Thursday, July 31, 2014

By what right?

Okay, the question is bullshit, but if the government can quarantine people who might be ill why not compel inoculation of those who are not?

Surely the former is a greater intrusion on your liberty for the good of others?

Just wondering.

Acceptable collateral damage?

So, is this conservative propagandist really blaming Clinton for not killing 300 innocent men, women, and children to kill an unreachable criminal?

No one at that time would have accepted that we were actually at war, you know, with a scruffy organization of religious crackpots with delusions of grandeur turned trrrorist, though al-Qaeda claimed to be at war with us.

Kill 300 innocents to get some raghead Al Capone?

Are you mad?

As I said, no way this was self-defense

Charge an 80 year old with murder?

Well, as to that . . . .

Obama: Rule by decree?

House approves lawsuit against Obama over alleged abuse of executive power

When political parties in control of the executive realize they cannot hope to enact their agendas through the legislative process they may, if the constitution allows it and the opportunity exists, vote the chief executive emergency power to rule by decree.

That is how Hitler and Mussolini became dictators.

That is how in some Latin American countries (I forget which), chief executives have lately become dictators.

The US constitution in no circumstance allows executive rule by decree.

But at various points in our past our presidents have, with the support of their own parties in the congress, simply ignored the law, the constitution, the Supreme Court, or any combination of them, and done what they wanted.

And, as I have pointed out in the past, it is really way too hard to get rid of a disappointing president.

In the present case, O has in defiance of his constitutional duty failed to see that the laws are faithfully executed, in the matter of Obamacare by purporting to arbitrarily alter various deadlines that in fact were fixed by law and in the matter of immigration by refusing to deport illegal aliens that the law requires be deported.

And by summer's end he is expected, with the support of his party in the country at large and in the congress, to do so in a considerably more extensive manner, again in connection with immigration, by purportedly amnestying a very large number of aliens whom the law requires he deport.

The strength of his party in the congress and in the country at large together with the degree of popular support for his illegalities make impeachment not only impractical but likely to politically damage those in congress supporting it.

The suit is in lieu of impeachment.

I am surprised and annoyed that Fox News/AP describes the particulars of the case regarding the Obamacare employer mandate deadline in a "he said, she said" fashion, refusing to report the objective fact that the law specified a date neither it nor anything else empowered the president to alter, and he nevertheless has claimed that power for himself by simply refusing to enforce the legal deadline and twice announcing other dates of his own choosing, more convenient to employers suspected of Democratic loyalties, upon which enforcement would begin.

WSJ does a better job of reporting in this piece it classes as "opinion" presumably because it expressly defends and even advocates the lawsuit.

The Case for Suing the President

PS.

None of this is to say that I personally want this president either impeached or sued.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

King Log or King Stork, and some other thoughts

That these are so widely regarded as the only alternatives says much about human dispositions toward others.

In case you wondered which might be more common, benevolence or malevolence.

Three things are not the same.

Choice, which results like a vector from the strengths of present desires.

Happiness, which appears to be a function of affective, emotional, and conative states.

Well-being, which seems to be a function of objective factors like health, safety, and physical condition.

Regarding the latter two there are obvious negative interactions.

For example, illness being a source of anxiety or preventing realization of desire makes for unhappiness.

And chronic stress, dread, or fear can ruin one's health.

On the other hand, it is not unknown for people to sacrifice personal well-being to desires whose satisfaction is needful for their happiness.

Typically this involves sacrifice for beloved others, human or not.

It also seems there are desires whose satisfaction can only be had for a net loss in long run happiness, well-being, or both, that all the same are strong enough to prevail.

Think of addictions.

Think of those who make great sacrifices, even of their lives, for love.

Or for hate.

There is not generally, if ever, among our present desires a desire to maximize our own happiness or well-being, per se.

Much less that of any specific others or humanity in general.

Common twaddle to the contrary notwithstanding.

What passes among humans for prudence, for example, is only marked and persistent concern for future recognized elements of well-being, mostly in order to ward off future impediments to happiness.

Getting really close

Ebola almost gets to America

Reportedly, the CDC denies any risk of epidemic among the general population if it reaches the US or any well-off country.

Perhaps they think it would be mostly confined to special sub-populations like AIDS or Hepatitis C, spreading among them only in similar manners via specific, risky behaviors most of the population does not engage in.

But in Africa, again like AIDS and Hep C, there is a greater risk of spread among the whole population, for like behavioral reasons (greater promiscuity, more widespread risky use of drugs, etc.).

In which event support by groups not much at risk for any significant effort by wealthier nations to stop Ebola in Africa would seem to be largely altruism, as has been any help provided to date with regard to Ebola, AIDS, or Hep C, so far as such folk are concerned.

But viruses mutate, and all the more as they successfully spread lots of fresh generations in lots of fresh hosts.

