it should uphold the law. The question is not an easy one in my view. While the constitution does not generally limit *state* legislative powers outside the Bill of Rights (which is why the Massachusetts insurance mandate is almost certainly constititional), there must be a warrant for Congressional legislation. Congress’s commerce clause power has been construed broadly by federal courts, but it is not without limit. The idea that this power can be used to require each citizen to purchase a product he may not want would be almost certainly regarded as unthinkable by the Framers; yet, the language employed in the commerce clause seems broad on its face, and just because the Framers may not have intended to grant Congress such sweeping power does not mean that it did not do so nonetheless. Words can have meaning, and therefore effect, outside their intent. Nonetheless, critics have a powerful point in noting that such a power to compel an affirmative act dramatically alters our historic understanding between the relationship between our supposedly limited federal government and its individual citizens. While it is that alteration that supplies the disturbing subtext, the precise legal question many be more mundane, such as does the power to regulate interstate commerce include the power to require a person to engage in commerce who wishes not to. This is interesting stuff and reasonable people can come out differently in my view, though I realize that most of my fellow conservative commentators disagree with me on that.

Liberals, Cocoons and the Supreme Court

Thursday, March 29, AD 2012

 

It has been amusing to witness the left side of the blogosphere over the three days of hearings before the Supreme Court.  By and large they were absolutely certain that it was smooth sailing for ObamaCare  at the Supreme Court prior to the hearings and were dismayed when arguments against ObamaCare that seemed to gain traction were made in the oral arguments.  John Podhoretz today in the New York Post captures the surprise on the Left well:

The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court  health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable  parochialism of American liberals.

They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe  conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find  themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable  of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively  countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal  self-satisfaction as they do so.

That’s what happened this week. There appears to be no question in the mind  of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the  conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama  administration’s advocates and the liberal members of the court.

This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court.

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28 Responses to Liberals, Cocoons and the Supreme Court

  • Cocoons? Donald…that sounds…racist. I am shocked.

    I believe it’s time for a Chesterton quote:

    In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

  • Conservatives rejoice and give thanks to God for the ability to hear and see both sides given to you without even trying. Your armor is being given you by the opposing side…and they don’t even know how willingly they do such. Emotion and doing something for something’s sake will be their undoing for it will have given us thick skins and armor, impenitrable. Hazzah!!

  • Even if the court decides by a slim 5-4 to strike down all or part of OC, Carville’s spin is that it will spark the dem base and put conservatives on the defense once again by casting them as obstructionists to universal health care. Anticipating a “loss,” the libs are already crafting a strategy that is likely to gain traction with MSM distortions.

  • Oh they will do whatever they can in any case to spark their base Joe, including appeals to racial paranoia, which is in fully swing right now. These type of demagogic appeals will occur whatever happens to ObamaCare.

    I view ObamaCare in the Supreme Court as a win-win for conservatives. If the Court upholds the law that will motivate conservatives to crawl over broken glass to case a ballot against the architect of ObamaCare. If the Court strikes ObamaCare down, then Obama is left facing the voters with a lousy economy and his signature legislative accomplishment tossed on the ashheap. Old snakehead Carville is whistling Dixie and doing so off key.

  • In my experience many people on both sides of the political spectrum live in cocoons. Just recall for a moment the dozens of insipidly naive nonsense we receive by email from conservatives who believe such nonsense precisely because the live in echo chambers.

  • I disagree Mike. The people who send out such e-mails do not write for the New York Times, adorn chairs at prestigious universities or produce films with production budgets in the millions of dollars. The cocooning of the Left is pervasive and is not restricted to fringe elements. This Pauline Kael, the late movie reviewer for the New Yorker, quote says it all:

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

  • There was a time when the Supreme Court was not as politicized. Virtually everyone is predicting the justices will line up along ideological lines with Kennedy the swing vote that will tilt against Obamacare.
    I recall, however, when U.S. District Court Judge John Sirica, during the Watergate scandal, ordered Richard Nixon to turn over the secret tape recordings, a ruling that was upheld 9-0 by the Supreme Court. Sirica set himself on a constitutional collision course with Nixon, who tried to invoke executive privilege and argue that the tapes were not subject to judicial scrutiny. But in a historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Sirica, ruling unanimously that the judiciary must have the last word in an orderly constitutional system. Political considerations were secondary back then.
    Nowadays the High Court has been corrupted by liberal poseurs who lack the intellectual and objective ability to interpret the Constitution and instead bow to their liberal god, Obama.

  • In my experience many people on both sides of the political spectrum live in cocoons.

    There is truth to that. The thing is, you can live in a starboard cocoon (strictly on the internet, nowadays), but very few people are paid a salary for so doing or distribute any tangible benefits in so doing. Not so the arts and sciences faculty, the New York Times newsroom or the Writers Guild of America.

  • I accept and agree with the distinction you are making, gents, but would point out that the conservative echo chamber I describe is not “fringe,” but fairly mainstream in conservative circles, precisely because it has a populist bent. Go to any Tea Party function if you do not believe me.

  • Commerce laws were written to regulate FREE ENTERPRIZE. Commerce, itself carries the connotation of FREE ENTERPRIZE and may be regulated by a free people through Congress. The Legislative branch of government, the Congress, makes law not the Executive branch. Uninformed law, a blank contract, is not informed consent for the people, and is not FREE ENTERPRIZE AND THEREFORE THE COMMERCE LAWS CANNOT BE INVOKED by the Federal government FOR OBAMACARE. Can the Federal Government create FREE ENTERPRIZE for the people? (The New Deal was not FREE ENTERPRIZE.)or must the people create FREE ENTERPRIZE for themselves? No, It is not the Federal Government’s authentic authority to create free enterprize.

  • I have lived my entire adult life in the academy — or should I say, l’accademia alla sinistra?

    My sense is that there are many academics who are friendly to conservative ideas, but that, in general, the typical academic knows as much about conservatism as the typical Englishman knows about baseball. It’s not a healthy situation, because we ought to be having serious conversations about the nature of the human person, the indispensable role of religion in human life both private and social, the meaning of economic “progress,” the value of the virtues, the nature of love, the scope of liberty, the difference between liberty and autonomy, the difference between liberty and license, the liberties of free associations, the meaning of the word “political” — on all these subjects, people of good will and some historical knowledge that extends beyond yesterday should be able to speak.

    But the Left is farther along on the terminal disease of Statism than the Right is. Since I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I don’t have to invest politics with the robes of glory. Politics is important, but it isn’t in the same league at all with things that are transcendently important — like prayer. But if Mammon and Pharaoh are all you have … then, well, then you behave like leftist entertainers and pundits and professors.

  • Great post, Tony. If you have not already I suggest you consider reading “A Secular Age” by Charles Taylor. Professor Taylor tackles many of the topics you raise and then some. It is a fairly dense academic work, but given where you live you’ll probably eat it up.

  • Mike—I don’t think Professor Esolen would be so bold, so with regards may I suggest also that you read some of Professor Esolen’s publications found in first rate Catholic publications, but particularly given your recommendation of Taylor’s book, I think you would very much enjoy “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization.”

  • A book I read with amusement and edification.

  • “Thus, when [liberals] come up against real life conservatives who are intelligent, articulate and challenge beliefs that they thought were unassailable, their reaction tends to be…”

    I suspect that liberals will far more easily admit that the Supreme Court has simply become dangerously and syncophantically right-wing  rather than admit that conservatives are able to intelligently and articulately challenge much of anything.

  • Thanks for the recommendation. I shall add it to my Kindle queue.

  • “I suspect that liberals will far more easily admit that the Supreme Court has simply become dangerously and syncophantically right-wing rather than admit that conservatives are able to intelligently and articulately challenge much of anything.”

    I rather think you are right HA, and I do hope that most liberals are that delusional.

  • ” My sense is that there are many academics who are friendly to conservative ideas, but that, in general, the typical academic knows as much about conservatism as the typical Englishman knows about baseball. It’s not a healthy situation, because we ought to be having serious conversations about:

    the nature of the human person,
    the indispensable role of religion in human life both private and social,
    the meaning of economic “progress,”
    the value of the virtues, ***
    the nature of love,
    the scope of liberty,
    the difference between liberty and autonomy,
    the difference between liberty and license,
    the liberties of free associations,
    the meaning of the word “political”

    — on all these subjects, people of good will and some historical knowledge that extends beyond yesterday should be able to speak. ”

    Rearranged the quote from above comment to emphasize some desirable Course Titles for students of higher education, or even high school term paper assignments.

  • Couldn’t conservative academics do something about this–by getting out of their own cocoons? A little more of challenging the status quo on campus? Debate. Challenge. Evangelize. Why does it seems smart conservative professors talk to other smart conservative professors.

  • That is not the case Anzlyne. Most conservative academics tend, as a group, to be very outgoing. They have no choice in the matter. They are often the only conservative professors on a campus. Robert Bork is fond of telling a story about a time when he and another professor on a campus were looked upon as crazy because they were the only two members of the faculty who were Republicans. It didn’t help that-wait for it-as Bork noted the other professor really was crazy.

  • Jim Treacher: “They’re the elderly Florida couple whose address Spike Lee tweeted because he thought it was George Zimmerman’s. Presumably because he wanted people to go there and discuss things calmly. . . . ‘Fearful for their safety, and hoping to escape the spotlight, the couple have temporarily moved to a hotel.’”

    Plus: “Somebody please try to justify this. Seriously. Tell me why this is okay. Tell me why this doesn’t matter. Tell me how this helps. Tell me how anyone involved in this fiasco expects us to just forget what they’ve said and done.”

  • Yes you are right. I woke up this morning thinking about it–I was expressing frustration I guess and feeling a bit owly…

  • Most conservative academics tend, as a group, to be very outgoing.

    A disgruntled alumni association pulled the voter registration cards of the faculty and administration of the local liberal arts college. All told, about a dozen professors and lecturers (out of 200 or so) were identified as Republicans. One or two had either checked the wrong box on the registration form or had enrolled as Republicans for some sort of ironic prank. As for the remainder, four could have been identified as such by their statements in public fora.

  • A good example of conservative academics engaging the larger culture is the Federalist Society, which has had an impact on both law schools and the courts, and which usually invites liberal professors to participate in panel discussions and conferences, which tend to be lively and thought provoking.

    http://www.fed-soc.org/aboutus/

  • I am a member of that group, and at one of their National Lawyer Conventions(http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/page/2010-national-lawyers-convention-controlling-government-the-framers-the-tea-parties-and-the-constitution) in D.C. met Lanny Davis (former Clinton counsel), and saw many other liberals and libertarians debating conservatives, etc.

  • The Federalist Society in Atlanta is quite strong, and Don’s description is spot on right. Most events offer multiple viewpoints with strong liberal representation. The forums are almost always edifying.

  • Newsbusters featured this example of the cocoon, from a NYT chat:

    Gail Collins: “I can’t believe this might be overturned. How can this law not be constitutional? The other alternatives are forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of the care in emergency rooms for people who don’t want to pay for their insurance, even if they can, or letting human beings just die on the side of the road. I can’t believe fiscal conservatives think either of those options is a good idea. Really, I have my hands over my ears. Not listening.”

    I think that both sides have to worry about the cocoon, though. As the right-wing media develop, I’ve been hearing more people on the right who aren’t exposed to the counter-arguments from the left. I think that evangelicals especially, who have their own media, schools, and entertainment, risk cutting themselves off from alternative viewpoints. (That being said, if I had kids, I’d create a bunker to keep them away from our modern culture, too.)

  • Pinky, I have two young boys. One is four years old and the baby is four months old.

    I do not want them exposed to the filth of slopular culture. Slopular culture objectifies women. Political correctness makes this view a nearly criminal offense, but both exist in the world of left wing thought because hypocrisy bother them not. It is bad enough that this had an effect on me when I was young 30 years ago and it was not nearly as bad then as it is now.

    Left wing thought is not an alternative point of view. It is a failed worldview that holds sway with those who have a false sense of intellectual superiority. This bunch confuses opinions with intelligence, and they will be with us until the end of time.

Of Special People and Common Idiots

Thursday, June 9, AD 2011

Hattip to Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal. With one of my sons being autistic, it is little surprise that one of my favorite charities is Special Olympics.  It allows people who too often spend much of life on the sidelines  to compete as athletes and to be admired for what they can accomplish in overcoming the handicaps that life has dealt them.  The whole Special Olympics program is magnificent for special people and their parents, relatives and friends.  One would think that such an organization would be respected by all.  I guess not.

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22 Responses to Of Special People and Common Idiots

  • I’ve noticed that they’ve taken down their facebook page, or at least it is currently unavailable. I guess when each and every person wrote in to tell them what incredible idiots they all were they realized their public support was less than 100 percent.

  • These are Kurt’s people. Take the ban off and let him make a fool of himself defending his union buddies.

  • I can’t come up with words foul enough to describe the lowlifes who could pull a stunt like this and ruin a day to honor Special Olympians. I didn’t think anyone could sink as low as Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist crew, but the public employee unions of the State of Wisconsin have proven me wrong.

  • This is just awful! What numbskull thought it was a good idea to protest at the Special Olympics?! I hope the Olympians had a great time anyway. These union supporters should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Jay Nordlinger writes about the idea of “safe zones”: that a person should be able to go to a concert, for example, without having someone foist his politics on him. This is the nastiest safe zone violation I’ve ever heard of.

  • Imagine there is no liberal.

  • I teach special needs kids age 17-22. If I could have reached through the monitor I would have committed a mortal sin on these protestors. Even Mother Theresa would b–ch slap these people.

  • What astonishes me about the protesters is that their hijacking of
    the kid’s moment with the governor was clearly planned, not impromptu.
    I could understand it if someone made an ass of himself because he
    was caught up in the moment, but these people got together, created
    costumes, applied makeup, and choreographed their movements.
    How is it that in all the time it took to do that, no one in the group
    realized that what they were about to do was so grotesque? It is
    chilling that there was not one shred of decency to be found amongst
    all the members of that group. What won’t they stoop to?

  • In my lifetime, I’ve known several mentally ill people, a couple of brain-damaged people, and have met several mentally disabled people. These idiots who disrupted a Special Olympics events becase they didn’t like the Governor shows the utter heartlessness of people committed to an ideology. It’s one thing to disageee with the Governor, it’s just cruel to abuse innocent people in this way. I hope the law in Madison throws the book at these creep! Maybe McClary can be appointed special prosecuter! LOL!

  • Since the pro-union protesters have made a point of showing up at the Capitol and protesting Gov. Walker’s public appearances on a regular basis, in retrospect, outside the Capitol might not have been the ideal place to hold this awards event… but even that probably wouldn’t have stopped these protestors.

    One would think liberal Democrats would respect Special Olympics because of its connection to the Kennedys (having been founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver) and because its “everybody wins” approach (entirely appropriate for developmentally disabled persons) is something liberals in general seem to want to impose on all educational and recreational activities even when it is NOT needed or appropriate. Then again, given that so many liberal Democrats fight tooth and nail for the right to kill these children before birth, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

    As I’m sure you know, Don, autistic youth and those with other developmental disabilities don’t take too kindly to sudden disruptions in their routine; plus they tend to take things much more literally and personally than “normal” or neurotypical people do. What did these Special Olympians think when these rude people all drenched in fake blood and gory makeup appeared? Most of them probably don’t know, or care, about public employee unions or collective bargaining rights; all they know is that a bunch of people showed up at their special event and started acting really weird. We may realize it wasn’t aimed at them, but they may not, and it may have been extremely disturbing to some of them.

