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    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Updated: A Statist Reader Chimes In. I respond. You praise my greatness.

    My post on Michael Wilbon and Rush Limbaugh drew a lot of comments (well, for my blog), including from a reader (Brandon in Minnesota), who posted this in the comments, in a little running debate we were having.  Rather than consign it to the (unread) comments, I thought I'd promote it here.

    Brandon's comments, then my response in bold:

    Well I'll try not to dwell on your closing comments, but if you want to talk about individual freedom, you better not be looking at the republicans for this, who were responsible for enacting the patriot act, as well as denying recogition of homosexual partnerships, and a women's right of choice, none of which have any constitutional valor and in my opinion undermines our constitution.
    [ME] First off, the Patriot Act was passed with vast majorities in both houses, and received “yea’ votes from Barack Obama.  Multiple times.  If it’s such an affront on Constitutional Rights, perhaps you should join the ACLU and oppose RICO statutes also, which were the model for much of the law and which are much more intrusive into Americans lives than any part of the Patriot Act.  Can you show a SINGLE American who has had their Constitutional rights abrogated by the Patriot Act.  Please be specific.

    Denying homosexuals marriage – also a position held by candidate (and so far, President) Obama and held by a majority of Americans.  Interesting that you use the word partnerships.  Many Republicans, Conservatives, and especially Libertarians have no problem with civil unions and partnerships, which can also be done easily by gay couples by visiting an attorney.  What the public and policymakers are opposed to is the recognition by the state of homosexuals as married couples.  This has its roots in Western tradition, and yes, Biblical teachings.  But, regardless of the genesis of the opposition, it’s bad policy for society, in my opinion.  As a member of this Republic, should public opinion change, I will live here still.  However, I don’t consider marriage, and the Constitution doesn’t either, a right.  And certainly, there is no right to have your marriage, however consummated, recognized by the state.

    Choice – Last I looked, Roe was the “settled” law of the land.  So, I don’t know which Republican or conservative is out there denying women this “right.”  The fact is that Roe was badly decided, and has been badly interpreted since 1973, more broadly than even the jurists who decided it could have imagined.  Yes, there are many in the conservative and life movement who would like to see restrictions on abortion, some even want to ban it.  A ban won’t happen now without a Constitutional amendment, so, I think women are well protected there.  However, unless you’re the most doctrinaire of Liberals, I think we could agree that some reasonable restrictions on the practice are acceptable.  There are many things we don’t let 16 year old girls do in this country with their bodies, except, in many states, get abortions without parental consent.  So, some parental consent laws would be nice.  Waiting periods.  Access to alternative information.  A ban on murder of live births.  

    Personally, I think the loss of 30 million future citizens is a form of genocide that the “choice” movement will some day regret.  I’d like to see abortions banned in all cases except where the life of the mother is at risk, rape, and incest situations.  Guess that makes me a right wing misogynist racist, but, I don’t see the sacrifice of 9 months plus recuperative time is too high a price to pay to spare the life of a potential President, Nobel Prize winner, or cancer curer.  Since abortion was championed by, and Planned Parenthood was founded by renowned eugenicist (and arguably racist) Margaret Sanger, I am not sure favoring abortion in a discussion of racism is a winning strategy.

    As for Obama turning america into socialist Canada and Europe, you're right, he is pushing us in that direction. If you want to say this is bad, you would also have to say that the social programs FDR founded during the great depression are also bad.
    [ME] I would say most of FDR’s New Deal was bad economic policy, as well as doing little to stem the tide of the depression.  It’s ignorance of history to think that FDR’s New Deal saved us from the depression.  It was WW2 and the massive military spending, followed by the years of pent-up demand, that cured the depression’s ills.  While many of those social programs did begin an important safety net, in economic terms the New Deal was, and remains, a bust.  LBJ expanded FDR's vision with his Great Society and War on Poverty.  The Great Society gave us two more bankrupt programs, Medicare and Medicaid and the War on Poverty, despite trillions spent, has been about as successful as our Drug War.  Obamacare is another step in the statist's wet dream of a society totally controlled by those smarter than the rest of us.  Likewise, it will result in bankruptcy and more and more of the middle class becoming wards of the state.

    I would say if you look at America before WWII and after(or before the new deal and after) from an economical standpoint, I think you would find we were much better off after. If you think we lost a lot of freedoms from the new deal, you're absolutely correct, but what you can't say is that it made our country weaker in the long run because there isn't a single piece of evidence supporting that claim.
    [ME] Let’s just consider the legacy of the New Deal.  It’s an example of programs that, once started, way outlive their usefulness.  Even Social Security, the cornerstone of the New Deal, is nearing total bankruptcy, and yet, resists all attempts at reform.  Enacted at a time when life expectancy was 67 years old, it never envisioned having to support seniors who live to be 85-90.  Maybe that’s the secret mission behind Obamacare?  All serious attempts to turn SS into a program that can actually pay for itself have been soundly defeated by those who have a vested interest in the continuation and expansion of the modern social welfare state.