So the risks to be faced by most humans now alive would be reduced by efforts to suppress outbreaks and drive down infection rates for pretty much any bad virus, anywhere in the world, including promiscuous and drug-sloppy Africa.

Hard to say what costs might be justified by such gains.

In case you doubted Conrad

Long pig

It came to mind when I was thinking we white people aren't really white, at all, but the same off-pink that used to be called "flesh-colored" and is a pretty good match for some kinds of pigs.

And I was thinking of that because Hawthorne uses whiteness as a metaphor for moral purity, as did even my Catholic Catechism so many decades ago that described sins as black stains on my white soul.

And of course there have been many people since then, white and non-white, to claim that usage was and is racist.

Not entirely true, but accurate at least as far as it is substantiated by the now pretty much defunct expression, uttered when someone does something good, "That was white of him," ordinarily used quite deliberately to bridge both meanings of "white" and tie them together in what is indeed a racist assertion in nearly any context.

Exception made for explicit and perhaps entirely accurate - and perhaps intentionally ironic - contrasting of the customary behavior of whites with that of non-whites in the sorts of literary contexts you are apt to encounter in Melville or Conrad, where the contrast would not be to the advantage of the whites.

On the road from Faust to Mengele

Rappaccini's Daughter

Reading Nathaniel Hawthorne.

By the way, here as elsewhere, but so far especially here, N's prose puts me in mind, somewhat, of the writing in the novels of Henry James that I read twenty or thirty years ago.

Very nice stuff.

Well, here and there.

Deplorable ending.

Trite, repugnant, canned.

O moving toward a much more stupid war, all his own?

Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia

Uh huh.

Compared to this, his policy regarding immigration is merely annoying.

Time to do something? Almost time to put your affairs in order.

Fight Against Ebola Is Thin on the Ground

US media begin to get alarmed.

Not quite yet at the point of telling us this is about a terrible threat to the entire world and not just a humanitarian appeal for altruistic intervention.

But they will get there.

Sooner rather than later, one hopes.

The argument about impeachment

GOP Laughs At Impeachment

WE'RE LETTING BOEHNER GET AWAY WITH MAKING REPUBLICANS LOOK LIKE THE SANE ONES

Defining What is Legal

For Democratic bloggers it's all about the politics of the thing.

O is clearly not seeing that the laws are faithfully executed, in the matter of the Obamacare deadlines but especially in the matter of illegals.

And the Democratic focus on the politics of impeachment is as near as we will ever get to a concession that such behavior, for which they applaud O, is indeed the significant constitutional crime the conservatives insist it is.

Clinton was only a perjurer about a private matter and he should have resigned in shame both for the perjury and for his whole frat-boy sex life in the White House and, before that, in the governor's mansion in Arkansas.

Nixon was merely foolish in covering up a stupid and quite unnecessary campaign stunt and he did, ultimately, resign.

This is actually rather more serious, constitutionally.

But the GOP will probably not even try to impeach O and, anyway, he would certainly not resign.

Update, later that same day.

Krauthammer

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Flight ban

West Africa flight ban over Ebola

Trust me with your heart, your best interests, your whole future at stake

And then this.

Who believes compatibility ratings on dating websites?

Who believes his doctor is trying to cure him?

When Doctor Love turns out to be Doctor Mengele experimenting on you like some throwaway monkey can you at least sue the bastard?

And why not jail him, or disbar him, or something?

Imagine matchmakers fucking around on a lark.

Nothing like that ole time religion

In Mosul, Radicals Unleash Grim Vision

From the AP story.

"The bombing of shrines ... has nothing to do with Islam," Abu Abaida, 44, a government employee, told the AP by phone from the city. "They are erasing the culture and history of Mosul." 

He is completely wrong.

This is pure, unadulterated Islam and a mere repetition of the violent convulsions of the same stripe with the same purposes that have characterized the faith since Mohammed and his first followers started it all with intolerance, persecution, bloodshed, slaughter, and war.

Perhaps the Muslim world will begin to heal from the disease of taking its own religion too seriously, as Bill Maher puts it, when they follow the example of the Christians and the Jews.

Christians all over the West as well as the Jews of Israel have decided that they don't want too much of either the theology or the rules of conduct of their own religion written into law and they don't want government to follow the mandates of clerics.

Devout minorities feel quite otherwise, it is true; but majorities want the freedom to accept and live out their religion cum grano salus, with reservations and contours of their own choosing.

The result falls short of entirely purging religious influence on government but buys believers and unbelievers alike a lot of wiggle-room.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Liberia shuts border

Liberia shuts borders to curb Ebola

How long before it jumps out of Africa?

BBC has been following the story for weeks, but never promoted it to its "Top Stories."

Whistling past the graveyard?

How to parry propaganda

With counter-propaganda of equal or superior quality, of course.

This is not that.

America.