    Finally, this debacle just goes to show how far off the rails the concepts of civil disobedience and free speech have gone in the media age. It’s one thing to take upon ONESELF the consequences of disobeying an unjust law or order; it’s another thing entirely to call attention to one’s cause by simply being an (expletive deleted) regardless of the hardship or indignity it causes OTHERS.

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) “Most of them probably don’t know, or care, about public employee unions or collective bargaining rights; all they know is that a bunch of people showed up at their special event and started acting really weird. We may realize it wasn’t aimed at them, but they may not, and it may have been extremely disturbing to some of them.”
    Elaine, I was telling Don something along those same lines yesterday at home, before we saw your comment. Had our son been there, he probably would have become quite upset at “mean people” interrupting what he had been expecting to happen. (Now, if the union thugs had been a bit more clever, they could have dressed up as Star Wars stormtroopers. Our son loves Star Wars — but he probably would have tried to touch them and talk to them then, and that probably wasn’t the effect the union thugs were going for. Oh, well!)

  • I am stunned and horrified at everyone blaming the victims – the protestors are just fighting for their rights to live in peace and harmony. So a few handicapped people were inconvenienced; their day must be sacrificed for the greater good and liberation of the working person (notice I did not say “man” because that would be sexist). LONG LIVE THE REVOLUITION!! It was the draconian, jack booted Nazi, black helicopter flying, Earth hating, Darth Vader-like behavior of the Republican Governor that caused the problem – if Mr. Walker would stop taking away the workers rights, the workers would not have had to been there.

    “A man must be sacrificed now and again to provide for the next generation of men.” – Amy Lowell. It was the Special Olympics day to sacrifice so the next generation may survive. It was caused by the inevitable march of history not the poor choices of the protestors.

    I am sure President Obama has contacted the Special Olympics and talked to them about restoring civility to our national discourse.

    Some may dislike what must be said but someone or organization must sacrificed for the greater good. To paraphrase George Orwell “To Sacrifice is Strength.”

  • Catholiclawyer.

    Are you serious????

    If so, you are a freak.

  • Don, I suspect that your sarcasm detector might need some fine tuning…

  • Now Don, you should have realized from many of my posts over the years that anyone with “lawyer” in his nom de internet may occasionally “illustrate absurdity by being absurd”! 🙂 Bravo CatholicLawyer!

    It just goes to show Don, never take at face value anything said by those sneaky attorneys! 🙂

  • I assume C/L’s “sarc-squared” function was operational.

    The point: Liberals and gov employee unions are not renowned for their intellectual acuity . . . their talents center on looting taxpayers.

  • Aha !! Mea culpa.

    I must say though, that meaningful and impacting sarcasm should be kept brief; but because it went on and on……

    Oh well, lawyers – talk a lot and say nothing. 🙂

  • How dare you Don! I will have to write a 250,000 word post to refute that libel! 🙂

  • Before you get started, I will have to plead “no contest” 🙂

    (mainly to avoid the pain) 😉

  • Their disruption of the ceremony was vile indeed, but my first thought was “They dressed like zombies?” In other words, the protesters simply reinforced the perception that they are unthinking automatons in bad need of brains. Yes, there were severely mentally challenged people at this event – and it’s not the Special Olympians I’m referring to.

    Sheesh. I’m a Wisconsinite and I am sick to death of Wisconsin politics. But I guess that is the leftist game plan – to wear down ordinary people to the point where we give up and let the left win, simply to stop the shouting.

    Except we’ve figured out that these folks never stop shouting.

  • It was mild sarcasim, the greatest form of humor (at least for me). As for lawyers talking a lot and saying nothing – there may be some truth to that but I will wait for Don’s brief.

  • Courage, Donna V.

    Last Laugh Department:

    WI Supreme Court upheld Gov. Walker’s bill reforming public employee unions – abolishing automatic withholding of dues, which was the cause of all this crap.

    The legislature, a judicial special election (where union organization should have been decisive), and the WISC all righteously beat them down.

    And, all along they showed us that they are thugs and, even worse, hurt a lot of little children.

What is Harvey Milk Day?

Monday, May 23, AD 2011

Save California has released an informational video explaining all of the details conveniently left out by the Kulturkampf Jihadists otherwise known as Liberals/Progressives and ACLU in celebrating high-risk sex by exposing it to innocent five year old children in California’s public schools.

For the Save California website click here.

Hat Tip: Cal Catholic Daily

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44 Responses to What is Harvey Milk Day?

  • Pingback: TUESDAY MORNING EDITION | ThePulp.it
  • I heard or read recently that semen neutralizes the environment of the woman’s vagina so that it will be more receptive to the implantation of the new life. I have not taken the time to investigate this phenomena but at first sense this would seem to be true. When males are exposed to this neutralizing effect of semen, is it any wonder that all sorts of maladies would be the end effect?

    God forgives always
    Man forgives sometimes
    Mother Nature never forgives.

  • In America today, children are safer in the care of a homosexual couple than in the womb of their own heterosexual mother.

  • Kurt,

    You have any evidence to back it up outside of your own personal feelings based nothing on except… *feelings*.

  • Tito,

    If you can’t do the math on that in your own head, you have no understanding of the evil of abortion. I’m sorry for that.

  • Kurt,

    When you leave a cryptic comment, expect the type of comment to that response.

    In the meantime, brush up on your charity.

  • In America today, children are safer in the care of a homosexual couple than in the womb of their own heterosexual mother.

    Perfectly irrelevant unless you posit that the alternative in policy to turning children over to homosexuals is to slaughter them.

  • Kurt,
    I suspect that you are probably correct, but honestly one cannot easily know. One cannot simply compare the number of abortions to the number abuses at the hands of same-sex homosexual parents because the number of pregnant women and the number of such parents are not comparable. But it seems intuitively correct to me that what you say is almost certainly true. But I would hope that you would agree that your statement is best understood as an indictment of abortion rather than as a brief for same sex homosexual parenting.

  • Perfectly irrelevant unless you posit that the alternative in policy to turning children over to homosexuals is to slaughter them.

    Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.

    Anyway, more children are harmed in the womb of their heterosexual mother than in the care of a homosexual couple.

  • Kurt,
    I suspect that you are probably correct, but … I would hope that you would agree that your statement is best understood as an indictment of abortion…

    Without a doubt.

  • Given that about 24% of pregnancies nationwide end in abortion, even fighting in the trenches of World War One was safer than being an unborn child in modern America. I’m not sure that the comparison is a hugely useful one.

    That kind of reasoning would convince one that playing Russian Roulette is a good idea.

  • @Kurt

    > “Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.”

    As far as I know, there is a _line_ of adults wanting to adopt children. Just-born babies are specially coveted.

    Abortions are not caused by “lack of adoption”. If you ask “Planned Parenthood”, they explicitly say that killing the baby is better then putting up for adoption. Those feminists simply do not want babies to be born.

    You could allow adoption to homosexuals, alcoholic bachelors, or whoever, and abortion would not go down.

    So why did you make this comparison? This can easily be used for dishonest homosexual propaganda.

  • Ignoring the pseudo-science in the video, if we can teach little kids to honor a genocidal maniac (Columbus), slaveowners, and a radical socialist (Helen Keller), why not Harvey Milk?

    “When males are exposed to this neutralizing effect of semen, is it any wonder that all sorts of maladies would be the end effect?”

    What in the world?

  • > “Ignoring the pseudo-science in the video”

    What “pseudo-science”?

    >”, if we can teach little kids to honor a genocidal maniac (Columbus), slaveowners, and a radical socialist (Helen Keller)”

    Don’t mix completely different things. When people respect slave-owners, they generally forgive them for holding a position that were very entrenched at their times. It may be quite difficult to think outside the cultural box, and we may forgive slave-owners who do (in this regard) what their parents and everyone around them taught them to do. None of this applies to Harvey Milk.

    Second, if you don’t like slave-owners or Helen Keller to be revered in schools, then argue against them; it makes no logical sense to say “because slave-owners are honored, perverts must be honored too”. What kind of logic is that?

    >”, why not Harvey Milk?”

    Besides what I have said above, there is the fact the making _children_ honor a _child predator_ is pretty much unbelievable. What next? Will we make Jews honor Hitler?

  • “Don’t mix completely different things. When people respect slave-owners, they generally forgive them for holding a position that were very entrenched at their times. It may be quite difficult to think outside the cultural box, and we may forgive slave-owners who do (in this regard) what their parents and everyone around them taught them to do. None of this applies to Harvey Milk.”

    I think all of that applies to Harvey Milk.

    “Second, if you don’t like slave-owners or Helen Keller to be revered in schools, then argue against them”

    I think they should all be taught as heroic but flawed figures, Harvey Milk included.

  • It’s sick out there and getting sicker.

  • @RR
    > “I think they should all be taught as heroic but flawed figures, Harvey Milk included.”

    For _children_? Really?

    One thing is for an adult to study academically the non-evil work of a guy who also did evil. For example, last year I studied the work of a logician who was also a Nazi. It was OK, because I am an adult, and also because we were only studying his work – and not _honoring_ the man.

    But

    1) small children
    2) honoring
    3) a child predator

    ? Really? How can this even be considered?

  • Small children honoring a slaveowner? Maybe you leave out the bad parts until they’re a bit older. I think that’s how most are taught and I’m sure that’s how Harvey Milk is taught.

  • RR,
    Referring to Columbus as a genocidal maniac is an unsupportable stupid slur.

  • I think they should all be taught as heroic but flawed figures, Harvey Milk included.

    He was a camera merchant who served a brief term as a municipal councillor in San Francisco. He was a bachelor all his life and never had any children. He is well-known because he made a public point of his sexual perversions and he was regrettably in the wrong place at the wrong time on a November day in 1978. He was none too scrupulous. I respect people who go into business for themselves and are willing to take on the time-consuming mess of municipal budgets, legislation, and constituent service. I cannot see what is heroic about him. My township supervisor compares favorably to Harvey Milk, but the New York state legislature will never insist that a day be devoted to his life and works in the state’s schools.

  • Milk is celebrated by the powers that be in California for only one thing: he was one of the first elected officials in that state who was an open homosexual. This is all about identity politics and the promotion of the homosexual agenda, and to pretend otherwise is as foolish as it is mendacious.

  • I guess teaching Sally Ride is promoting the feminist agenda and teaching Jackie Robinson is promoting the Black Panther agenda?

  • They actually accomplished something RR. All Mr. Milk accomplished was being badly ensnared in a politically correct sin.

  • He was a camera merchant who served a brief term as a municipal councillor in San Francisco. He was a bachelor all his life and never had any children. He is well-known because he made a public point of his sexual perversions and he was regrettably in the wrong place at the wrong time on a November day in 1978.

    Bingo.

  • I guess teaching Sally Ride is promoting the feminist agenda and teaching Jackie Robinson is promoting the Black Panther agenda?

    1. Personally, I do not think that the life and works of either of these individuals merits more than passing mention in the sort of historical survey courses which are offered to elementary and secondary students.

    2. If there is a ‘Sally Ride Day’ or a ‘Jackie Robinson Day’ prescribed by any state legislature, can you tell us which one?

    3. Dr. Ride is an astrophysicist who did two things very few people do: completing the terminal degree in the hardest of hard sciences and traveling in space.

    4. I doubt Stokely Carmichael or H. Rap Brown took, during their years as public figures, more than a passing interest in Jackie Robinson.

    5. Discussion of the life of both can be framed in a way that is politically sectarian and distortive (and thus inadvisable).

  • Let’s also not forget Milk’s unwavering public support for the atheist, communist, bisexual rapist and mass murderer Jim Jones. Quite a hero, that Harvey Milk..

  • Milk was the first openly-gay politician in California. That coupled with the assassination is why we’re talking about him and not your local township supervisor. Milk is historically significant.

  • Another thing. Harvey Milk Day doesn’t mandate the teaching of anything. Teachers could teach or not teach kids about him with or without the day.

  • “Personally, I do not think that the life and works of either of these individuals merits more than passing mention in the sort of historical survey courses which are offered to elementary and secondary students.”

    I agree. Though they can be taught as part of a larger lesson on women’s history or black history. But I doubt opponents of Harvey Milk Day would approve of even a passing mention of him in classrooms.

  • Milk was the first openly-gay politician in California.

    And what people are saying is that this is not an “achievement” which needs to be discussed extensively with elementary school kids.

  • @Kurt

    > “Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.”

    As far as I know, there is a _line_ of adults wanting to adopt children. Just-born babies are specially coveted.

    You could allow adoption to homosexuals, alcoholic bachelors, or whoever, and abortion would not go down.

    So why did you make this comparison? This can easily be used for dishonest homosexual propaganda.

    I noted two particular situations I am aware of and you responsed to my comment. Therefore I can say that you are wrong and your views promote abortion and the destruction of the unborn.

    Without violating anyone’s privacy, I can tell you in both cases it was a matter of the gentlemen personally interacting with the mothers. I think the gentlemen’s actions were heroic. If you want to assert that it is not possible for some gay guys to have been heroic in these circumstances, I’ll continue the discussion. Otherwise, I’ll take your silence as a retraction.

  • @Kurt

    “Given that in my limited and sheltered life, (i don’t get out much other than to go to church and work) I know of two gay couples who took in an otherwise unwanted child headed to being aborted, yes, I so do posit.”

    As far as I know, there is a _line_ of adults wanting to adopt children. Just-born babies are specially coveted.

    You could allow adoption to homosexuals, alcoholic bachelors, or whoever, and abortion would not go down.

    So why did you make this comparison? This can easily be used for dishonest homosexual propaganda.

    I noted two particular situations I am aware of and you responsed to my comment. Therefore I can say that you are wrong and your views promote abortion and the destruction of the unborn.

    Without violating anyone’s privacy, I can tell you in both cases it was a matter of the gentlemen personally interacting with the mothers. I think the gentlemen’s actions were heroic. If you want to assert that it is not possible for some gay guys to have been heroic in these circumstances, I’ll continue the discussion. Otherwise, I’ll take your silence as a retraction.

  • That coupled with the assassination is why we’re talking about him and not your local township supervisor. Milk is historically significant

    No. he. isn’t. Except as a study in aspects of political culture. And he was not assassinated. He happened to be in the hallway when Dan White was on a rampage.

  • But I doubt opponents of Harvey Milk Day would approve of even a passing mention of him in classrooms.

    It’s not like the teachers do not have other things to discuss.

  • Milk wasn’t actually the first openly gay politician in California. In fact, when Milk finally did win elected office, his main opponent was another openly gay man (Richard Stokes) who had been “out” longer than Milk.

  • @Kurt
    > “I noted two particular situations I am aware of and you responsed to my comment. Therefore I can say that you are wrong and your views promote abortion and the destruction of the unborn.”

    What? What is the logic here?

  • @Darwin, is being the first black MLB player an “achievement”? At the very least, the election of Harvey Milk is a significant milestone.

    I also didn’t say anything about “extensive” discussion.

    Reading the California Education Code, there are lots of holidays that most likely go uncelebrated in schools. California Poppy Day? It looks like they designated a day for every minority and picked a representative to put a face on the day. Blacks (Crispus Attucks) , Asians (Fred Korematsu), Hispanics (Cesar Chavez), women (Susan B Anthony), environmentalists (John Muir), and Republicans (Ronald Reagan). Native Americans get a day but no name.