    As for your claim that all christians are hipocrates, I disagree.
    [ME] I won’t argue religion with you.  There has only been one Christian who wasn’t. You don’t get into heaven by good works alone.  Amazing is Grace. 

    Update:  Any Christian who doesn't acknowledge that they are a hypocrite, is lying.  I said I wouldn't argue religion, but I'll let my sister sum it up, since she does it much more eloquently than I.  "Nobody gets into heaven based on good works. Period. It is all based on faith in Jesus Christ and God's immeasurable grace. Because of that amazing grace, we want to do good works even though we know our debt to Jesus Christ can never be repaid."

    Sure there are times in life where every christian will make a hipocritical statement, but that doesn't mean their lifestyle is hipocritical to the christian religion. I know many christian in my community who have good, well paying jobs who don't pride themselves with their possessions. They lead simple lives and devote large portions of their time and money to support causes they believe in. You should note that these people are not outspoken right wing conservatives, and actually tend to vote democratic, even though they may not believe in things like abortion or gay marriage. I'm not saying these people are everywhere, but they are out there.
    [ME] Ok.  I get it, Christians come in all shapes and sizes and political persuasions. 

    As for you questioning my short term experience in prison and using it to claim I have some sort of understanding how people of color live in the inner city, your right, it's biased, but nonetheless, you get an unmistakeable feel for social life on the streets by living there. I also had good relationships with my counselor and a corrections officer I knew from my childhood and they were more than willing to share their stories with me on what it's like to work in that environment.
    [ME] I’m not going to make any inroads with you on this one.  Your personal experience is what shapes you, almost to a fault.  I have a problem, and I think it shows a bit or racial insensitivity to think that every black person lives in the “hood” or is a criminal.  There is a sizable middle class black population, and I think we ought to be looking at that group to help solve the issues of the black underclass, rather than using the underclass to perpetuate white guilt and base our treatment of the entire black community on what is a minority of that community.

    Back to racism, ever person who believes that people collecting paychecks from the government are bloodsucking leaches on their hard earned money, and know that the vast majority of the people collecting that money are people of color, have a strong leaniency [sic] tendency towards being racist.
    [ME] I just think this statement is so disingenuous.  Makes for a nice talking point for Liberals but is entirely untrue.  Conservatives understand and actually think there is a proper role for government in providing a social safety net for the downtrodden.  But, we have to balance that against the need for society to grow (economically) and expand opportunity.  Bill Clinton used to take credit for passing Welfare Reform, which actually removed more people from the welfare rolls and helped people get working, raising them up, vice keeping them wards of the state.  These days, the Left doesn’t want anything to do with Clinton’s accomplishments.  I really don’t care what the color of welfare recipients are.  I want those who can work, to work, and those who can’t let’s figure out what can be done for them.  The problem with your approach is the truly needy are squeezed by those who could be productive members of society.  Tell me how THAT helps anyone of any color?

    People in the right wing media know this fact, and they pound it into their listeners of viewers over and over. They do this because it makes them money and it makes them money in several ways, namely, emotional viewers and listeners will tune into the show more often giving them better ratings.
    [ME] Please.  I’ll be honest with you, the welfare debate was important in 1992, not today.  Can you provide some specific examples of these statements?  

    I think what I do hear is astonishment by right-wing hosts that we are now in an America where more than 50% of the population pays no income taxes.  That’s great for them, I guess, but, we’re not talking welfare recipients here, we’re talking average, everyday Joes.  I would think that’s great, but, the Left creates a class warfare issue out of this, telling these people the rich have got to pay “their fair share” when the rich already pay the vast majority of income taxes. The problem really isn't the poor who deserve and should receive tax dollars to assist with their recovery.  The problem is when this entitlement mentality seeps into the vast middle class.  That's where we're headed, and once that is entrenched, reversing it will be impossible without massive upheaval in society.

     The other way it makes them money is the more round-about way of getting people active in the republican party, donating time and resources to it, which in turn gets more republicans elected resulting in less taxes for the rich, including people hosting these programs and the companies that run them.
    [ME] Wow, talk about cynical.  I guess it’s working out so good for these guys it got them 40 Senators, and 180 or so representatives.  The empirical evidence does not support this claim.  What conservatives actually hope, and what the Kennedy (John) and Reagan tax cuts proved is that when you have pro growth economic policies, you have MORE rich people paying taxes.  The idea is kind of like Wal-mart, volume, volume, volume.  