Writes Andrew Romano, D'Souza aims to rebut

what he describes as the four “indictments” [Howard] Zinn and his followers have made against America: “that we stole the country from the Native Americans; that we took half of Mexico in the Mexican War; that we stole the labor of African Americans; and that today our foreign policy and our free market system are forms of theft.”

The first three are of course false if only because the crimes alleged would all have happened long before any of us were born.

Also if, as I do not believe, it is a fact of law that the Indians at some time owned all that part of North America now comprised in the USA it is a silly fact of silly law.

[Aside:

The ownership of the oil under the ground by Muslims walking upon it in so much of the world, while only just less silly, has been and is still far more fraught with evil consequence.

/Aside]

And it does not impress me one whit more than any Conquistador's perfecly legal claim to take possession of vast continental territories in the New World for his royal sponsor merely by setting his foot on the shore ever impressed Zinn or his America-hating acolytes.

Too, if America was stolen from the Indians was not Mexico stolen from them, as well?

And if a thief later falls victim of another person who relieves him of what was not lawfully his, anyway, is that person also a thief - and, really, why bother to split these hairs?

As for the labor of slaves, well, the claim that anyone stole it is pretty clearly intended as moral rather than legal - making it pure eyewash.

As are, of course, the first two "indictments" if intended - as they surely were - to be moral in nature, concerned with alleged facts of supposed natural justice.

And what about the fourth indictment, really two,

that today our foreign policy and our free market system are forms of theft?

Again, more morality and so more eyewash.

Or rather, more coercive nonsense aimed to threaten and bully, to license hatred, betrayal, and even violence.

As was well said by the founder of legal positivism, laws, in brief, are commands of the state backed by force.

And the state?

In brief, force backed by bullshit - commonly, the bullshit of morality, the bullshit of religion, or both.

Politics is civil war, ultimately the war of all against all, mostly by means other than outright force, its chief weapons being the forms of bullshit just now cited.

Zinn's People's History was a blow against America of a potency that has only grown with the decades.

Oh, Andrew Romano's rebuttal of D'Souza's rebuttal has the same flaw as D'Souza's rebuttal of Zinn.

Still, it is impossible to read his defense of Zinn's indictments, or D'Souza's rebuttals of them, without seeing that all three men are exclusively committed to the energetic shovelling of vast amounts of the most aromatic bullshit.

Rape?

I could be wrong, but I think rape is intercourse in case the woman does not freely consent at the time.

Coerced sodomy is not rape.

Coerced masturbation or fallatio is not rape. 

There have been rapes that have been terrible cruelties.

There have been rapes that were no big deal.

There have been rapes that were just what the lady deserved.

There are rapes that, if the woman cannot forgive, that is sufficient punishment.

Anyway, in many cases the distinction between true coercion and hot stuff is inexpressible.

What the hell was that in Blade Runner, anyway?

Is even obvious and blatant rape sometimes excusable as "romantic"?

See Kindness Goes Unpunished, Craig Johnson.

If you thought the decline of Christian domination of thought about sex would lead to a humane realism you were wrong.

Thank God all the PC feminist bullshit got left out of the TV show.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bosh

US 'will send migrant youths home'

Some of them, maybe.

But mostly not.

Family wars

My maternal grandfather went to France with Blackjack Pershing.

My father and all my uncles fought in FDR's war.

My wife's adoptive father fought in Korea.

I am a Vietnam Era vet, though I did not serve there.

The US could and should have skipped them all.

Ebola Watch

Now it's in Nigeria.

Nigeria 'on red alert' over Ebola

This could be so much worse than the flu of 1918.

Smash Jeff Bozo

Amazon is a disruptive force with too much market power.

Break it up into thousands of brooks and streams.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Insult

The only thing more insulting to its own audience than reality TV is cable news.

This morning, the hysteria over Ukraine and the onslaught of Russia and Putin bashing continue unabated.

The military-industrial complex never takes a day off.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The First Amendment

On second thought . . . . .

Part of what I wrote here no longer seems right to me.

The New York Times is not a person, nor is the Catholic Church.

Does the former enjoy the protection of the First Amendment?

Then why not the latter?

If the Times enjoys First Amendment protection, why not other corporations, organizations, or collectivities?

Not just press and speech freedom but free exercise rights?

It is one thing to say individuals are protected by the First Amendment, but quite another to say only individuals are protected.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Not a word of the text justifies such a restriction.

Re Hobby Lobby.

All the same, the amendment is admittedly stupid in a number of ways.

Start with free exercise.

Requiring you to do what your religion forbids is not the same as forbidding you to do what your religion requires.

But the latter is clearly ruled out of bounds.

Congress, anyway, cannot prevent you doing whatever your religion requires, and federal laws that cross your purpose cannot prevail against you.

Peyote and bearded, turbaned soldiers are only the tip of the iceberg.

Genital mutilation, animal and human sacrifice, whatever floats your religious boat.