  • “The only evils these people recognize are having to endure hunger, disease, and murder. It is as though man’s greatest good were to have everything good, except himself.” St. Augustine, The City of God

  • “And he was not assassinated. He happened to be in the hallway when Dan White was on a rampage.”

    Are you serious? How widespread is this misinformation? I guess, properly teaching Harvey Milk is even more important than I thought.

  • “… properly teaching Harvey Milk …”?

    Good grief! Really?

  • Given the time limits in history classrooms, “properly teaching” everyone’s trail-blazing icon is a zero-sum game. Whom do we exclude as a result?

  • Pogo: “We have met the enemy. And, he is us!”

  • Are you serious? How widespread is this misinformation?

    White was at city hall to meet with Mayor George Moscone. His encounter with Milk was happenstance.

    There was prior to Milk’s election an explicit homosexual in the Minnesota legislature and one in the Massachusetts legislature.

  • A few minutes after White was admitted to the mayor’s office, the secretary heard the sound of his raised voice and then several dull thuds. White then exited the mayor’s office, reloaded his gun while making sure he was not observed, and ran to the area of the building housing the supervisors’ offices and used his key to enter. There, Supervisor Feinstein called to him, but White said to her, “I have to do something first,” and asked to meet with Supervisor Milk. Promptly, within 15 seconds of entering Milk’s office, White shot Milk once through his mid-section, then twice more into his chest. When Milk fell to the ground, White shot him through the back of the head splattering the office with blood. Then White put the muzzle of his gun against Harvey Milk’s skull and blew out the remainder of his brains. White confessed that he was upset about losing his job and that he had killed Milk because he had thought that Milk had plotted to have him removed. White’s aide testified that she had driven White to City Hall that day, and that White had told her in the car (while he was armed with his concealed weapon and extra bullets, unbeknownst to her) that he was planning to see both Moscone and Milk. In his confession, White claimed he didn’t know why he brought his gun and ten extra bullets to City Hall that day.

    According to Happenstance Theory, it was happenstance that White went to City Hall that day, happenstance that he brought a gun with him plus ten extra bullets, happenstance that Moscone was shot, happenstance that White then reloaded his gun with the extra bullets he happened to have brought with him that day, happenstance that he specifically then asked to see Milk, happenstance that he then promptly shot Milk, not once, but over and over again, happenstance that White confessed that he killed Milk because he had thought Milk had plotted against him, and happenstance that after having shot the two people he reportedly had planned to see that day, he didn’t again reload his gun like he did before requesting to see Milk but instead left for the day. And happenstance that White wrote befote his suicide in 1985 that “I shot [Moscone] five times, then reloaded and went down the hall to do the same thing to Harvey… [Moscone] decided for me.” Happenstance that “If I had won, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with Harvey.” “Down the hall to Harvey’s office. His aide let me in. I shut the door, pulled out the gun, and wiped the smirk off Harvey’s face with five more bullets.”

    According to Happenstance Theory, everything, including every murder, every election, everything, is happenstance, for if the murderer’s life had been different, if George Moscone had said White could have his job back, if a butterfly somewhere over the Amazon had flapped its wings just a little faster, things woulda coulda have happened otherwise. But instead, we had a “Crash Moment”, as Oprah might call it, and now we have Harvey Milk Day. All happenstance.

Conservatives, Liberals and Patriotism

Tuesday, July 6, AD 2010

 

This is in the category of water is wet and fire burns.  Gallup has released the result of a poll which shows that conservatives embrace patriotism for the US far more than liberals:

“The increase in the overall percentage of Americans calling themselves “extremely patriotic” is driven largely by seniors, Republicans, and conservatives — all of whom are significantly more likely to say so than they were in 2005. Republicans’ relatively higher identification with the “extremely patriotic” label is particularly intriguing when one considers that Democrats are currently far more likely than Republicans to say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country (41% vs. 7%, respectively). Still, the majority of Americans in each of these subgroups say they are “extremely” or “very” patriotic.”

Go here to view the poll.  Since 2005 the number of Republicans calling themselves extremely patriotic is up 17 points, the number of conservatives doing so is up 15 points, while the number of liberals claiming to be extremely patriotic is down 4 points. 

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13 Responses to Conservatives, Liberals and Patriotism

  • But … but … but … I thought all those conservatives were “seditious” traitors because of their refusal to embrace The One and his policies.

  • Please. This merely means that “conservatives” are pro-war. It’s a sad state of affairs in this country when patriotism is equated with the military.

    The Founding Fathers would be appalled at the state of today’s conservatism.

  • “This merely means that “conservatives” are pro-war.”

    The poll said nothing about foreign policy. However I will agree that conservatives do believe the country should defend itself, and that a defense policy aping the ostrich serves it poorly. Lack of support for a foreign war is of course not an excuse for being unpatriotic. Lincoln for example opposed the Mexican War, while always being a patriot.

    As to the Founding Fathers and modern conservatism, I do think that they would be appalled at many aspects of modern life, but I also think they would appreciate the patriotism of most conservatives. The Founding Fathers found much to criticize in their society, but their critiques were always written out of love for their country.

  • Pro-military is not the same thing as pro-war. In fact, the best defense against war is to be better prepared for it than your enemy. If our military, a legitimate function of the federal government, is kept strong, voluntary, moral, resolute and leaps and bounds above all others – we probably won’t have much occasion to go to war. When we do, it would be quick and decisive. Don’t confuse war-mongering Neo-Cons, which are actually leftists and not conservative, with conservatives.

    Additionally, patriotism isn’t limited to war and military. One of the virtues of the Knights of Columbus is Patriotism, do you really think the K of C is a war-promoting fraternity?

    This poll isn’t surprising at all. The virtue of Patriotism has been asleep as we have fallen for all the temptations of modernity. BHO is bringing the modern impulse to fulfillment, and that is causing a righteous reaction from authentic conservatives. It is pretty simple.

  • It looks like conservatives are more patriotic today than they were after 9/11, which demonstrates that the conservative brand of patriotism thrives better under Kenyan rule than during war.

  • “It looks like conservatives are more patriotic today than they were after 9/11, which demonstrates that the conservative brand of patriotism thrives better under Kenyan rule than during war.”

    I think the 9/11 reference would make more sense of “2005” read “2002.” But I do suspect that Kenyan rule can help stir US patriotism for the same reason that Kremlin rule helped stir Polish Catholicism.

  • To play devil’s advocate, here, the “extremely” thing might be a sticker. It’s often used to mean “irrational” rather than “to a high degree.”

    Even I wouldn’t self-ID as “extremely patriotic” because it sounds like a set-up for the famous “my mother, drunk or sober” junk, and “very patriotic” covers it just fine.

    They do have another chart showing prior poll results, but the one for 2002 is from January and was done with the Hartwood Institute, so it’s not quite apples to apples. (No, I don’t know that snow vs fireworks would change answers, nor do I know if the Hartwood folks just paid the phone guys, but I don’t know it won’t change the result, so it must be considered.)

  • It is pretty simple, the political debate in this country is supposed to be between Federalist (Conservatives) and anti-Federalist (Libertarians) – there is no room for Liberals (Collectivists). So when Collectivists achieve the levers of power and start pulling them to tear down the Constitution, not to mention trying to kill God and His babies, again! Then it follows that Conservatives and Libertarians will become more Patriotic in an effort to return the political debate to its proper balance. Since most Republicans are conservative, then it would make sense to see Republican numbers go up, so long as you aren’t speaking to Castle or Graham and their ilk.

    I could care less that BHO is Kenyan, or not – the real issue is that he doesn’t have the heart of an American, certainly not a Patriot and he would be more at home in Communist China, so he should go be their president – just please appoint someone other than Biden or Pelosi.

  • My priorities are God, family and country.

    Maybe liberals do not believe that patriotism is a virtue.

    basically, I believe liberals are evil and seem to hate not only our country but also despise the uses many of us make of our liberties and our property.

    I think liberals hate their mothers.

  • Fuji, are you really meaning to imply that being really really patriotic is “nation worship”?

    Seriously?

    Have you informed the Pope about the risk to his chaplains?

  • Fuji, take your neo-Confederate rantings elsewhere. You are banned from this blog.

  • 7% of Republicans are satisfied with the way things are going in this country?

    Are they soothsayers?

    I agree with Foxfier that “extremely” is a poor choice of adverb for a poll, because it has certain connotations—perhaps more so with younger people and their extreme sports and hula hoops and I-don’t-know-what—and I submit that “pretty darn” might be substituted next time around.

Janeane Garofalo Is Our Intellectual Superior

Wednesday, June 30, AD 2010

She continues to invited on MSNBC and network morning shows spouting out words of wisdom when asked her opinions on important topics of the day.

But why is she constantly being invited back when she’s not even a political pundit nor works in politics for that matter?

No problem, she now offers us what she knows about Christianity.

We are all better for it.

In fact, I feel that after being exposed to this intellectual superior, I’ve regressed enough to begin enjoying her comedy bits!

(Biretta tip:  Andrew Breitbart)

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9 Responses to Janeane Garofalo Is Our Intellectual Superior

  • Why does she keep saying “six and a half”?

  • “But why is she constantly being invited back when she’s not even a political pundit nor works in politics for that matter?”

    Because many in the media think just like her.

  • She meant to say “Six Of One, A Half Dozen Of The Other” which means they are the same thing …

  • I remember back in the mid-90s I quite liked her handle playing quirky, ironic and self-aware characters.

    Now, she’s just sad. Look and learn, kids, look and learn.

  • I think that most people under the age of 35 would know who this woman is. Her acting career has long since passed her by. At least she has her stunning intellect, good cheer and good looks to keep her warm at night. May God bless this poor, bitter woman and may we all see our poverty, and bitterness through her saddening display and ask God for deliverance from these crosses.

  • I meant people under 35 would NOT know who she is…

  • Regarding the title of this article: the truth hurts, doesn’t it?

  • It certainly made me laugh when I read it.

  • Amazing! This woman is more enlightened than Francis Bacon, Galileo, Issac Newton, Albert Einstein… more inspirational than Johann Bach, Shakespeare, Handel… more eminent than Washington, Adams, Lincoln… and more virtuous than Francis of Assisi, Amy Carmichael, Mother Theresa…

    All such puerile souls, tsk, tsk, believing in a Creator, Savior, and a Book of Truth.

    Can we clone her?

Elena Kagan Says It Is Fine If The Law Bans Books

Tuesday, June 29, AD 2010

SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan has argued before the Supreme Court that it’s fine if the Law bans books.

Her rationale?

Because the government won’t really enforce it.

I’m no legal scholar but this sounds like a 3rd grade argument.

Aren’t our nominees suppose to have better reasoning skills and a solid grasp of the U.S. Constitution?  As well as a fundamental understanding  of such concepts like Freedom of Speech?

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14 Responses to Elena Kagan Says It Is Fine If The Law Bans Books

  • Bibles banned in China – is that what is coming here?

  • So is Elena Kagan willing to support banning pornography magazines and books?

  • Like all the other “brilliant” liberals, Kagan the pagan is incapable of right reason.

  • Scratch the thin veneer of liberal bu!!$#it and you slam into totalitarianism.

    Peace, justice and human dignity: the slaves will enjoy free health care, free lunch, and free fornication!!!

  • But don’t you know that if you don’t want free health care, free lunch and free fornication you are part of the “let them eat cake” coalition?

  • And what’s with the new symbol thingies?

  • Phillip and all the non-gravatar readers,

    I got tired of looking at the random abstract icons, so I switched the default to MonsterID’s in the faint hope that some of you guys will sign up for free gravatar accounts/icons.

    😉

  • And what’s with the new symbol thingies?

    Yeah, Tito. How are we supposed to upload a real picture? I tried registering at WordPress, but it won’t accept any reasonable facsimile of my real name as a user name. Can we upload a pic without registering at WordPress?

  • I kinda like my monster thingie. 🙂

  • I also had the same problem as j. Used multiple variations of my name and said they were all used. Must be a govt. program.

  • Phillip et al.,

    Just so everyone knows, MonsterID links that icon permanently to the email address you provide.

    So if you get tired of it, you have motivation to go over to http://en.gravatar.com/ and sign up for a free account!

    🙂

  • To be fair I am rather doubtful that Kagen wantts to ban books. I am trying to recall the exact sequence of events here . I actually think what started this all this were the ealier comments of the Deputy Solicter that gave the SUp COurt Justices the heebee jeevees and thus Kagen here is trying somehow to recover.

    That being said the Supreme Court can make the most seasoned lawyers look like idiots and also (and this is the problem the GOP will have in her hearings) she is basically just working for the boss. So when these hypos come out that go to the most alarming degree well there is not exactly a easy answer.

  • jh

    Nail! Head!

    She’s going to rubber stamp Obama. She’s a nothing and will continue to do nothing except vote for whatever the boss wants.

    Phil, I’m paying for the free health and lunch. They’re on their own when it comes to fornicking. I’m of the “let them have the opportunity to pursue happiness” coalition.

    My grav seems appropriate!

Cardinal McCarrick and Sister Carol Keehan

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

The ever exceptional Catholic blogger Diogenes couldn’t help himself as he commented on “Sister” Carol Keehan’s reading at a Mass for retired Archbishop Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.

“Sister” Carol Keehan, who is the president of the Catholic Health Association, endorsed ObamaCare.  Thus declaring themselves in contradiction with Francis Cardinal George and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who opposed ObamaCare.

Here is Diogenes’s brilliant column:

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has devoted so much of his episcopal career to the effort to make everyone comfortable, is approaching his 80th birthday, and already the celebrations have begun.

(No, I don’t mean the celebrations of the fact that as of July 7, “Uncle Teddy” will be ineligible to vote in a papal conclave—although that’s definitely reason enough to chill the champagne.)

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11 Responses to Cardinal McCarrick and Sister Carol Keehan

  • More likely—and we’re talking dollars-to-donuts here—she was chosen as a signal that in the benign view of Cardinal Ted, we’re all still friends, despite our little disagreements on subjects such as whether or not babies should be dismembered in the womb.

    So, basically, Diogenes lied, and Tito reinforces the slander. Got it. Tito will probably next say “you slander me.” I am used to it. It’s his response when people call him out.

    CHA and Sister Keehan do not think babies should be dismembered in the womb. As long as you continue with this misrepresentation, all you get is proof of your own ill will.

  • Henry K.,

    You wonder why you are placed on moderation?

    It’s because of your unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks on many of the columnists here at TAC.

    “Sister” Keehan is clearly going against Church teaching as she gleefully accepts a pen from President Obama in celebrating the murders of millions more innocent children.

  • Tito,

    Not only is she a sister, she didn’t celebrate the murders of millions… nor did Obama. And you talk about “unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks…”

  • Henry K.,

    She pushed hard, using the Catholic Health Association, to help pass ObamaCare.

    ObamaCare will fund millions of abortions.

    Your comments are bizarre and without basis.

  • She pushed hard to get health care reform. She believed that the reform bill will not fund more abortions. Therefore, she is not celebrating the death of more children.

    Now show us where it funds abortions which were not already being funded by the government.

  • Henry K.,

    She has reached the age of reason.

    She has received a fine education in Church teachings prior to accepting final vows.

    She has purposely and consciously decided to oppose Church teaching by supporting and pushing for the death of millions of innocent unborn children.

    She was gleeful in her acceptance of one of the pens that President Obama gave her that he used to sign ObamaCare with.