    I guess this doesn't necessarily make Rush Limbaugh (or other right wing media hosts) a racist, but as a result of his program, racism is more prominent in America.
    [ME] Really? More prominent than in 1860?  How about 1900?  How about 1940?  How about 1964?  Just what periods are you comparing?  I thought electing the first black president kind of put the lie to the racism charge.  Obama didn't win without getting a pretty large percentage of white folks' votes.  Have they all suddenly reverted to form, or are just the ones who didn't vote for him racist?  If so, color me racist.

    But, I will stipulate that the charge of racism is more common, because it basically is what a leftist reverts to when he can’t win an argument on the merits.

    good chat.
    Thank you.


    Anonymous said...

    Jared - MN

    I do not feel an obligation to comment on the summation of your topics, because there is far too much, and I am too drunk.

    However, one statement caught me, and I feel obligated to respond.

    The comment: "Personally, I think the loss of 30 million future citizens is a form of genocide that the “choice” movement will some day regret."

    Guess what, 30 million deaths, which are essentially confirmed liberal deaths, are in your favor. Old people, generally conservative, will vote in kind, but the abortions of the left-wing, had they survived, would likely share their parent's ideology. Therefore, it would be a tremendous challenge to republicans had they lived, and please don't claim to have any sympathetic interest in life, because as a republican, you not only support the death penalty, but also have been confiding in wars that have no validity towards public safety or insurance of freedom. (I.e. Nixon's proclamation that he would rather sustain Vietnam involvement to save face, rather than accepting a negative indictment for both constituents and the judgemental left-wing) Additionally, don't begin assess operation Iraqi Freedom, which had nothing to do with 9/11 or WMD's, it was a quintessentially ideological war, meaning Bush was opposed to powerful anti-christian nations, Iraq being tantamount of them.

    Jay said...

    Wow, a clever strategy, drunk Jared, cutting off all my lifelines, by so intelligently refuting them ahead of time.

    This is the first time I have EVER heard a leftist justify abortion by stating that it's good for Republicans. Ingenious! Bravo for you. However, I am unswayed. You see, I operate under the assumption that as people age, and gain intelligence, they trend conservative. So, of those 30 million, about 25 million will end up conservative anyway.

    The death penalty argument is one leftists always like to use to throw the charge of hypocrisy at conservatives. Of course, I go back and forth on my personal feelings on the death penalty. It was the subject of one of my first
    blog posts.

    But, I reject the equation of the taking of innocent life (as in the case of abortion) with the application of the death penalty to those who most certainly are not innocent. It would seem to be morally pure in either case, one would need to be pro-death penalty and pro-abortion, or anti-abortion and anti-death penalty. As in many life choices, it's just not always that simple.

    You haven't been reading this blog, have you. You make a lot of assumptions based on your false assumption that I am a Republican. I don't judge you, Jared (except I am starting to form some opinions about your cognitive abilities), so please don't impart views to me you haven't read.

    "Bush was opposed to powerful anti-Christian nations?" Huh? Iraq a powerful anti-Christian nation? Iraq was a secular nation ruled by a heinous dictator who killed hundreds of thousands of people, but had been ravaged by his own war against Iran, a previous war against the US, and years of sanctions. Hardly powerful.

    If we really wanted to oppose a
    powerful anti-Christian nation, wouldn't Saudi Arabia have made a much better target? Or Syria? Or Iran? Please.

    What Nixonian statement are you talking about? I'm just wondering, because I am actually, not going to look for it. I will just say that this was LBJ's war, and, it ended under Nixon's watch (well, Ford's).

    BTW Jared, I was 10 years old when the Vietnam War ended. I really didn't spend any time "confiding" in it. I have an opinion about it, but,that would be another post entirely.

    May I suggest Dean Vernon Wormer for some good life advice.

    Jimmy from Nebraska said...

    nice heading for this blog, after reading your responses I have to say, you are indelibly great...accept for the fact that you're just another idiot protagonising the republican pitch to uneducated people around the country. and don't refute the fact that people residing in rural areas are more likely to vote republican and are, on the whole, less educated than people residing in urban environment. If you still aren't convinced, maybe we should look at the worst educated state in the US. Looks like this belongs to the great state of Mississippi. Looks like it's been a red state during every presidential election for the past 60 years. I suppose that could be a coincidence that has nothing to do with the education level of the registered voters. Well maybe the rest of the uneducated South can provide answers than, oh wait.
    And don't tell me Reaganomics made America economically thriving. If that were true, and the residuals of such a successful economic policy carrying through Bush's administration, Bush would have never lost the 92' election based on the economy being in the tank. You surely cannot argue there was any greater factor to the defeat with Bush's approval rating so high after the quick and affective removal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait just a year earlier. And oh yeah, the following president only oversaw the greatest period of economic growth the world has ever seen. But surely that had nothing to do with Clinton's economic policy, it had to be coincidence, right.
    But you are great, that's unquestionable.

    Jay said...

    Jimmy, you have ONE thing right in your comments, I AM great.

    Jay said...

    Jimmy gets schooled.