Jihad, for example, or the killing of blasphemers, unbelievers, and disrespectful daughters.

As to speech and the press, abridging your freedom to pay others to speak or to publish is not abridging your freedom to speak or to publish.

But federal authority can neither prevent nor punish the Times or anyone else publicly or privately speaking or publishing the most dreadful and dangerous secrets, military or otherwise, to anyone, on any occasion.

Federal enforcement of non-disclosure agreements is not permitted, nor federal privacy laws, nor laws prohibiting slander or lies.

Nor may federal authority abridge the right of the 50,000 punk rockers to assemble anywhere of their choosing, any time of their choosing, for as long as they like, for any peaceable purpose.

See what I mean?

Do you really want the constitution seriously adhered to?

Update 7/25.

The common view, of course, is that exercise of religion includes both doing as it prescribes and abstaining from what it forbids. 

So understood, the amendment is even more egregiously lunatic. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Putin hatred is a left thing, too

Propaganda ministers

See the comments.

Pussy riot, gays at the Olympics, Orthodoxy - and that all folds up nicely into the current Washington propaganda wave directed against Zbig's favorite enemy in the continuing, totally stupid game of Risk.

The struggle against Russia never stopped.

Never even slowed down.

The language of politics

Netroots Nation

EW quotes Rev. Barber's speech.

"It is extreme and immoral to suppress the right to vote,” Reverend Barber said. 

“It is extreme and immoral to deny Medicaid for millions of poor people especially people who have been elected to office and then insurance simply because they’ve been elected. 

It is extreme and immoral to raise taxes on the working poor and cutting earned income taxes, and to raise taxes on the poor and the middle class in order to cut taxes for the wealthy. 

It is extreme and immoral to use power to cut off people’s water in Detroit.  … 

It is extreme and immoral to end unemployment for those who have lost jobs for no fault of their own. 

It is extreme and immoral to re-segregate our schools and underfund our public schools. 

It is extreme and immoral for people who came from immigrants to now to have a mean amnesia and cry out against immigrants and the rights of children. 

It is mean, it is immoral, it is extreme to kick hardworking people when they are down. 

That’s not just bad policy. It’s against the common good and a disregard for human rights. … 

In fact, this kind of philosophy rooted in the policies of immoral deconstruction, if you look at them carefully, they are historically inaccurate, they are constitutionally inconsistent, they are morally indefensible, and they are economically insane.”

Cuss words of menace.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ownlife, pain

My pain is an object of experience.

Yours is an object of faith, along with your entire inner life, your supposed consciousness.

The example of old women

Old men die quickly after retirement, especially widowers.

Many are suicides.

Old women live on for decades, reading, puttering around the house, having lunch with friends, lifelong or newly made.

A lesson to us all.

Provocateurs

Sejanus sends provocateurs to the house of Agrippina to entice her and her friends into treason of one sort or another against Tiberius.

Reading Ben Jonson, Sejanus.

Perfectly routine for the FBI.

Draw your own conclusions.

And what do you make of the trendy leftist disparagement of classical learning and the long trail of Western literature, especially French and English, especially but not only drama, based on it?

Even Camus and Giraudoux?

Even Robert Graves?

Perhaps Bloom just put up a target.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

False dichotomy, PC dogma

Reading Lazybones, Mark Billingham.

"Rape's not about sex, it's about power," Kitson said.

A brand new girl cop, just out of the academy, schools the Old Bull in charge of the squad.

Egregiously false dichotomy if ever there was one.

Stunning, numbing, and malignly emasculating.

Standard procedure is exactly why so many innocents are in prison and so many guilty are never punished

South Side man suing city over his 2012 robbery arrest

How many times does the folly of standard police procedure have to be demonstrated before people understand that cannot be a defense of official incompetence and irresponsibility?

A man actually spent nearly a year in jail because of this - hats off to your right to a speedy trial, by the way - before the inanity of the witness identification was exposed.

The prisons are full of people convicted by juries satisfied with horseshit.

Ah. Justice at last.

Chain smoker's widow awarded $23bn in punitive damages in Florida

Yes, I was kidding.

Not. Our. Problem.

Armed rebels in Ukraine steal the bodies and ship them to a rebel city

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Goodbye to all that?

Throughout the cold war until the collapse of the Soviet Union, an unbroken parade of conservative wise guys pontificated, unchallenged, that Communism, once in power, could never after be gotten rid of except possibly in case of conquest by foreign anti-communists.

Communist totalitarianism was so complete, the mechanisms of terror and control so overwhelming, that it could indefinitely survive the ceaseless and unmistakable refutation of its utopian, chiliastic dogmas by history.

And then ALL of the intelligence services and wise men of the West were shown up.

In our time, in all free societies, churches survive as private associations of voluntary members disinclined to accept the authority of their clergy in faith or morals, and wholly unaccepting of their control of the state.