    Now show us where it funds abortions which were not already being funded by the government.

    Are you trying to be funny?

  • Guys,

    Anyone who supports Obama supports a man who believes in the “right to chose”.

    Anyone who supports Obamacare supports the “right to chose”.

    Now people can use all the obfuscation and sophistry they want, but one cannot in good conscience support either Obama or Obamacare.

    I wish people would pay attention to the daily Old Testament readings this week from 2nd Kings. The people of Judah were deported to Babylon because they sacrificed their own children to Baal, Asherah, Molech and the other Canaanite gods. How different is that from Obamacare which provides health insurance coverage to murder babies in the womb?

    Yes, God IS merciful and loving, and He is about to show Obama, Sister Keehan and every other liberal democrat how merciful and loving He is towards the unborn.

  • “So, basically, Diogenes lied, and Tito reinforces the slander. Got it. Tito will probably next say “you slander me.” I am used to it. It’s his response when people call him out.”

    Mr. Karlson,

    Back it up. You made the accusation. Provide proof. Otherwise you have nothing to offer except ad hominem.

  • Excellent, Mr. Primavera; and, of course, Mr. Edwards.

    Ancient fertility cults sacrificed first born sons (sometimes daughters, less valued) to appease the (river, rain, sun, etc.) gods and reap good harvests.

    Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of lentils. Sister Carol, Henry Karlson, et al have aided and abetted the sacrifices of 47,000,000 (and counting) unborn babies for a chimera: social justice.

    And, THEIR trump card was commented on by F. A. Hayek: “ . . . ‘social justice’ is not, as most people probably feel, an innocent expression of good will towards the less fortunate, but that it has become a dishonest insinuation that one ought to agree to a demand of some special interest which can give no real reason for it. …I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term ‘social justice.’”

    Repent, confess, do penance, amend lives and (through personal good works) glorify God.

  • Our Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is a “Catholic”, is virulently pro-abortion,( she supported and was friends with Tiller the baby killer so IMO that says it all)and that gives one great concern when considering that she is the person who has the authority over the decision-making for the funding of the Community Health Centers.

    Here are the Bishops’ concerns:

    In the Senate bill, there is the provision that only one of the proposed multi-state plans will not cover elective abortions – all other plans (including other multi-state plans) can do so, and receive federal tax credits. This means that individuals or families in complex medical circumstances will likely be forced to choose and contribute to an insurance plan that funds abortions in order to meet their particular health needs.

    Further, the Senate bill authorizes and appropriates billions of dollars in new funding outside the scope of the appropriations bills covered by the Hyde amendment and similar provisions. As the bill is written, the new funds it appropriates over the next five years, for Community Health Centers for example (Sec. 10503), will be available by statute for elective abortions, even though the present regulations do conform to the Hyde amendment. Regulations, however, can be changed at will, unless they are governed by statute.

    Additionally, no provision in the Senate bill incorporates the longstanding and widely supported protection for conscience regarding abortion as found in the Hyde/Weldon amendment. Moreover, neither the House nor Senate bill contains meaningful conscience protection outside the abortion context. Any final bill, to be fair to all, must retain the accommodation of the full range of religious and moral objections in the provision of health insurance and services that are contained in current law, for both individuals and institutions.

  • Those Catholics who support Obama and Obamacare have their reasons. I think they are much weaker then finding justification for the Iraq War or even the folloy of equating such support with support for changing the rules of engagement in Afghanistan.

    But they will hold onto whatever straw they need.

I am Shocked, Shocked!

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

Hattip to Ed Morrissy at Hot Air.  The Washington Post hired David Weigel, who has previously come to the attention of this blog here,  to report to their readership on that strange group called American conservatives.  This small and obscure group, only 42% of the adult population of the US according to the latest Gallup poll released today and twice the number of self-identified liberals, was the focus of the reporting of David Weigel.  To my non-surprise, Weigel is now revealed in his own words to be a bitter Democrat partisan and uber-liberal:

Weigel was hired this spring by the Post to cover the conservative movement. Almost from the beginning there have been complaints that his coverage betrays a personal animus toward conservatives.  Emails obtained by the Daily Caller suggest those complaints have merit.

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10 Responses to I am Shocked, Shocked!

  • I am certain that the Washington Post will now find someone to cover conservatives who does not despise conservatives.

    Hey, Donald, as you know I am originally from New York. I have a hot tip on a bridge that might be for sale. 🙂

  • I had a client once Paul who claimed to have purchased the Brooklyn Bridge, so I know it can’t be that one! 🙂

  • Must dissent. What has happened would be unsurprising at the Boston Globe or the post-Rosenthal New York Times, but the Washington Post once made a point of developing an engaging editorial page which published commentary from a variety of perspectives. They could also breed their own talent, which the Times never could. George Will, Henry Mitchell, Richard Cohen, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Kinsley, Edwin Yoder, Joseph Kraft, and Emmett Tyrell all had space at the Post when the Times was trafficking in the likes of Anthony Lewis. The Post seems to have fallen on hard times if they are hiring utter cretins.

  • Art Deco,

    Good point.

    In addition, they remove their faux conservatives to.

  • “The Post seems to have fallen on hard times if they are hiring utter cretins.”

    A dog walking on its hind legs Art always deserves applause for attempting the feat, but inevitably the dog will be walking on four legs again soon enough.

  • I did not sign up for an avatar, so what’s that doing there? That appears by my handle at Front Porch Republic as well. Hmmm….

    —-

    In all seriousness, this man’s employment is very odd. There are all manner of things about the kultursmog around the chatterati one might criticize, and I suspect it is true that there has been a general decay in the quality of thought and argument from the political opposition. (Robert Bork, who was a public figure before and after, has said there was a large and discrete change in the quality of public discourse around about 1981; 2001 also seems a year of consequence). That having been said, they have on their staff a man who is apparently not minimally curious about the terms of political conflict; also, his sensiblities are so peculiar he thought it ‘despicable’ for Gov. Palin to tweak the nose of an ‘investigative reporer’ who rented a house next door to her. This guy is not normal. Why did he apply for the position? If not, why was he assigned to it? Do his editors not know what his views are? That he resigned toute-de-suite suggests someone in the Post‘s apparat understands this as inappropriate.

  • Art Deco,

    In my near fruitless crusade to encourage our readers to sign up for gravatar, I changed the default setting for users without a custom avatar of their own, to display a generated logo from “Identicon” to “MonsterID”.

    Identicon generates those abstract random patterns you normally saw.

    MonsterID generates ‘monster’ pics.

    Since I’m no fan of abstract/pattern art, I went with MonsterID in hopes of encouraging those to sign up for (free) gravatar.

    😉

    Like Identicon, MonsterID assigns a random monster pic particular to each individuals email address.

    Hence why you recognize your MonsterID.

  • “That having been said, they have on their staff a man who is apparently not minimally curious about the terms of political conflict; also, his sensiblities are so peculiar he thought it ‘despicable’ for Gov. Palin to tweak the nose of an ‘investigative reporer’ who rented a house next door to her. This guy is not normal.”

    Quite right Art. What struck me was the jejune nature of his comments which basically amounted to grunts of “Conservatives very bad!!!”. Political movements can sometimes benefit from insightful critiques from adversaries. I have admired some of the articles by John Judis on conservatives. This fellow however had nothing to offer except a deep dislike of the movement he was supposed to cover.

    As for your avatar, God only knows what WordPress is doing. Time for you to get a more appropriate avatar:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.deviantart.com/download/78393004/Steampunk_Penguin_Professor_by_einen.png&imgrefurl=http://einen.deviantart.com/art/Steampunk-Penguin-Professor-78393004&usg=__s8CyX86l8arPU6-TtBVgkfaksrM=&h=810&w=720&sz=839&hl=en&start=1&itbs=1&tbnid=beT-YJ4j4Fvs_M:&tbnh=144&tbnw=128&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dprofessor%2Bpenguin%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1

  • Thank you for your article.I agree with Alehouses and Dan Riehl over the Dave Weigel resignation from the Washington Post. It is no surprise to me that Ben Smith is on Journolist too. Hope you will continuo your informative post.

  • Pingback: Last Weeks Top-Ten Catholic Posts « The American Catholic

What the Left Cannot Supply, the Right Will Not Demand

Tuesday, June 15, AD 2010

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a series of posts looking at the recent survey purporting to know a lack of economic knowledge on the Left, with one post for each of the eight questions on the survey. As I look at the list of questions, however, a clear theme emerges, namely that liberals tend to think that the price of a good or service isn’t much affected by the supply of that good or service or visa versa. According to the survey, liberals tend to think that restricting the supply of housing doesn’t increase the price of housing (question 1), that restricting the supply of doctors (through licensing) doesn’t increase the price of doctors (question 2), and that price floors won’t decrease the supply of either rental space (question 4) or jobs (question 8).

Coincidentally, I’m currently reading a (surprisingly good) book by Paul Krugman, in which he argues that conservatives tend to minimize or dismiss the part changes in demand have on getting us into or out of recessions. Naturally this got me thinking whether one of the things separating left from right in this country is a difference in the importance of supply and demand in economic phenomenon. For the above issues, at least, liberals seem to be ready to discount the importance of supply, whereas conservatives underestimate the importance of demand.

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0 Responses to What the Left Cannot Supply, the Right Will Not Demand

  • I realize there is a standard argument that licensing restricts supply. Does it though? I think it is akin to arguing the ACT artificially restricts the supply of college students. (Admittedly, most colleges don’t require the ACT, but work with me here.) In both cases, there is a nominal fee and a background requirement, either explicit or implicit. While it is certainly true that there are people capable of going to college that don’t don’t take the ACT, there are also people capable of becoming doctors that don’t complete the formal requirements to do so. But is it truly the case that the ACT or licensing is restricting supply?

    In the case of supply, I think an example would be airline regulation. By essentially setting a price floor, money was able to be spent on R&D resulting in better aircraft over time. I think a lot of the interurban rail arguments are similar as well, where you have to have a sufficient base of supply before demand will truly kick in.

  • It’s true liberals tend to be Keynesian demand-siders and conservatives tend to be Say’s supply-siders. But you can be a Keynesian like Krugman and still get those questions right. Our political divide on economic issues seems to be primarily driven not by Keynesians and supply-siders but illiterate Keynesians and supply-siders. I bet if you get Krugman and Gary Becker in a room, they’d come out with pretty sensible economic policy roadmap.

  • The best lecture on supply and demand is

  • But is it truly the case that the ACT or licensing is restricting supply?

    Does it render the supply of providers smaller than it would otherwise be? If so (and there would not be much point to licensure if it did not) then it restricts supply and affects price.

    A more telling example than that of physicians would be certification requirements for school teachers and librarians, which are often a parody of vocational training.

  • I would imagine that the degree to which licensing restricts supply is directly proportional to how much of an obstacle the licensing is.

    If a license was as easy to procure as the ACT, it seems unlikely that it would restrict supply much — though it would do so slightly at the margins. (Arguably, the sort of college student who fails to go to college because he doesn’t get around to taking the ACT isn’t that much of a loss, academically.)

    However, when licensing requirements become steep, they restrict supply more. Librarian work is probably a decent example. My mom works as a library aide. The work she does is essentially the same as that which the librarians do (a bit more shelving and less answering questions), but the city she lives in only hires people with masters degrees in library science. Since a lot of the sort of people who want to work part time at a library are not going to go sink $30k+ and two years into getting a masters degree for it, the librarians are in comparatively short supply and highly paid (while there are lots of aides, and they’re low paid.)

    I find it hard to imagine that the masters requirement is not inflating the salary (by decreasing the supply) of librarians relative to the actual skills required.

  • The President’s speech tonight was a classic example of the utter economic ignorance that dominates the left.

    “Lets all stand in a circle, hold hands, and embrace a new “green economy”, because the time is now. Here it is, I think its coming. There, we did it, a brand new green economy.”

    Mr President, stop the BS, our country has been ripped off by false promises and promoters of junk science for years now. FOSSIL FUELS ARE BY FAR THE CHEAPEST SOURCE OF THE ENERGY AVAILABLE. If you have to subsidize something to get it to compete with fossil fuels, then its less economic. The money to subsidize it has to come from somewhere, and that means a net loss of productivity and jobs.

    A green economy is a less productive economy because our economy is more productive when energy is cheaper. He’s gonna make some green jobs, but what he isn’t telling everyone is that for each green job we’ll lose many regular jobs as even more manufacturers and businesses go somewhere else where the energy is cheaper.

  • Yes We Can!! Gulf D-Day 58, or is it 59?

    It’s tragic. Quis Ut Deus could have declared war on the Gulf. That could be very good for the Gulf.

    Kumbaya, my Lord! Kumbaya!!!!

    This is what happens when liberals, clueless college profs, people with multiple PhD’s in theology, economists of the income-redistribution-is-everything school, community agitators, ex-weather underground terrorists, etc. take over everything. Some dad-gummed fact that adults have lived with since God created us jumps out and bites them in the @$$.

    And, he fired that other gen’l. and put in snake-eater McKrystal as OIC of Afghanistan ‘war.’ Go long on the Taliban. Short US health care and the Gulf.

    It’s okay! They can always blame Bush.

  • I imagine the argument would be that while you may not see librarians and library assistants as distinct goods, those hiring them do see them as such. I’m not sure of the extent economics has seen every man as a potential supplier of goods. I’m well familiar with licensing being a bugaboo for a while.

    Does it render the supply of providers smaller than it would otherwise be? If so (and there would not be much point to licensure if it did not) then it restricts supply and affects price.

    This is of course dependent on what you want to consider supply. For example, I can supply oil changes to your car, but I haven’t increased the supply of car mechanics. Most folks outside economics see licensing as a way of legally certifying duties and providing a means of redress when incompetence occurs. Not only does a plumber who consistently allows sewer gases to enter a home get sanctioned civilly, he can be sanctioned by license loss and prevented from harming other households.

  • I’m not sure of the extent economics has seen every man as a potential supplier of goods.

    I take that back. In Econ 101, there are assumed to be no frictional costs to transitioning.

  • I’m not sure I see the analogy to the ACT. Aside from the fact that you don’t have to take the ACT to get into college, simply taking the ACT doesn’t mean you’ll get into college, whereas getting a license does mean you can work in the given field.

  • perhaps its not the licensing per se, but the entrance costs to the chosen field that does the limiting. The licensing portion, after all, is the least costly of it, unless you include the capital requirements (college and grad school) that go into getting that license. Dropping the licensing requirement for doctors would not likely reduce costs much, since it would still be prohibitively expensive for most to become.

    I suppose you may have several tiers of “doctors”, those that deal with more complicated ailments and conditions, and those treating run of the mill stuff (maybe for $30 you’d be willing to go to someone with a bachelor’s in biology if you had a headache, but willing to pay $8,000 to an M.D. for a C-section).

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25 Responses to Why I am Filing for Separation from the Democratic Party

  • Welcome to the world of independent idealism. Good to have you on board. It’s still (maybe especially) possible to be a good citizen being off the party rolls. I encourage the strategy.

  • I know exactly how you feel. I live in Washington DC, where it’s all politics, all the time. For a few years now I’ve answered the question “Are you a Republican (Democrat)?” with “I’m a Catholic.”

  • I simply must repeat what I said when you mentioned this to me privately — this is a great loss for pro-life Democrats, but God as you seem to have discerned may need your gifts and talents elsewhere for the sake of His Kingdom and, temporally speaking, for the common good.

