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Obama's Three Unforced Errors What Price Education?

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Liberals Against the Tide

by Christopher Chantrill
April 22, 2008 at 11:37 pm

LAST WEEK the US Supreme Court decided a Kentucky death penalty case. It ruled that a three-drug sequence for execution by lethal injection was not cruel and unusual punishment. But a day later, to the delight of the New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse, Justice John Paul Stevens “renounced the death penalty.”

Er, not to put too fine a point upon it, Your Honor, but the death penalty is the law of the land. You are sworn to uphold it.

Did you know, by the way, that liberal groups are working like mad to stop Ward Connerly’s Civil Rights Initiatives, coming up for a vote in four states in November? They are contesting the initiative in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, and Nebraska. But they are not arguing on the merits. Oh no. As Harry Stein writes in City Journal:

Knowing that such anti-preference initiatives enjoy strong public support... the activists have zero interest in waging these fights on the merits. Rather, their goal is to keep the initiatives off the ballot by any means necessary, up to and including political chicanery and outright physical intimidation.

Let’s see. Missouri. Reminds me of the Missouri Compromise. Nebraska. Reminds me of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Sound familiar? They should. They were fateful milestones on the road to the Civil War back in the early to mid nineteenth century.

Then, as now, an intransigent minority was putting road blocks in the way of civil rights. In those days, before the Civil War, the political argument was over allowing slavery in the newly-admitted states. Now it is an argument over when, if ever, we are going to stop race-based preferences in government employment, contracting, and schooling.

Here’s what I suggest to you liberals. Play fair. Don’t try, as Justice Stevens is apparently trying to do, to subvert the will of the people with shenanigans on the Supreme Court. The people are strongly in favor of a death penalty.

Don’t try, as these lefty groups are trying to do, to trip up Ward Connerly and his Civil Rights Initiatives. The whole point of democracy is that the people get to decide. If they are wrong, then it is probably better to let them have their way and experience their mistake for themselves.

But if you hold up the will of the people, and dam up their clearly-expressed preferences in tactical shenanigans then the chances are that when the dam bursts, as it will in the end, it will end up flooding the fruited plain with a raging river. And that’s not good for anyone.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, 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


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

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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©2007 Christopher Chantrill