History shows religions can hang on for millennia.

But it does not show that even the most bloodthirsty and brutally determined of them can maintain clerical domination indefinitely in the modern age.

As to Jihad vs. McWorld, in the long run, my money's on the Golden Arches.

Or is it Larry Flint vs. Jerry Falwell?

That "religious liberty" thing

Rod Dreher

Conservatives want organizations and employers empowered by government to impose their own rules of private conduct and their own personal values, especially as regards sex, on their employees.

They bitch endlessly about lost liberty when, in the name of employee liberty, the government denies employers the power they want.

This is of a piece with the fundamental view of conservatives that government power exists only to empower the strong to do what they will with the weak.

That is, to empower property owners to exert maximum control over those without property.

Now if only the White House would provide a like protection for employees' free speech rights.

Oh, what's that, you say?

It's not really about protecting employee liberty but attacking traditional morals and religion in the name of PC?

Oh.

I see.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The extraordinary achievement of communism

Reading Iron Curtain.

For the extraordinary achievement of Soviet communism  .  .  .  was the system's ability to get so many apolitical people in so many countries to play along without much protest.

Chapter 16, page 387, Anchor pb.

Pshaw.

Nothing to it.

Anybody can do it.

Everybody always has.

After all, that is exactly what apolitical people always do, and always have done.

They play along.

We play along.

Which is not at all to say we are taken in.

Recall the skeptic's maxim quoted by Montaigne.

"Live according to the customs of the country."

Pat Buchanan, revisionist historian

Immigration, again

To make the problem seem much scarier he ignores the very similar diversity imported with past floods of mostly European immigrants who also spoke no English and settled in clusters all over the country, living in city neighborhoods known as Little Italy, China Town, or Polish Hill, or settling the countryside in such numbers as to dominate the populations of several states in New England or the Middle West, patronizing their own newspapers and radio stations and schools eventually reaching from K through college in their mother tongues far into the 20th Century.

The assimilation he writes of took decades and generations.

And as to the new waves of immigrants he finds so scary, decades have not yet passed.

How does he know assimilation will not happen?

I agree it would be best to close the door indefinitely, if not to all then at least to the most potentially dangerous like the Muslims.

But he is overdoing his message of panic and his predictions of breakup of the nation are thinly supported, indeed.

And in the long run are we really sure altering the racial balance of the country will be any more harmful than those earlier waves of immigration that permanently changed the ethnic makeup of what was, at the time of the Revolution, a white American population of almost entirely British origin?

People of Brit ancestry, including descendants of those who made the Revolution, nowadays account for roughly a quarter of the US population.

The ancestry of the rest of America's whites - some 70% of the whole population - is European but other than Brit, and the largest single ethnicity among all whites is not the Brits but the Germans, by a considerable margin.

Frankly, I'm skeptical of this US claim

U.S. points finger at pro-Russian rebels in Malaysia Airlines disaster

Possible, of course.

But the US has been poking the Russian bear about the Ukraine all along.

O is to speak on TV later today.

Is O softening up the public for a war?

When GW started leaking bullshit to the press about Saddam liberals blew the whistle on him from day 1.

Who will blow the whistle on O?

A bill of particulars would be most helpful

Turley scolds congress for letting O get away with it

A man often in the past invited to discuss issues with Rachel Maddow.

All the same, are we not on similar ground to where we stood when liberals professed shock and outrage at GW's signing statements?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Well, does Christie want to be the GOP nominee, or not?

Gun Madness in NJ

He can very publicly help this poor woman and earn lots of points with conservatives.

Or he can refuse and lose lots of points, and pretty much ensure he loses the nomination.

Politics as a hobby

Rich Guy plan to break up California heads for ballot

Here again, the rich have an edge.

I can write a blog nobody reads.

He can get a proposal on the ballot to break California into 6 states, three of them bright red.

A nation divided

The Rise of the Non-Working Rich

Robert Reich offers a summary of the facts and a modest, liberal proposal for mitigation of the growth of inherited fortunes in America.

Any serious effort about equality of opportunity, so far as it relies on equal access to unearned wealth, obviously requires limitations on gift and inheritance to ensure this.

Goodbye, inherited fortunes, in other words.

And the chance of that, or anything remotely like that, in an age of unchallenged capitalism?

Communism is gone, anarchism was never more than a slogan for street fighters, and socialism is an idle academic toy.

The challenges of the 19th and 20th Centuries were really bad ideas, I grant you.

But they were credible enough and had enough social support to scare the capitalists of the Occident, including the USA, into boxing with gloves on.

The result was a long rise of progressivism throughout the West.

With the disappearance of the threats they took off the gloves and put on brass knuckles.

Welcome to the irresistible emergence of the new world order of global democratic capitalism, in which both our major parties serve agendas that, in net, undermine progressivism and foster a new, global Gilded Age.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A front group of liberal mullahs considers a fatwa

The ABA.