    I need not ask to know whether I still have your support and you need not ask if you have mine. Have faith, there are sincere pro-life Catholics in the trenches my friend. You have simply chosen a new battlefield; there is only one Enemy.

  • Congratulations to you, and welcome aboard, Tim! But one question: am I completely imagining this, or didn’t you announce/decide this a couple of months ago? I thought I remembered reading a post you had written to that effect, but without all of the outlines for an independent party based on Catholic moral teaching and the Natural Law.

  • What’s wrong with the US Constitution Party?

    It’s platform is the closest to Chrcuh teaching:

    http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php

    I understand, however, that it doesn’t fit the false gospel of the common good, social justice and peace at any price.

    It seems like the writer just wants a socialist party that can call itself pro-life and be Christian in name instead of advocating for a return to the truly Christian Constitutional Republic we once were.

    Why not read and study what this country was founded at insteda of trying to invent some socialist utopia. The common good didn’t work for the Church in the time of Ananias and Sapphira. It won’t work now. And I (along with many, many other Constitutionalists) shall never, ever support it.

  • Paul, it is quite arrogant to assert that people whose views are different than yours and do not think that the U.S. Constitution Party is the closest reflection of Catholic social teaching in the U.S. are merely socialists who want a “socialist party.”

    I think it is an unfair judgment of our Catholicism and our commitment to the teachings of the Church, which requires on some issues much prudential judgment that naturally creates a discussion — and not clear-cut policy positions or views we must embrace.

    Moreover the idea that the United States was ever “truly” an explicitly “Christian” constitutional republic is quite arguable. I find it hard to believe that an authentically Christian society had legal slavery rooted in irrational hate of ethnicity; other points could be made, but I think you are romanticizing history and my argument need not be taken as saying the current situation of America is better or superior but simply that the U.S. was never a “truly Christian constitutional republic” in the sense that you seem to suggest.

    Lastly the idea that people who fail to subscribe to what you have suggested have neglected to “read and study what this country” was founded on “instead of trying to invent some socialist utopia” is nonsense.

    I was not even aware that any sort of disagreement (at least it seems that way in the way you frame your argument, there appear to be only two options) with the position you offer logically implies subscription to socialism. Moreover, it is nonsensical for you to appeal to Catholic social teaching — from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI — and say that the “common good” does not work.

    It would be more credible to argue that what the political left, by and large, presents as the common good is (in your view) a pseudo-common good and the actual common good is something much different — and you could detail it with what you think would work better. But to say the common good “did not work” and will not “work now” while appealing to Catholic social teaching where that very concept is integral to the whole body of the Church’s social doctrine is unbelievably dubious. Honestly, I am not saying this to be harsh; it simply is the case.

    I suppose it is a way to look at things but it is a perspective that I would never, ever support. The political left often gets attacked for claiming to have the correct political translation of Christian values in action and I, to a considerably large degree, can concur that in the current political situation criticism is very warranted. But the political right in the GOP and in my view in conservative third parties, at present, in my view, cannot lay claim to Christian values in their entirety. Many questions are again prudential and need not be dogmaticized — perhaps it is time that we Catholics, particularly those of who choose a specific political avenue or entity, whether it be a party or some other organization, stop trying to box the Church’s teaching into acceptable political language and contrived concepts that derive primarily from secular schools of thought. It is telling when what we call “Catholic social teaching” begins to look conveniently like our party’s platform. Indeed, the Gospel easily transcends all these things.

  • Eric- thanks for your eloquent defense and support- Kevin in Texas- I have been hinting at such a move but I retained my position as vp of florida dems for life until this week- my good friend at the organization- a Catholic- had asked me to take some more time before I made a formal decision- out of respect for this great friend, I decided to wait, pray and see if the Spirit would reveal more- at this point, I really feel that being a non-partisan will be advantageous as a Catholic teacher and in trying to open channels of dialogue working on specific issues rather than risk being written off as a Democratic Party operative or Republican mole inside the Dem party. This decision just feels like a spiritual breath of fresh air- something rare in the political trenches:)

  • Tim,
    Blessings… I too left the party of my youth, however, I came from the opposite side and have landed at Independent as well.
    Eric,
    Wonderful defense.
    Peace

  • Tim,

    Interesting post. It reads to me like you are not rejecting the Democratic party so much as you are rejecting politics per se. I think this is OK; not every Catholic is meant to act in the political sphere. But I do not think such a position can be normative. It is part of the lay vocation to transform our politics from within, and to the extent that you did this as a pro-life Democrat it was a good thing.

    I think generally speaking it is good for Catholics to consider themselves unwedded to any political party. Catholics are wedded to the truth and must understand themselves as Catholics first and then Republicans or Democrats. A Catholic can be a Republican or a Democrat, but they must be a Catholic first.

    Although I’m not thrilled that there is yet another good person giving up on American politics, I am happy to hear that someone is leaving the Democratic party, which in my opinion is virtually unsalvagable. The Democratic party is in principle the party of death.

  • Eric,

    “I find it hard to believe that an authentically Christian society had legal slavery rooted in irrational hate of ethnicity;”

    Slavery had nothing to do with “hate” as we think of it today. It was certainly based in an erroneous view of race, but it was no more hateful in 1788 than it was in 300 B.C. or so when Aristotle was justifying slavery. It was seen as a part of the natural order.

    A lot of the founding fathers, like Thomas Jefferson, struggled with the issue. So, avoid blanket condemnations in the other direction. The northern states abolished slavery right from the beginning. The southern states had “rational” economic reasons for wanting to keep it – but “rational” does not = morally right.

  • The democrat and republican parties are not the same.

    If more people voted for McCain, we’d have a chance overturning Roe v Wade with the nomimation of more good supreme court justices like Roberts and Alito, but no, we get Sotomaer and Kagan.

    Thanks alot 54% Catholics who voted for Obama or Indepedants! Like you really care about the unborn…rightttt.

    A Catholic with a well formed conscience can not in any way vote for the party of death.

  • Zach- I don’t think you are reading me correctly- I’m not giving up on American politics- I am just backing out of the Democratic party since I could not find any traction for pro-life Dems in my geographic area- I tried through offering a viable candidacy and having a presence in the local media and making contact attempts- but it didn’t happen. I decided it was best for me to purify my own end of things and come clean as an Independent who will work with partisans on the various issues of importance- but will be a non-partisan about it. In a way I am following the lead of Archbishop Chaput who was once one who identified more closely with the philosophy of governance represented by the Democratic Party, but because of the emergence of social liberalism and hardcore secularism in the heart of Democratic Party activism- he has chosen the Independent political path- and since I am a Catholic teacher myself, I think it is prudent to stake out non-partisan territory myself- not to avoid the political fight over the important issues of our times, but to be taken more seriously and to be seen as more consistent than those who seem to allow their Party loyalties to determine their political consciences. We’ll see if this decision makes sense over the longer haul- I am a Catholic first- that is my core message in all this.

  • I pray a lot and the Holy Spirit reveals a lot to me.

    When he talks to me, he starts with “Shaw, love humility, live the Gospels, obey the Ten Commandments, and adhere to the teachings of Holy Mother Church handed down from The Apostles and today from the Pope.”

    He revealed to me “Shaw, you can’t be both a democrat and be pro-life.” And, “You won’t be getting into Heaven if you vote democratic.”

    Early in 2008, this Pope gave four non-negotiables. Despicable dems are 180 degrees, and violently (47,000,000 exterminated unborn), opposed to each and every one.

  • I agree with Jasper and I’m ashamed of being a (cradle) Catholic these days, when 54% of them voted for Barack Obama, a pro-abortion and pro-infanticide politician. As a matter of fact, the Democratic Party has become the party where the Culture of Death has taken hold, and I’m glad I abandoned them over 10 years ago.

    Jasper is correct in that with the GOP, at least we got two solid, pro life, conservative Supreme Court Justices, but with Obama, we’re getting rabidly pro-abortion ones. Way to go, my brothers and sisters in the Church. Next time, please use the God-give reason you were born with and LEARN the candidates’ record on abortion!

  • Paul – Pope Benedict doesn’t agree with you

    Pope calls for ethics in world economy

    “Benedict said the search for common good must inform globalization and be the goal of progress and development, which would otherwise merely serve to produce material goods.”

    http://tinyurl.com/29d528y

  • Non-partisan? Transpartisan?

    I think there’s room for a Christian-Democratic political and social presence in the United States, and it can grow if it plays by the populist playbook, particularly the experience of the Non-Partisan League.

    Perhaps you can take the whole matter up with Oscar De Rojas? I have a hunch he has an interesting perspective on this whole thing.

  • Putting one’s faith in a political party will inevitably lead a sincere Catholic to a sense of disillusionment with politics in general. However, as a means to an end, parties may be used as an imprecise apparatus and like an imprecise apparatus they more often than not accomplish the task with less success than we would like.

    I have yet to see a practical way out of the 2 party system we have in the US that does not, as a by-product, result in one party dominance, after the other party fractures it’s base.

  • Dear Mr. Shipe,
    I was very touched by, and sympathized with, your declaration. I would like you to know that a group of citizens are forming a new centrist political party: The Christian Democratic Union of the United States (CDUSA). We are in the process of redesigning our webpage, but please use my address for any additional communication or request for information. We invite you to please advise us and be in touch with us.

    Our basic political philosophy is quite straight-forward: we are “center-left” (i.e., agree with many Democratic party positions) on most economic and political issues, while we are “center-right (i.e., agree with many Republican party positions)on most social and cultural issues. We are, essentially, the OPPOSITE of what libertarians and Tea-Party groups stand for. Indeed, we reject the labels of “liberal” or “conservative”, because these can have different meanings, depending on what standpoint you look from.
    We do hope to hear from you and your friends, and, in the meantime, remain, sincerely yours,
    Oscar de Rojas
    Executive Director
    Christian Democratic Union of the United States

  • “We are, essentially, the OPPOSITE of what libertarians and Tea-Party groups stand for.”

    That’s unfortunate. Are you sure you know what they stand for?

  • we are “center-left” (i.e., agree with many Democratic party positions) on most economic and political issues, while we are “center-right (i.e., agree with many Republican party positions)on most social and cultural issues.

    That sounds agreeable as stated. The difficulty is that ‘center-left’ on economic matters (at this time and in this country) means the continuous multiplication of patron-client relations between politicians and lobbies, in which the politician is a broker who supplies constituency groups with the fruits of the state’s extractive capacity in return for the fruits of the constituencies’ fundraising, labor, and brand-loyalty. You could call it crony capitalism, but the beneficiaries are not merely favored business sectors but also the social work industry and the public sector unions and provincial and municipal politicians. Call it crony capitalism, crony philanthropy, crony syndicalism, and patronage.

    That’s unfortunate. Are you sure you know what they stand for?

    Joe, it is somewhat disconcerting that ‘TEA’ is an acronym for ‘Taxed Enough Already’. The focus should be on the ways in which the public sector might be circumscribed. Once you have come to an understanding of the appropriate boundary of the public sector, the tax rate is implicit. Complaints about taxation per se enhance the stupidity of the political culture. One can address complaints about tax rates by reducing them, but without a willingness to circumscribe the public sector, you just get deficits. The federal government’s statement of income was in far more parlous shape when Mr. Obama took office than was the case when Mr. Reagan took office, so we no longer have the margin for an extended game of let’s pretend.

  • Thank you for the interesting comments.

    What I mean by center-left in the economic area is that we do believe in a necessary and appropriate level of government regulation of the “free market” to avoid situations of abuse such, as for example, the financial disaster that we still have not gotten out of. And, yes, we are for more progressive taxation — meaning taxing the really reach -not the middle class, certainly not the poor- to further the common good.

    The fact that there is so much cronyism, lobbying, corruption etc. in the political system is somehting that we clearly have to tackle with, but hopefully, with a more just society, these things might also become more repugnant and begin to change.

  • Art,

    Give the people a break.

    “The focus should be on the ways in which the public sector might be circumscribed.”

    There is plenty of focus on that. If you don’t know it, you haven’t interacted with the people in the movement.

    “Complaints about taxation per se enhance the stupidity of the political culture.”

    No they don’t. Statements like this just reveal the extent to which you aren’t affected by taxes. You realize that over half of the tea party is made up of one of the most unjustly-taxed brackets of income earners in America, right? We’re talking people who make somewhere between 50 and 100 thousand or so a year. They pay through the nose.

    “One can address complaints about tax rates by reducing them, but without a willingness to circumscribe the public sector, you just get deficits.”

    Why would you assume this willingness isn’t there? It is.

    “The federal government’s statement of income was in far more parlous shape when Mr. Obama took office than was the case when Mr. Reagan took office, so we no longer have the margin for an extended game of let’s pretend.”

    Again, if you don’t think the tea party acknowledges and address this, you’re really quite out of the loop. Fiscal responsibility, dealing with the debt, stopping the spending and related issues are probably more important to it than the tax rates, I would say.

  • And, yes, we are for more progressive taxation — meaning taxing the really reach -not the middle class, certainly not the poor- to further the common good.

    Um, if, by ‘the rich’, you mean a class of rentiers or latent rentiers (along with senior corporation executives), I think you will find on inspection that you are speaking of around 2.5% of the population who corral about 15% of the nation’s personal income.

    If, by the poor, you mean individuals whose wage and private pension income (w/ salaries or proprietor’s income or annuities in some few cases) is below the cost of a basket of staple commodities as calculated by federal statistical agencies, that would be perhaps 20-25% of the population who corral about 4% or so of personal income.

    The ‘middle class’ (salaried employees and small proprietors) corral north of 45% of personal income and the more prosperous wage earners corral the balance of roughly 35%. You are not going to tax any of these people? Do you plan to finance the state with lotteries?

  • My comments were not derived from my personal fiscal situation (which does include considerable tax liability, though that is none of your business).

    Federal and state income tax codes are so rococo that it is simply impossible (with any degree of thoroughness) to say from descriptive statistics which strata are being ‘unjustly taxed’ and which are not.

    I did not name the ‘Tea Party’. I am not sure to whom the moniker is attributable. It does make me anxious, however.

    I am pleased if you can find a generous slice from among the miscellany of people who are protesting who are thinking seriously about the ways in which the public sector can and should be circumscribed. Any movement has quite a mix as regards its degree of sophistication and seriousness.

    I was a witness to the political discourse engaged in by Mr. Reagan and his acolytes during the period running from about 1978 to 1989. It is not a happy precedent and is one I hope the Republic can avoid. In general, it has not been my observation that an understanding of the relative size of the public sector and the distribution of expenditures between various categories thereof is (in schematic outline) well understood even among the quarter or so of the population who follow public affairs. If there are many counter-examples in the Tea Party, that is all to the good.

  • Tim –

    I’ve also thought about a party based on Catholic Social Teaching principles that could go by the name “The Common Good Party” – which has the great benefit of being shortened simply to the Good Party, with a membership of Good People.

    I’m not nearly as politically astute or experienced as you (or Oscar) though, and very much look forward to your thoughts on how practically to develop such a political force.

    If you want/need any help from the Pacific Northwest, do let me know, and I’ll do what I can!

Arizona Strikes Back! Ready to Cut Power to L.A.

Wednesday, May 19, AD 2010

The boycott that Los Angeles is imposing on Arizona has its first victim, the city of Los Angeles itself.

The state of Arizona is about to strike back at L.A. again to defend itself.

