I'LL be going to dinner with some liberal friends tonight. And every time I do that I think of the things I'd like to ask them, but am too polite to do.
Can liberals really stand by in silence as the President of the United States arbitrarily writes the law, on Obamacare, on immigration, without benefit of Congress? Would not liberals be tearing up the carpet if a Republican president were doing anything remotely similar? Do liberals not understand how their silence enrages conservatives who think of, or hope for an America where both sides of the political divide recognize the need to make their own representatives obey the law and respect the constitution?
Can liberals really sit back in silence when partisan Democratic prosecutors in Wisconsin conduct a years-long investigation into the relations between conservative political committees and Governor Scott Walker in the hope of finding something, anything with which to hang on him? Do liberals think that this could never happen to them?
And what about the criminal indictment of Governor Perry in Texas for threatening to veto an appropriation for a public integrity office in Austin? Well, OK, a number of liberal commentators actually have objected to this.
Look I get what is going on here. Your ordinary rank-and-file liberal has never heard about these matters. They are just not the sort of thing that gets liberal commentators all riled up; they are not the kind of thing that publicity-seeking liberal activists are interested in.
So if a rank-and-file liberal hears about any of these issues they just shrug and forget about it. Hey, it's not their ox getting gored.
But you can be sure that once we get a Republican president in 2017 with a Republican Congress my liberal friends will be once again sensitive to the slightest appearance of impropriety and corruption, and their concern will by amplified by a hundred journalists and a thousand "activist" organizations.
OK, OK. It's what I call the Incoming Missile Syndrome. Everyone responds and leaps for cover when the incoming missiles start raining in on their firebase. But when you are sending mortar rounds out to some enemy trench half a mile away, who cares? They had it coming.
There are, of course, maxims that deal with this sort of thing. "Let sleeping dogs lie." "Do as you would be done by." The point is that if you poke your political opponents you may find too late that you have provoked them into a political rage that will end up hurting your side more than it disables the other side.
Or maybe not. They say that the attacks on the Koch Brothers are bearing fruit. Would-be conservative contributors are said to be skittish because they don't want to attract attention to themselves.
But I suppose the ruling class has always tried to intimidate the opposition. Nothing changes unless there are people who can look back after the revolution and declare how they "boldly did outdare / The dangers of the time."
But I'd still like it if my liberal friends actually had a single independent thought in their NYT/NPR prompted minds.
YOU'VE probably heard vaguely about the Rotherham 1400 in England. How "Asian" (read immigrant Pakistani) men ran a rape operation that preyed on underage girls for years right under the noses of city officials who did nothing for fear of being labeled racists. Here's the BBC report. This flap has occurred in the wake of a report that identified the coverups going back into the 1990s. And why ...
THE thing about a chap like Warren Buffett, described by some as the world's foremost stock picker, is that he has to be careful. A rich billionaire has to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. Because billions. Everyone wants a piece of Warren, including the tax man. So Warren Buffett has sailed a very clever course during the Obama administration, as Andrew B. Wilson reminds us. ...
I have said it before, and I say it again. The reason I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 with all the kiddies was because I felt that Democrats needed to own foreign policy. Democrats needed to be in charge and experience for themselves what the US needed to do with respect to the forces in the world. Otherwise they'd just play politics like they did from the day after 9/11. Remember? The ...
BACK WHEN AL Gore was running for president in 2000 he had a line about “fighting for the people against the powerful.” It’s the standard line of the activist. No doubt it’s what the marginalized and dependent classes are looking for in a president.
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THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM among western cultural elites is that God is dead and we are well rid of him.... more
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
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