This man needs an enema.

Governor Patrick.

Right. Lift that embargo, would you please?

Sure thing.

Russia 'to reopen Cuba spy base'

Chutzpah

There is a story of a boy who killed both his parents and demanded mercy from the court because he was an orphan.

You couldn't make this stuff up.

California death penalty 'illegal'

Why people hate people who are too political

Phooey.

37% of who, again? Would or do what?

37 % of Mississippi GOP

37 % of McDaniel supporters in the recent Ms GOP (open) primary

37 % of Republicans who voted in the Ms primary runoff

Retrospectively support the CSA in the Civil War?

Would support the CSA if there was another Civil War (and what would be at stake, this time)?

Would support the CSA If there was a do-over of the original Civil War (about both slavery and secession, again)?

It appears Democrats were also asked that question, and no trifling number also went for the CSA.

Interestingly, it seems nobody was asked whether Lincoln - or the North - should have fought the war, either to force the southern states back into the Union, or to abolish slavery, or both - or without qualification (for whatever reason).

Nor is there any hint how far this support might go.

Supporting a war is a long way from signing enlistment papers, or even allowing oneself to be drafted.

Ask Dick Cheney.

<Aside>

Had Lincoln been willing to accept secession, the USA and the CSA would doubtless have negotiated terms for the peaceful evacuation of military installations within the CSA by Union forces.

So, no battle at Fort Sumter.

</Aside>

It should have been a clue . . . .

That O's favorite president was Lincoln.

Lincoln, who unconstitutionally fought and won a war of aggression and conquest against the Confederate States of America for the purposes of (a) forcing them back into a federation to which they did not want to belong and (b) overthrowing slavery forever in those states and all states within the Union.

Lincoln, who usurped the congressional power to suspend habeas corpus and abused it to punish, silence, imprison, or drive out of the country those who opposed him as regards either or both of (a) and (b).

Lincoln, who ignored the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and freedom of the press for the same purposes.

Lincoln, who, when the volunteers stopped coming, adopted a draft to force tens of thousands of men to go fight his war of conquest, a war that had not the least thing in the world to do with defending them, their liberty, or their homeland.

Praise him or damn him, that is what Father Abraham did.

<Aside>

Of course, both parties are war parties, now, and it will be a rare liberal or a rare conservative who will espouse the view, common among America's greater leaders before the Civil War, that a draft is both unconstitutional and tyrannical.

And the same is true regarding the once equally common conviction that if you cannot get volunteers to fight your war then perhaps you ought not to be fighting it.

</Aside>

It is no surprise O admires a president who did so much unlawfully to achieve what O, no doubt, views as results so morally important as to morally justify his illegalities and the slaughter he put the country through to achieve those results.

They are not migrants. They are not undocumented immigrants.

Pope OK's dumping kids into the Rio Grande

They are a mix of teenage burglars and unwanted children abandoned as surely as if they had been dumped on the street somewhere.

They are the worst yet of the flood of illegal aliens.

Mexico, well understanding our politics, refuses responsibility and instead of lifting a finger to protect these kids or return them whence they came lets them pass through to El Norte.

This pope is a fine actor who knows exactly what is going on.

"Undocumented immigrant" is an oxymoron.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The true values of things

Picasso sketches, Imperial eggs, originals by noted, dead artists, rare stones, pearls.

It is a privilege of the rich to own rare things.

What else are they to do with their money?

If an archeologist unearthed Tutankhamun's last turd it would auction for hundreds of millions, if not a billion or so.

A pattern?

If white Americans buy drugs from brown folks, south of the border, who gets blamed?

If white Americans sell drugs to brown folks in LA, who gets blamed?

Be careful what you wish for

BBC is already bad enough

The white, Christian (or post-Christian) nations of Europe are being sold down the river by their white elites.

Genocide by inundation.

Is this the big one?

Ebola outbreak worsens

Because nobody listens to medical professionals and the Africans know it's all about witchcraft and maybe a white plot to kill them all.

GOP war lovers make a big effort to discredit Rand Paul

Pig pile on Rand

If he's the nominee where will the neo-cons go?

Why, to Hillary, of course.

Like ex-Dem Lieberman who supported GOPster McCain against his own protege, Obama, they think the true litmus tests are Zionism and an accompanying commitment to a continuing global war against Islamism.

And Hillary is the most rigid Zionist on the Democrat side - about tied with Lieberman and McCain - and in 2008 personally extended the US nuclear umbrella to Israel, at Charles Krauthammer's request, with nary a hint that this was really something for the congress to decide.

She has believed at least since 9/11 that foreign policy decisions, including alliances and war and peace, are entirely for the president to make.

Actually, I think she sold her soul to the Likud back when she first ran for the senate as a carpet-bagging, faux New Yorker.