A letter written by one of the commissioners of the Arizona Corporate Commission is telling Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to be ready to accept the consequences of his actions:

If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona, it had better get used to reading by candlelight.

Basically Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s bluff has been called.

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29 Responses to Arizona Strikes Back! Ready to Cut Power to L.A.

  • So silly on the part of L.A. and California… a state that one day soon might have to be bailed out by the U.S. government, in part funded by Arizona taxpayers! Frankly the best thing to happen to California is bankruptcy at this point…

    Perhaps if California did not have such outlandish welfare services they would not have severe budget and immigration issues of their own.

  • Man, if only CA would have used those billions of dollars of bond money to gain complete independence from the rest of the nation instead of building huge, inefficient new embryonic stem cell research labs, maybe they wouldn’t be so affected by AZ’s actions.

    As it is, the fact that the silliness has gone as far as it has is worrying.

  • You probably could be right.

    A bankruptcy would be beneficial.

    It would sober up California voters to the fact that the socialist-liberal policies of the past 20 years has been a complete bust.

    And maybe, just maybe, they’ll vote responsible, fiscally conservative politicians into office.

  • When I first read the letter, I thought it was just chest-beating, but now I’m not so sure. I’m sure it would be a last resort, and there would no doubt be serious repercussions, but it is a delight to imagine. For the moment, I think the commissioner is just telling L.A., “Watch it! We can you hurt you!”, and pointing out the city’s hypocrisy in thinking they can start boycott on their terms alone, without any reverse consequenses..

  • Joseph,

    I think you’re right.

    He’s putting L.A. on notice, though the mayor is not balking, so it’ll be interesting how this plays out.

  • It would sober up California voters to the fact that the socialist-liberal policies of the past 20 years has been a complete bust.

    Actually, it’s more of a schizoid situation. We routinely vote in restrictions on new taxes or introduce tax breaks while at the same time voting for expensive projects like high-speed rail.

  • Good for AZ! I read an article the other day too that AZ travelers are canceling plans to destinations that have called for similar ridiculous boycotts, like San Diego. The response? “Oh, its just local politics, please don’t hurt our economy by canceling your plans!”

    What pathetic, whining, sniveling cowards. I hope AZ sticks to every last one of them and makes them pay for the slanders, their race-baiting, their hatred and their ignorance. Teach them humility, Arizona!

  • BTW, Tito, have you seen Archbishop Chaput’s take on the Arizona law?

    http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/3858

    It’s very good, and quite balanced.

  • Meanwhile, in a country where one-in-six workers is unemployed or under-employed, the undertaker-in-chief fetes in the white house a man mainly responsible for stealing millions of American jobs and almost bankrupting hundreds of municipalities.

    Truth IS stranger than fiction.

  • JohnH,

    That was a good article.

    Archbishop Chaput for prelate of America!

  • Boycotts are blunt instruments that hurt the innocent with the guilty. I would not support cutting off existing business with Arizona but I would support boycotting any new business. I hope sports leagues blacklist Arizona. I’d love to see New York’s Arizona iced tea company change its name in protest. I want Arizona to learn that the rest of America stands in solidarity with those who are unjustly discriminated against. I want Arizona to learn that the bishops of Arizona know better than bigots about what’s right and wrong.

  • RR,

    The rest of America?

    Over 60% of American’s agree with Arizona’s illegal immigration law.

  • I still want to know what the “flaw” is.

  • Restrained,

    It will be we who teach you that false claims about bigotry will be met with the contempt and disgust that they deserve.

  • The Los Angeles Dept of Water & Power doesn’t merely buy electricity from AZ, it is a part OWNER of two electrical generating plants there. We are only using what we own – this guy needs to get his facts straight.

    When did Christianity become so xenophobic. Do you think Jesus gave a rat’s behind where someone was born (sorry, no loaves and fishes for you – you were born on the wrong side of a man-made line)

  • What in the world is xenophobic about reguiring Mexicans to obey American immigration laws if they wish to live in America? Is it xenophobic of Mexico to expect that Americans will obey Mexican immigration laws if they wish to live in Mexico?

  • You don’t get it, Don. You see, we’re all racists and we don’t know it yet.

    Thankfully, we have MSNBC to let us know what horrible people we are on the inside.

    What Mexicans (legal and illegal for that matter) really should be angry about is how they’re used as political pawns by American politicians. That might ACTUALLY be sort of racist.

    A nation that cannot defend and protect its own physical integrity ceases to be a nation. Americans are perfectly within their rights to expect their state or federal government to enforce the border, and not use it as a backhanded means to manipulate demographics and election outcomes.

  • No Power is about to be shut off to California. I am not sure why people are cheering this own anyway. Regardless I have to imagine that all sort of things comeinto play here such as the Commerce Clause and the Dormant Commerce cause. I also have to imagine since so much of our power comes from all the over place there is already Fed regulation on this

  • “I am not sure why people are cheering this own anyway.”

    Because it helps illustrate what complete buffoons the LA politicians are for calling for a boycott of the State of Arizona. Politicians, and not just in LA, have gotten used to playing the dirty game of identity politics by appealing to ethnic constituents through empty gestures such as this. Now there is pushback and the solons in LA are squealing about it which is vastly amusing.

  • It’s as if they’re saying, “wait, people are taking us seriously? Our words actually mean something?”

  • Liberals are conflating Christianity with “Ali Baba and the 40,000,000 Thieves.”

    I love and pray for all the cloistered marxists that call yourselves social justice advocates.

    Woe unto him who calls evil good.

    PS: If I believed they would comprehend “Marxist/Leninism”, I’d have used that term insetad of “Ali Baba.”

  • “Because it helps illustrate what complete buffoons the LA politicians are for calling for a boycott of the State of Arizona. Politicians, and not just in LA, have gotten used to playing the dirty game of identity politics by appealing to ethnic constituents through empty gestures such as this. Now there is pushback and the solons in LA are squealing about it which is vastly amusing.”

    I just think escalting this is nonsense especially in these bad economic times. People I think will move on from this issue if given time. We have short attentions spans. Also the fact that it appears that

    People actually think AZ can do this is annoying

    That people seem to think it is proper for State to engage in a war with each other
    (Can Louisiana shut off the pipelines of oil and natural gas if we get bad?)

    That people that are proclaiming themselves Federalist think this is a great idea. I MEAN I AM SEEING PEOPLE ACTUALLY wanting this to happen. Why? Because of what some yahoos on the LA City Council did?

    Personally in these days I would prefer that our military assets in San Diego are able to have the lights on.

    This just seems all counterproductive and gets us no where to solving the problem.

  • I guess again it highlights that cities boycotting AZ is also wrong and gets us nowhere. Only punishes hard working people in AZ including the military in Yuma. Really needs to stop.

  • Yeah, the problem is NOT the pushback from the AZ politicians, but the fact that these city governments around the country are engaging in symbolic boycotts.

    Wanna boycott AZ? Then boycott ALL that comes from AZ, even if it means you have to, you know, ACTUALLY make some sacrifices.

    Seriously, the “escalation” isn’t coming from the AZ politicians defending themselves, it’s coming from the grandstanding a-holes threatening to wreck the AZ economy by fomenting a nationwide boycott of the state.

  • Bingo Phillip. All the people of LA have to do is to have their cretinous leaders swallow some crow and simply state that upon reflection maybe calling for a boycott of Arizona wasn’t such a brilliant idea after all.

  • The point is jh that the WHOLE THING is nonsense. LA calls for a boycott in these harsh times and that isn’t irresponsible? That those “yahoos” on the city council are now having to deal with the consequences of their actions is refreshing. Too many politicians shoot their mouths off without regard for the consequences. It’s time they felt the results of their actions.

  • Is a boycott even constitutional? Maybe yes because of freedom of speech. Maybe no because of the interstate commerce clause. Any opinions?

  • Centinel:
    I think boycotts by individuals are generally first amendment protected, but government acts would have to be evaluated under dormant commerce clause jurisprudence.

  • Government boycotts would fall under the market participation exception to the Dormant Commerce Clause.

Lying to Join The Band of Brothers

Wednesday, May 19, AD 2010

I have never served in combat or been in a warzone for which I thank God.  However, many of my friends are veterans of combat in conflicts stretching from World War II to Iraq.  Such an experience marks them.  They tell me that they have some of their best memories from their time in service, along with some of their worst.  It is a crucible that they have passed through which is hard to completely convey to someone like me who has never gone through it.  Usually they do not speak much of it, although often I have seen a quiet pride when they do speak about it:  a knowledge that they were given a test on their passage through life and made it through, mingled with sadness for their friends who were lost.  They belong to the exclusive club of those called upon to put their lives on the line for the rest of us.  They are entitled to respect for their service, whether they are given that respect by the rest of us or not.

Therefore I take a very dim view of anyone who seeks entry into their ranks under false pretences.  The New York Times has revealed that Richard Blumenthal, Democrat Attorney General of Connecticut and candidate for the Democrat nomination for the US Senate is one such person:

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

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22 Responses to Lying to Join The Band of Brothers

  • What’s the difference between a couple of attention-seeking hard lefties like Richard Blumenthal and Jane Fonda?

    Jane Fonda actually went to Vietnam.

  • Lying is dishonorable. As is adultery. Over and over we have evidence that there is one aspect of human frailty both the Left and the Right share in equal measure. Sin.

    I would have more respect for a person who opposed the war on moral or ethical principles and accepted the consequences of that. But American politics is certainly not poverty-stricken for examples of individuals who dodged overseas military service, either legally, financially, or otherwise. The previous two presidents, and three of the last four, certainly.

    I will note that the first President Bush served with honor. The man didn’t need to make a big thing of it in his political life.

  • What? Isn’t Blumenthal sufficiently liberal for the NYT?

    Mr. Blumenstein misspoke. He meant to say, he did not spit on any Vietnam veteran as did Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmeh Carter (pardoned draft dodgers), and every VC sympathizer-Obama appointee of that age.

  • The previous two presidents, and three of the last four, certainly.

    About 1.9 million men were posted to Indo-China during the period running from 1965 to 1973. There were some 18 million men born during the years running from 1943 through 1952. Roughly 30% of the military of that era were vocational soldiers (e.g. John McCain). The probability of a randomly selected individual from those age cohorts serving in VietNam as a consequence of conscription or an enlistment for a discrete term was about one-tenth.

    As we speak, about 70% of the Armed Forces are stationed in the United States. That proportion has varied over the years, but at no time since 1945 have the majority of American servicemen been stationed ‘overseas’.

    There is no documentary evidence and there are no disinterested witnesses who can cast apersions on the military service of George W. Bush, which is why Mary Mapes was scamming around with forgeries.

  • I have not a clue why you are casting aspersions on Ronald Reagan’s service either. Except that that’s what you do.

  • Well … Ronald Reagan served stateside. So did my dad. He admitted he was fortunate not to draw overseas duty as his younger brother did. Mr Reagan was not beyond padding his military record in casual conversation. But I have no problem with an actor making military films stateside. He was about my dad’s age, and my father (as he reports it) was considered too old to be a first choice for overseas duty.

    But I see: you objected to my used of the verb, to dodge, because it is used in connection with those who illegally avoided military service.

    Mr Shaw, aside from your need to learn to spell, do you have proof of spitting, or are you just engaging in a blumenthalism here?

  • Ronald Reagan had an older brother; no younger brother. I object to the use of the term ‘dodge’ because you were insinuating a scheme on the part of the two men in question, and there was no scheme. George W. Bush, Patrick J. Buchanan, Hubert Humphrey, Dan Quayle, and Richard Cheney all had the disagreeable experience of being smeared over their service record. Their service records were perfectly in order (if unimpressive) and they availed themselves of no privileges that were not available to tens-of-millions of other similarly situated.

    I do not think you would have to look very far in the press corps to find folk employed therein who were happy to overlook genuinely hinky service records (e.g. B. Clinton’s) or impugn the motives of Mekong Delta veterans fed up with John Kerry. The whole discourse is disgusting.

  • I spent my “combat time” fighting the report shuffle wars and the battle of PowerPoint, or in pulling long watches “just in case” the order was given and the birds of death were to fly.

    I use terms like “served during” not “served in” although technically I “could” say “in” I was never during “active combat operations” in harms’ way. The standing guard on the Southern Watch, a little different. But that, like being in Korea, was a “cease fire” not combat actions.

    Had Mr. Blumenthal been “honest” he too would have used “served during” not “served in.”

    I had a supervisor that was stationed in the Philippines that was not “credited” for serving in Viet Nam, although she spent 3 days out of every 10 there (medical tech on Air Evacuation missions) and was under fire many times.

    She had EVERY RIGHT to say “served in Viet Nam” but didn’t because her base of assignment was NOT in Viet Nam.

    A couple points that the author got correct. We that served, DO CONSIDER IT AN HONOR. As well as many of the real heroes, did not make it home intact, and that is a burden that we carry. What we do, like Pvt. Ryan in the movie “Band of Brothers,” hope we live our remaining lives to bring honor and respect to those we served with.

  • Art, you’re not reading accurately, and I didn’t express myself accurately. My father indeed had a younger brother. Two, in fact; the other served with him stateside during WWII.

    Your point seems biased in your last post. Politicians of both left and right have served with honor, both as combat veterans and otherwise. Some of them, as I said, “dodged” dangerous service either by dodgy means or, as my older brother did, by serving before the Vietnam years.

    It is also true that politicians of both the right and left have attacked the service records of their opponents. Please don’t try to excuse Karl Rove and others of his ilk in the GOP. Republicans have not hesitated to malign the service records of Dems when it suited their purpose.

    I may be a pacifist, but I can respect the prudential judgments made by those who believe military service is honorable. What is less than honorable is to sin against truth by telling as it is not: and I would place my condemnation equally against a person who shares my ideology and those who do not.

    Mr Blumenthal is wrong for giving a false impression. Mr Reagan’s sin struck me as more of a kindly guy making embellishment for the sake of telling a story. His record wasn’t a key point in his political campaigning.

  • Todd,
    I acknowledge that your assertion that Reagan padded his military record may not constitute the sin of detraction since it does seem germane to the discussion. Whether it constitutes the sin of defamation cannot be so easily dismissed. It seems only appropriate that you provide some evidence to back up such an assertion. If you claim that you cannot because such instances occured only in casual conversations, please do explain how you know so much about such casual conversations. Thanks.

  • Let go of my leg. You made use of the term ‘dodge’ to impugn the character of two politicians who did not merit it.

    I made no partisan points, Todd. I remembered the names of several public figures who have been sliced up by their opponents (Humphrey) or by the press (Quayle) or by the combox chatterati (Cheney). If you can think of three additional Democrats who have received this treatment to balance the roster to your satisfaction, that is fine with me.

    Bill Clinton welshed on his ROTC service obligations. If acknowledgement of that bothers you, tough.

    You have repeatedly made a point of chuffering about the military service of Ronald Reagan, who hardly spoke of it.

    Mr. Rove is not responsible for John Kerry’s troubles. Kerry’s detractors are other Navy veterans who served in the Mekong Delta ca. 1970, one of whom has been a public nemesis of Kerry since Karl Rove was an undergraduate. Assessing Kerry’s service record is a more complex task because it involves granular knowledge of naval operations; memories decades after the fact; the degree to which a facially fine service record is blemished by the disdain of one’s peers, manifest tall tales, gamesmanship, and one’s troublesome public career after discharge. It really does not belong in a discussion of these other cases.