No doubt she is a great admirer of Harry Truman.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why capitalism is necessary

Because the jackasses managing our enterprises have no idea what they are doing and, from the lowliest supervisor to the topmost CEO, set good business way behind other priorities, anyway.

So the blind, mindless, and brutally clumsy process of market competition is the best we can do to put a floor under imbecile incompetence.

And where the market is abolished or staggeringly inept firms are considered "too big to fail"?

1984 was far too kind.

The Great Leap Forward.

Forced collectivization.

The killing fields.

Reparations

Right.

Blacks owe reparations to white America for all the blood and treasure that ending slavery in the South cost the North, and West, and Far West.

Lincoln's unconstitutional war to conquer the Confederate States of America, force them back into the Union, and end slavery in them was no picnic.

If Chinese law permits it, how is it illegal?

China 'admits' trading in tiger skins

Whose law says it's illegal, BBC PC friends?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Soccer

Watched a couple games and listened to a few in the World Cup series in Brazil.

The final game today was a fine, hard fought contest.

Turns out Pittsburgh has a pro soccer team that plays in a small stadium on the South Side at Station Square.

Not major league, but it could be fun.

Next year I will be at least semi-retired, if not fully.

More boat rides and ball games, for sure.

The Pope's numbers are baloney

Pope: 2% of clergy are paedophiles

I don't believe it.

If the number is as high as a shocking 5% of the general population it must be higher among priests.

Homosexuality is already a problem for modern neo-Darwinism.

This makes about as much sense, as regards reproductive fitness, as a penchant for dead squirrels.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The ingratitude and injustice of men toward fortune

La Fontaine,  7/13.

The ingratitude of men.

One for Ayn Rand and all her running dogs.

No more Muslim immigration

Yes, of course, no more immigration at all, but at least slam the door and deport Muslims without resident status or US citizenship.

During the Cold War we didn't let communists in.

Forget it.

But the Democrats will stay strong on these issues as long as the Republicans are dominated by conservatives out to undo a century of progressivism.

Too many people cannot afford or abide that.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bawers, Wilders

Frontpage.

Is it so difficult to understand that Wilders, who may be under more daily pressure than any man in Europe, can’t, at every moment, when speaking about people who have been seriously dedicated for years to bringing about his death, keep himself from slipping into rhetoric that’s less than perfectly sensitive?

No.

As it happens, only a day or so before Wilders’s “fewer Moroccans” line made international headlines, a Dutch Muslim rapper named Hozny released a music video showing “a man representing Dutch politician Geert Wilders” being “abducted by armed men and brought to Hozny, who makes him kneel in front of an Islamic flag.” 

At the end of the song, which includes the line “You are only alive because Allah allows it,” Wilders is executed.

And no one seems to have protested this was a hate crime.

A blow for liberty. And one against.

Egyptian statue sells for £16m

Financing archeology is one of the best things private money can do.

That, paleontology, and medical research.

Let them do it.

And for God's sake don't worry about whether they are racists, sexists, or any other damned un-PC thing.

(Also libraries, museums, and schools.)

Washington and Lee

If you find it so alienating, why did you choose to go there?

Why, to destroy the traditions of the place, of course.

Not quite able to get it

Same genes 'drive maths and reading'

Just can't quite accept the meaning of the results, can they?

So totally un-PC.

People are not to be trusted

'Forgotten' US smallpox found in box

No, I don’t think so.


This morning somebody who wants to keep the US engaged in that hopeless morass of disaster, the Middle East, said on the radio that the deep-thinkers say the Islamist madness in the Middle East cannot be resolved, the problems of the Middle East cannot be solved, until the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict is put to bed.

Phooey.

If every Jew got on a plane and flew out the region tomorrow – second only in Muslim wishful thinking to all of them being slaughtered overnight – why the hell would ISIS put down its arms?

Why would the Taliban knock it off in Pakistan and Afghanistan?

Why would the Muslim Brotherhood shrug and walk away from Egyptian politics?

Why would Muslim fighters all over the world suddenly put down their guns and go home?

And when you consider the ferocity of the hatred they face, why would you think the Jews of Israel would even seriously consider either the militarily terrifying two-state solution or the demographically terrifying one-state solution so dear to the hearts of so many left-wing Jews who don't live there?

Pshaw.

If going on fighting pretty much forever remains by far their safest choice, why would the Jews of Israel not just go on fighting pretty much forever?

It’s a federal case, says Jesse. And Hizzoner.


How about this for federal action?

Round up every Chicagoan under 30 who has ever been convicted of a gang-related or violent crime.

Exile them to the interior of Alaska with an axe and a winter coat, with notice they will be shot on sight if they ever return.

There is no way to “fix” the people perpetrating the violence.

But there is a way to protect everyone else.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Did Lincoln want war?

Such was the view of some at the time, that he had in fact intentionally provoked it in order to conquer the South and end slavery at gunpoint, throughout the country.