  • Here is a good overview of Reagan’s military service.

    http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/reference/military.html

    I find it significant that Reagan held a reserve commission in the Army well before World War II, and apparently obtained it purely on his own initiative after he graduated from college. His eyesight prevented him from serving overseas, and he made films for the Army which was his assigned duty. As far as I know, he never claimed otherwise. Reagan of course clearly understood who the real heroes of the War were:

  • The spitting (and bags of crap) happened all the time.

    And, the anti-war demonstrations were not about pacifism. They were about the communists winning the war in which my buddies were fighting and dying; and about weed and sex.

    I was in the USAF from 1972 to 1976. I served with SAC (B-52’s/nukes) in California and with USAFE in West Germany.

    Re: Kerry. If the USMC (part of the Navy) in Vietnam applied the same three purple heart that Kerry used, no marine would have been in country more than three weeks. In the Army, you never got a purple heart unless you were med-evacked/hospitalized.

  • My apologies. The story that came to mind was that Mr Reagan recounted a movie plot as an actual story of heroism at some veterans’ event in 1983. I do recollect the famous account he gave of losing a football feed as a radio announcer and having to “invent” a game for the audience.

    The point is that fibbing like this is more akin to telling tall tales. Some of us wouldn’t do it. A few of us would. Personally, I don’t think Mr Reagan’s exaggerations are terribly harmful. And it was because of his nearsightedness that he was declined for overseas duty. He worked as an active duty officer making films in Hollywood for much of the period 1942-45.

    I think we’re all in agreement that Mr Blumenthal’s exaggerations are dishonorable. I think we can also agree that a person’s military service or lack of it is often a target, and often unfair. Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland strikes me as a guy who got a raw deal from the GOP. Senator McCain (among other Republicans) thought the dirty politics of Senator Chambliss “worse than disgraceful, it’s reprehensible.”

    As for Mr Kerry, my recollection is that he told his own campaign that Bush’s service record was not going to be part of his political strategy. Officers who did attack the senator during the campaign, if indeed one, as you report, Art, did have more of a personal vendetta against the man, seems to line up as well in the category of dishonor.

    These men were serving in their twenties, for the most part. Young men. Placed in extremely difficult circumstances. With their own flaws and immaturity.

    In judging a person of 40, 50, or older, I’m disinclined to criticize the events of young adulthood. Mature citizens, even the Kerry slowboaters, should be also. Even so, the president should have clamped down on that from the start. Letting out-of-control guys with personal issues get off leash is an indicator of his own lack of leadership. Or his approval.

    The fact is that the Right has no moral high road on this. Today Mr Blumenthal. Tomorrow somebody else.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Todd, but I’m not satisfied. I’ll let others decide whether the episode described below is comparable to “padding his military record” or even “inventing a game”, let alone whether the mysteriously plural “exaggerations” that are “not very harmful” isn’t just rich.

    “One of Reagan’s responsibilities was to give accounts of Chicago Cubs baseball games via telegraph. During one game between the Cubs and their arch rivals the St. Louis Cardinals that was tied 0-0 in the 9th inning, the telegraph went dead: An often repeated tale of Reagan’s radio days recounts how he delivered “play-by-play broadcasts” of Chicago Cubs baseball games he had never seen. His flawless recitations were based solely on telegraph accounts of games in progress. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/40_reagan/reagan_early.html

    “Once in 1934, during the ninth inning of a Cubs – St. Louis Cardinals game, the wire went dead. Reagan smoothly improvised a fictional play-by-play (in which hitters on both teams gained a superhuman ability to foul off pitches) until the wire was restored. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan

    “Reagan says: “There were several other stations broadcasting that game and I knew I’d lose my audience if I told them we’d lost our telegraph connections so I took a chance. I had (Billy) Jurges hit another foul. Then I had him foul one that only missed being a homerun by a foot. I had him foul one back in the stands and took up some time describing the two lads that got in a fight over the ball. I kept on having him foul balls until I was setting a record for a ballplayer hitting successive foul balls and I was getting more than a little scared. Just then my operator started typing. When he passed me the paper I started to giggle – it said: ‘Jurges popped out on the first ball pitched.’” http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article3120.html

  • “My apologies.”

    Of course you’re not satisfied, Mike. Enjoy the day.

  • Polls showing Dodd’s seat just went from a safe Democratic seat to a tossup. And the story is only two days old. Gotta love the NY Times.

  • Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland strikes me as a guy who got a raw deal from the GOP.

    The political mythology machine just runs on and on. Here’s the bloody ad attacking Max Cleland’s Senate votes.

    As for Mr Kerry, my recollection is that he told his own campaign that Bush’s service record was not going to be part of his political strategy.

    1. There was nothing to attack;

    2. His political strategy was expressed in using his boat mates as campaign props.

    Officers who did attack the senator during the campaign, if indeed one, as you report, Art, did have more of a personal vendetta against the man, seems to line up as well in the category of dishonor.

    No, it does not. It is only dishonorable if they self-consciously manufactured a false narrative. It is a matter of record that Kerry had been dining off his military service for more than 30 years; that he was awarded a Purple Heart for an injury to his rear end that left him in the hospital for thirty six hours, a Purple Heart for a superficial injury that required no inpatient care, and a Maj. Frank Burns style Purple Heart for a trivial injury that may have been inadvertantly self-inflicted; that he had made repeated incredible claims to having been sent on intelligence missions to Cambodia; that he also claimed to have been an ear-witness to military operations involving the Khmer Rouges at a time what the Khmer Rouges were a trivial force operating hundreds of miles away from the Mekong Delta; that he claimed to have listened to a mendacious speech by his commander-in-chief concerning American incursions into Cambodia when no such incursion were undertaken until a year after he had been shipped home….

  • Some really good points and words by Art Deco, DRM and T. Shaw.
    For my part, I served twenty years between two services (Navy and Army). While I have ventured into harm’s way no less than four times, to include deployment to Operation Desert Shield/Storm, I cannot say with a straight face that I am a combat veteran. For most of my career in the Army, I was authorized to wear a “combat patch” (wearing on your right shoulder the shoulder insignia of the unit with which you deployed to a combat zone for 30+ days). But even the patch that I wore gave evidence that I was a card-carrying rear-echelon puke.
    I am trying to paint the picture that I had long service and some (very little) fairly risky service. That said, I would never intimate that I am a veteran of close-quarters combat. When anyone asks if I have ever killed an enemy, I say “Praise God, I have never had the opportunity!”

    Mr. Blumenthal sought and received five deferrments, then managed to wrangle an assignment to the USMCR to avoid any remaining risk of deployment to Vietnam. It was his right to do all of these things. Unless further examination of the facts were to indicate that he behaved in similar fashion to Slick Willie Clinton, you can call him a coward if you want to, but cowardice is not illegal.

    But he seems to present a pattern of attempting to associate himself with those who served on active duty during, or even fought, that war. This is not accidental. A lawyer who has risen to the position of a State AG (necessitating proficiency in both the written and spoken word) cannot then claim to be unaware of the effects of his carefully chosen words upon his listeners.

    So let me state, with absolute disgust toward the Con (yes, I think that’s the best way to spell it in this case) AG, that his conduct here and now, not forty years ago, demeans any military service he might have rendered.

    Given then opportunity, I would spit in his face in any airport, anytime.

  • “In judging a person of 40, 50, or older, I’m disinclined to criticize the events of young adulthood.”

    Todd, really? So explain your back-stab at GWB again…

    “Even so, the president should have clamped down on that from the start.”

    Sorry, but McCain-Feingold created the runaway special purpose group phenomenon. So the mechanism of direct control was simply not there. Bush distanced himself from the swift-boaters, who were not saying their piece on his behalf.
    Oh, and then there’s this almost extinct, clearly arcane Constitutional notion of freedom of political speech.

    “Letting out-of-control guys with personal issues get off leash is an indicator of his own lack of leadership. Or his approval.”

    Personal issues? Try Winter Soldier on for size- that was your boy Kerry’s baby. He testified to it before Congress by way of launching his political career. It was all lies.
    As for approval, do you believe that some level of veracity is to be expected of elected officials? If so, you should approve of flashlights focused on their paths. Shine the light on everything. Let the voters decide what is damning and what is not.

  • AD,
    Thanks for reminding everyone what a masterful job the Dems did at manipulating the public’s memory of that ad. By repeatedly accusing the rather unremarkable ad as questioning Cleland’s patriotism, they managed to manufacture a myth. Truly masterful.

  • Todd,
    Your apology was diminished by your subsequent dissembling. What exactly were the “exaggerations” that you were referring to? Of the two examples you seem to rely on the first seems more a case of harmless confusion and the second was at most a harmless fib; neither was an exaggeration.

Political Miscellania 5/12/10

Wednesday, May 12, AD 2010

A wrap-up of various items of political interest.

1.  The video that heads this post is one of the reasons why my vote for McCain in 2008 was a two handed vote, with one hand holding my nose.  McCain has long been an ardent supporter of amnesty and open borders.  Now that he is in a tough primary race with J.D. Hayworth, he is a born again believer in locking down the border against illegal aliens.  I certainly favor in making it tougher for illegals to get across the border, but I do not favor politicians who embrace positions simply to save their political skin.  I hope that the voters in Arizona will finally bring McCain’s political career to a screeching halt  by voting for his opponent in the primary.

2.  It looks like Hawaii will soon have a new Republican Congressman.  The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of Hawaii 1 and basically conceding that Republican Charles Djou will win the special election on May 22. The Democrats have two candidates running who are splitting the vote and thus allowing the Republicans to take a Congressional seat that has been in Democrat hands for two decades.

3.  The tea party movement claimed another scalp by causing the defeat of Republican Senator Bob Bennett at the Utah Gop Convention in his attempt to get the Republican nomination for a fourth term in the Senate. This should be a warning for all politicians:  this year is different, no re-nomination or re-election can be taken for granted.

4.  Faithful readers of this blog will know that I have quite a bit of respect for blogger Mickey Kaus who is taking on Senator Barbara Boxer in the Democrat primary in California.   Shockingly last week the LA Times refused to endorse Boxer:

On the Democratic side, we find that we’re no fans of incumbent Barbara Boxer. She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could. We appreciate the challenge brought by Robert “Mickey” Kaus, even though he’s not a realistic contender, because he asks pertinent questions about Boxer’s “lockstep liberalism” on labor, immigration and other matters. But we can’t endorse him, because he gives no indication that he would step up to the job and away from his Democratic-gadfly persona.

To have the LA Times refuse to endorse Boxer is a strong indication of just how weak she is this election year.  She is probably strong enough to defeat Kaus (sorry Mickey!) in the primary, but there is blood in the water for the general election.

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5 Responses to Political Miscellania 5/12/10

  • Bob Bennett is a bit of an outlier. The Utah Republican party is becoming VERY VERY conservative, and there was an organized effort to push him out because of TARP and his Appropriations Committee role. It began two years ago when Jason Chaffetz beat Chris Cannon for his Congressional seat. While there may be a grassroots movement to “throw the bums out” Utah’s movement has been going on a bit longer.

  • Newsweek was put up for sale by the Washington Post last week. Last year the news magazine adopted a strategy of serving as an opinion journal of the Left. The decision has proven a disaster in the marketplace, although to be fair Newsweek has been losing money for quite a while.

    And a strange decision it was. The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker are about the only publications directed at that sort of audience which have been aught but philanthropic concerns during the lifetime of Newsweek‘s current editor, and the latter two are leavened with considerable reportage and fiction and offer little straightforward commentary. Comparing Newsweek to The New Republic also demonstrates that their is an art to producing an opinion magazine that not every collecting pool of journalists has; there would not be much point in a patron like Arthur Carter or Mortimer Zuckerman employing this crew.

  • The Hawaii election is very special to me.

    Having been raised the majority of my life in the Aloha State, we have never had a Republican elected to Honolulu’s 1st congressional district.

    Inouye’s “pre-selected” appointee, Hanabasu, is power hungry and feels entitled to that position held by the granola-eating Abercrombie.

    Case also feels a sense of entitlement, but then again, many Punahou School grads feel they are entitled to many things in life (Case is AOL founder Steve Case’s cousin; Punahou is the elite private school that silver spooned Obama attended as well).

    GOP Djou needs all the support he can get to rip that seat from the most powerful Democratic machine in the nation!

  • Re: #3… Here in WA, the state GOP (executive board) is looking at automatically endorsing whomever the GOP incumbent may be, even in the presence of a stronger, more conservative challenger… even if the PCO’s overwhelming support the challenger. It will be up to the voters both in the primary and the caucuses to decapitate weak incumbents.

  • McCain has proven he works for the people that voted him to office. The media would say this is flip flopping, I would say, any politician that thought one thing and turned around when hearing what his constituents believed, is exactly what govt is about. As for JD, well that is a long story that should not even be an issue. JD is as bad as they come…JD cannot find an endorsement, I am sure he will start paying people to say they like him! JD leaves us with many great memories, whether it be Abramoff, losing his seat to a democrat, ethical issues, issues about his lack of intelligence, being a huge blowhard, being a huge boozer, being a continuous egomaniac who does not have the experience needed to succeed in Washington (and he has already proven that to us!) I had decided JD was far too inexperienced, immature, egotistical and unethical to vote for him. McCain is the third most fiscally conservative member in Senate and that along with his integrity, we have a solid Senator.

It's Just Legislation

Tuesday, September 22, AD 2009

Having a number of fairly liberal friends and acquaintances, it struck me recently how many blog posts and facebook updates I’d seen lately that began, “I was just watching one of the anti-health-reform protests and I’m just so angry right now.”

I get that many on the progressive side are very, very excited about whichever of the major proposals in the congress at this point ends up being the chosen one by Obama (despite the fact that none of them actually get that close to being what progressives have wanted in regards to health care reform for all these years), if only because they’re very excited to see Obama succeed at whatever he tries. But it strikes me that there’s a difference in how people think about the state and about legislation at play here as well. Thinking back, I can’t recall any example of a piece of legislation on any topic that I was so excited about that it made me angry to see people out protesting against it. Sure, there have been a few things that I’ve strongly supported (like the marriage amendment ballot initiative in California; the national partial birth abortion ban, etc.) or strongly opposed. But there’s nothing I found myself so worked up about that I felt it necessary to watch the protests for or against and then get furious that there were opponents out there — whether their sentiments were fair and honest or not.

My thinking would tend to be, “Hey, it’s just legislation. We win or we lose.” But then, that springs from a basic assumption that things will not change very much from the status quo, that the government will work no miracles for us or against us, and that on a day to day basis the government basically is and should be invisible to us. That seems to be a set of assumptions which many on the more progressive side of the political realm do not share.

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21 Responses to It's Just Legislation

  • That struck me at first too. I think on reflection, though, that the reasons it is upsetting are fairly clear:

    1) Liberals had/have very high hopes for Obama; and they’ve had to wait 15 years for someone to try health care reform again after the HillaryCare debacle.

    2) If health care reform fails, it will be damaging for him and for the political party they support.

    3) In addition to wanting Democrats to succeed, they (like everyone else) think the U.S. health care system is in desperate need of reform, and believe that this particular legislation is the best way to fix it.

    4) Much of the criticism of the legislation – as with the opposition to any legislation – is based on fear-mongering and distortions.

    Put all these together, and it seems like the good Democrats are trying to do a good thing for the country, but the evil Republicans working for evil purposes are harming the country by lying to it. If I shared a few more of those premises, I’d be upset also.

  • JH,
    is based on fear-mongering and distortions.

    or is it based on reasonable expectations of what government bureaucrats will do based on observation and deduction?

    I think the point being made here is very interesting. I feel disdain the gay activists, tree-huggers and animal rights activists, but not anything approaching anger (except when they go beyond protesting to terrorism). I am angry at private business who take MY MONEY and spend it on liberal causes, or when the government does it, but if people want to invest their own time and money into such nonsense, let it be.

  • Speaking from the progressive side, I can’t say I’m very excited or angry at the current situation. However, the snippet above struck me:

    ” … on a day to day basis the government basically is and should be invisible to us …”

    … as being very much akin to the attitude of bullies, or worse, criminals. “Don’t watch us too closely,” accompanied by an Eddie Haskell grin.

    My concern is that when government (aka the law) looks the other way, the rich and powerful have free reign to do as they wish. The small government meme is pretty much a non-starter for Republicans. They actually like Big Gov when it keeps the gravy running to the corporate train station. The main thing I’m looking for (and don’t expect to see it from the Dems) is an end to corporate lawlessness.

  • … as being very much akin to the attitude of bullies, or worse, criminals. “Don’t watch us too closely,” accompanied by an Eddie Haskell grin.

    Todd, the key phrase was ‘on a day to day basis’. Now, on a day to day basis, you are more than likely (in a metropolitan area) to catch sight of postmen, cops, firemen, street cleaners, garbage collectors, ploughmen, men in manholes, or city parks and forestry employees. It is rather excessively literal-minded to infer that these folk are those to which he was referring. None of the foregoing are going to protect you from Citibank or Texaco, by the way..

    My concern is that when government (aka the law) looks the other way, the rich and powerful have free reign to do as they wish. The small government meme is pretty much a non-starter for Republicans. They actually like Big Gov when it keeps the gravy running to the corporate train station.

    Barney Frank and Robert Rubin are Democrats.

  • I think the invisibility of government concept is more akin to a good referee. While keeping the game fair and within the rules, you shouldn’t really notice he’s there. In other words, he shouldn’t become a deciding factor in the game.

  • … as being very much akin to the attitude of bullies, or worse, criminals. “Don’t watch us too closely,” accompanied by an Eddie Haskell grin.

    My concern is that when government (aka the law) looks the other way, the rich and powerful have free reign to do as they wish.

    See, I guess my thought is: the government is pretty much run by the rich and the powerful, so when we go in the direction of letting the government run more things, it’s unlikely to result in the rich and the powerful being reigned in very much. Sure, they may take out a few of their own who cross the lines, but overall the government will look out for those that run it. And the fact that we can vote doesn’t change the fact there’s an aristocracy of sorts that actually ends up holding office and running things — whichever party wins out.

    So I have very little expectation that a larger government will serve to reign in the excesses of large companies. Big business and big government get along too well. But government is very, very good at making life hard for ordinary people and especially small businesses. Trying to start and run a small side-business is an incredible education into how difficult and intrusive government can be in ways that do very little to increase the safety of the “little guy”.

    Rather than relying on one party or the other to magically change that dynamic, I’d rather the government keep its brief as small as possible.

  • it seems to me that “small government” can actually be effective at keeping big business from illegal behavior. I’ll take a state or county prosecutor who must go to his constituents for re-election over an appointed federal prosecutor who serves at the whim of political interests in Washington.

  • Agreed, Matt. I wouldn’t see the “small government” approach as meaning “big companies get away with whatever they want” so much as:

    – Get rid of all subsidies.
    – A simple tax code and tarrif code (or ideally, simply free trade — real free trade, not 200 page “free trade” agreements)
    – A clear and fairly simple law code
    – Rigorous enforcement of that code

    I’d tend to see that as, in the end, being much more able to protect the “little guy” than a faith that a subsidy here, a tax break here, an extra tax there, and lots of regulators running around all over will somehow result in an optimal result — when the only people who can hire enough lawyers and consultants to understand it all at that point are the largest entities.

    But then, that’s what makes me fairly conservative…

  • “- Get rid of all subsidies.
    – A simple tax code and tarrif code (or ideally, simply free trade — real free trade, not 200 page “free trade” agreements)
    – A clear and fairly simple law code
    – Rigorous enforcement of that code”

    A nice list. Too bad American conservatives, as a whole, and especially Republicans, don’t believe in any of this. It’s really a matter of favoritism, and it happens both federally and locally.

    It gets back to the point about “just legislation.” It would be nice to see it. I share the skepticism that major party politics are in favor of any sort of change, be it abortion legislation, insurance reform, or whatnot.

  • Be I not mistaken, but I believe that reports are that Wall Street donates more to the Democratic Party than to the Republican.

    This echoes George Steinbrenner explanation of why he donated to the Dems: “They’re better for business”.

  • Gabriel,

    I believe that is true. One big contributor to the Dems was Bernie Maddoff:

    http://spectator.org/archives/2009/01/05/de-funder-of-the-left

  • See, I guess my thought is: the government is pretty much run by the rich and the powerful,

    Some years ago, I read an essay by a political scientist deconstructing a book by Ralph Nader, Who Runs Congress. The conclusion of said academic: “Congress runs Congress”, just in ways Mr. Nader does not like.

    I think you will find if you research matters that the generically wealthy are not notably influential, except perhaps in fairly restricted spheres. Institutions and organized constituencies have influence, and they are motivated to acquire it in part because of extant state intervention in their sectors. That would be the casino banks, to be sure, but also the United Auto Workers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Association of Retired Persons, and (on the local level) the real estate business. The shnooks that run Citigroup are big rich; the remainder are not.

    I also suspect that you will discover that much of the trouble you have with commercial law and regulation is the result of accretion, inattention, and incompetence. With reference to another of our threads, legislators who cannot be bothered to come up with intelligent alternatives to ‘three-strikes’ laws (a simple problem) likely are unwilling to put the effort into a more intricate exercise of scraping the barnacles off the federal or state commercial code (as amended by regulation and case law). I had an instructor many years ago much enamored of public choice theory who maintained that William Proxmire was nearly alone in Congress in concerning himself with the actual implementation of policy by federal agencies, the rest of them figuring there was nothing in it for them.

    A nice list. Too bad American conservatives, as a whole, and especially Republicans, don’t believe in any of this. It’s really a matter of favoritism, and it happens both federally and locally.

    Todd, I think you will look in vain for literature in economics journals or in opinion magazines making the case for business subsidies. You might find it in the business press, but not elsewhere. As for legislators, politicians are politicians. They commonly, though not universally, fellate constituency groups. The notion that this is a peculiarly partisan phenomenon cannot be taken seriously. Ask yourself who stood athwart history yelling STOP! to efforts to reform the accounting and improve the capitalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or who has been among those impeding debt-for-equity swaps to recapitalize the megabanks. His name is Barney Frank and he runs the House Banking Committee.

  • Art Deco,

    Good point. A more precise formulation would be that influence is predominatly had by those who have a strong interest in the outcome and who have the time to make their wishes heard. Doubly so if they contol either money or large numbers of votes — or better yet, both.

    This certainly means that anyone who is rich or powerful can get a good hearing if they want to, but unions and interest groups also get a lot of play. Though in a sense, I’d argue that ability pretty much defines you as “powerfu” even if not “rich”.

    I guess what it seems to me is that since our government has its finger in so many pies, legislators really have very little time to investigate any given topic, so they tend to listen to whoever is willing to sit down with them and explain to them how things ought to be — especially if its also someone who supports them with votes or money.

  • Art, I’m not sure exactly for what you’re making your case. I think I’ve already stated my opinion that politicians being owned is non-partisan, generally speaking.

    Getting back to DC’s original point, it’s largely why my spectatorship of the current political cycle is without excitement or anger. I confess that when corporations get nervous about legislation, that’s usually a good marker. There’s also the entertainment value to see so-called “values” conservatives wring their hands, and get caught up in a degree of hypocrisy. That’s pretty much the most I can wring out of current events. What about y’all?

  • Well, Todd, I am occasionally reminded that politicians are not the only poseurs in this world.

  • I confess that when corporations get nervous about legislation, that’s usually a good marker.

    I’m not sure why seeing a particular group of corporations “nervous” about legislation would necessarily be a good thing. Corporations survive and thrive via a Smithian self-interest — that is, a self interest which is only fulfilled through fulfilling the self interest of others. It’s possible this alleged nervousness would indicate that, in the case of health care reform, insurance companies are in danger of making lower profits. But then, as I wrote about a while ago, insurance companies are not really making profits which are all that high in the first place. If they’re concerned that their revenues will be going down rather than their profit margins, that would almost certainly be an indication that people would be getting less health care overall — as would, for instance, be the case with getting rid of the MediCare Advantage program, as the Administration wants to do.

    Now, some would clearly consider that to be a good thing. The administration is obviously convinced that the “extra” benefits people are getting through MediCare Advantage are not actually of great benefit to the seniors getting them (or else are things they can afford to pay for on their own) but clearly it’s stuff that the seniors themselves are rather attached to. And so in the end, it’s they who are rather more nervous than the corporation.

    There’s also the entertainment value to see so-called “values” conservatives wring their hands, and get caught up in a degree of hypocrisy.

    I’m not really clear here the hypocrisy comes in. “Values voters” who are conservative don’t generally trust the government to do things well, and they particularly don’t trust politicians who are big fans of abortion and euthanasia, so I’m not really sure why it’s inconsistent of them not to trust the party of abortion and euthanasia to reform the health care industry in a way that would in any way be good for the population.

  • “I’m not sure why seeing a particular group of corporations “nervous” about legislation would necessarily be a good thing.”

    It’s an anti-narcissism thing. Corporations often have interests at odds from the good of society.

    “I’m not really clear here the hypocrisy comes in.”

    Neither major political party is sufficiently pro-life, assuming one includes issues like torture in one’s firmament of conception to natural death.

  • Corporations often have interests at odds from the good of society.

    And yet corporations only succeed in existing by providing some sizeable number of people with something that they want or need. Indeed, one could well argue that they are much more directly at the mercy of the people’s will than government is.

    Neither major political party is sufficiently pro-life, assuming one includes issues like torture in one’s firmament of conception to natural death.

    Given that Obama has made virtually no changes on “issues like torture” from the status quo of Bush’s second term, I’m not clear how this is decisive, much less relevant to the health care debate.

  • I find this discussion very interesting. I think we are all in some kind of a fog, caught between the Republican’ts and the Demoncrats. Is there really a difference? I know Republican’ts are pro-Life, right? I don’t believe that. I think they pay life lip-service. I am not saying ALL R or ALL D are that way, I am talking about the party in general.

    This is not Right vs. Left, this is a hallucination. It is Right vs. Wrong and both of them are often wrong. The fact is that all American’s should be conservative and none should be Republican or Democrat in their current incarnations. Why? Because the founding of this nation is inherently conservative, despite the fact that the founders can be described as liberals (in the classical form). This is true because the Constitution is supposed to be the Supreme Law of the land and it has respect for The Supreme Law’s of God (this is good even for secular humanists because they can only survive in a nation based on Christian law). We all should want to CONSERVE the Constitution and run government within those CONSERVATIVE parameters. Of course this means most of the actions of government for the last 100 years for BOTH parties would be illicit. This is true because neither party is conservative although the elephants have brief moments of clarity and then slip back into their old habits of being Democrats from 40 years ago.

    If, in fact, we were all Constitutionally conservative, then we can all make the statement that it is ‘just a piece of legislation’, which would do something within the enumerated parameters of the Constitution. We can then trust that the delegates would only be able to exercise their limited authority on issues that would be virtually invisible to all of us because our state an commonwealth laws would be more relevant, declaration of war excluded. If Congress set the weight of our money and the immoral, usurious, so-called Federal Reserve cartel didn’t exist then funding for BIG government would be severely curtailed and conservative thrift would rule, which facilitates a more moral rule. The Constitution is designed to create a free-trade zone within the borders of the USA, ensure republican government, set standards of weight, money, etc. and settle disputes that may arise between the states (preferably without invading any of them). Those would be ‘just pieces of legislation’ and they would also be more likely to be Just.

    A Constitutional Republic with sound money and a Christian-moral base would not be the welfare/warfare giant it is today. The truly poor would be raised up, instead of kept as an excuse for larger welfare departments while they are socially engineered to be slaves. The corpratist interests would have to be effective in order to survive in a competitive environment; rather than securing welfare for the corporations from the government largesse and controlling the government in a sick, incestuous relationship. Wars would need to actually be just and when war is declared it would be expedient and necessary to win and win quickly with superior numbers to reduce damage, cost and loss of lives.

    The constant bickering between so-called liberals/progressives and so-called conservatives is only about the methods and intent of the pre-determined outcome which is simply MORE government. And we are all happy with it when it is AGREEING with us and ANGRY when it isn’t. The truth is it isn’t good either way in its current form and seeks only to make us the DIVIDED states of America. We all need to reach back to our authentic CONSERVATIVE roots and return this country to the place she belongs. Bastion and beacon of human liberty so men are free to seek salvation or perdition.

  • DarwinCatholic writes Tuesday, September 22, 2009 A.D.
    “My concern is that when government (aka the law) looks the other way, the rich and powerful have free rein to do as they wish.
    See, I guess my thought is: the government is pretty much run by the rich and the powerful, so when we go in the direction of letting the government run more things, it’s unlikely to result in the rich and the powerful being reigned in very much. Sure, they may take out a few of their own who cross the lines, but overall the government will look out for those that run it. And the fact that we can vote doesn’t change the fact there’s an aristocracy of sorts that actually ends up holding office and running things — whichever party wins out”.

    The subject was thoroughly and repeatedly discussed by GKC. He referred to the plutocrats, a group that came to have the power in England in the early 19th Century. It is pretty much the same in the U.S. today.

    I note simply in passing that corporations [actually executives, who run the corporations despite the stockholders and their “representatives”, the board of directors] are not particularly the villains. They are part and parcelof the U.S. polity.

  • The problem we are discussing is exactly what the genius of the Founding Fathers was seeking to prevent.

    By expanding government well beyond the Constitutional parameters and delegating power that the Constitution forbids to be delegated – control of the money supply – to a private corporation, we have distorted what American government is supposed to be.

    We have created a powerful monster that is a highly desirous prize to secure power and wealth and lord it over everyone else. A small cabal of unscrupulous and arrogant individuals now have the ability to control the fate of millions of people and trillions of units of money, which consolidates the power and the wealth.

    These are the ideological descendants of the same group that did it in France and Germany and Britian beginning centuries ago. Only now they are more bold and powerful.

    This Republic was made for a moral and religious people precisely because without that strong moral backbone for the governed it is inevitable that government will be used for sinister purposes and sadly it is by the consent of the governed. The elite insiders have illegally blended government and industry in a fascist concoction, but not enough people are on the take — yet. Once the receivers of government wealth transfers exceed the producers it is game over. We need not go there.

    We need to return to limited, consitutional government and federalism (subsidiarity). Once the Constitution is restored, then the power of the oligarchy will vanish. Sadly, this is something that Republicans and Democrats and everyone in between should agree on. Yet, we bicker becuase we like the power when our guy or our party is seemingly in control of the machine. This is a false illusion. The real control is always hidden. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, just tear at each other’s throats to be the winners and have your inneffectual idiot stand as figurehead next. Mmm . . . what’s in this Kool-Aid?