Copperheads, Jennifer L. Weber.

Consider that after Dred Scott the Republicans appeared checkmated and to have no way forward.

Far from seeing slavery on the way to eventual extinction, it looked to be ever more widespread in the United States, ever stronger, ever more entrenched, and perhaps ineradicable by peaceful, political means.

Had the South not seceded, what could Lincoln or the abolitionists have done?

Read the House Divided speech.

How could Lincoln have for a moment sincerely aimed merely at preserving the Union, even with slavery, in the teeth of the declared views of that speech?

And had he not opposed Crittenden, a plan aimed exactly at preserving the Union by further entrenching slavery?

The South really should have seen it coming.

Had they not paid attention when Lincoln, in earlier speeches, insisted "We will not let you go"?

Copperheads, Jennifer L. Weber

Pro-war, of course, but pretty good, all the same.

Life is unfair, Kennedy said. And nature is not interested in our delusions of justice.

Without Economic and Educational Justice, There Is No Racial Justice

First there was leveling the playing field.

Then there came awarding of extra points in the score.

Whatever it takes so that blacks finish the race, on average, as well as or better than whites, I guess.

Better than Jews?

Better than Asians?

Who would be affected?

Changes to voting rules in NC

American Prospect's title for this article is a tad over-dramatic.

"Courtroom Drama: Voting Rights Paid for in Blood Under Siege in North Carolina."

Pshaw.

Anybody kept from the polls by these changes didn't really care very much.

Do Democrats (or Republicans, for that matter) really think this will make much difference, or are both sides playing to their fans in the cheap seats?

Do we have to deplore past figures for not thinking like today’s good little PC boys?


And do we really have to regard them as contemptible on that account?

If not about everything then about which things, please?

Do provide an official, PC certified list, OK?

Says the article,

It’s very reprehensible, no doubt, but the fact is that a hundred years ago almost every white man or woman regarded other races as inferior, sometimes dangerous and sinister, sometimes comic.

This is very sad, and, obviously, stupid, nasty and wrong, but that’s how it was.

Oh, phooey.

Much of it was just silly.

There is a scene in the wonderful movie, Bringing Up Baby (1938, Howard Hawks), in which Cary Grant comments to Katharine Hepburn on something someone does or says, “That’s mighty white of him,” or something like that.

To this day, nobody seems to mind very much.

The film is still universally rated one of the best ever, and I have seen not a word of complaint about Grant’s line.

The first time I noticed it – about 50 years ago, more or less, at a guess – it just seemed odd to me.

My sister used the expression, once in a while, when we were young, too.

She was just aping her elders, of course.

Neither one of us ever even met a non-white person until after high school, so before that we really had no hint of a personal reason, founded in experience, to expect anything different from them than from white people.

That, by the way, had a lot to do with coloring my attitude toward the outbreaks of black against white race rioting just a very few years later, in the late 60's and into the early 70's.

I found it alarming and quite shocking not only that so many black people apparently hated white people indiscriminately but that so many whites insisted we deserved that hatred.

Me?

I was still in my teens, then, and had not even met a black person!

To hell with that, I thought.

And still do.

ISIS – uniquely destructive


We’re a good ways from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, but still.

Germany 7 – 1 Brazil


I was driving home yesterday and heard Germany go from a 1 to nothing lead to a 5 to nothing lead by 29 minutes into the game.

The announcers said this was absolutely unprecedented in World Cup play.

The atmosphere at the start of the match was spine-tingling, but the euphoria of the yellow-shirted thousands soon turned to tears as the Germans scored five goals in the first 30 minutes — four of them in a six-minute span.

The final score was equally astonishing.

Most people thought Germany would win, but Brazil had a shot and nobody thought the margin would be anything at all like this.

It was Germany’s biggest World Cup win since routing Saudi Arabia, 8-0, in a group match in 2002.

Joe Scarborough, by the way, obviously doesn’t care at all what Ann Coulter thinks.

He was even calling the game “football” this morning, and not “soccer.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Turkey? Well, the last Caliph was a Sultan

And the Sultans were all Caliphs, I think.

I so pity the Turks this madness.

Isis targets Turkey, next.

The down side is huge and evident, and Erdoğan is not the best leader of Turkish anti-Islam(ist) forces.

He is an enemy of the heritage of Mustafa Kemal.

Up side.

If Europe is smart they will be glad of a wave of anti-Islam(ist) refugees.

Good leavening for their immigrant Muslim populations.

A voice of "moderate Islam" in Egypt.

BBC Mustafa Kemal.

Wikipedia Mustafa Kemal.

Like the Japanese Meiji and the Chinese Republicans, Mustafa Kemal was a Westernizer in the tradition of Peter the Great and a secularist who saw Islam and Islamic clericalism as enemies of modernity.

The Baath movement was a similar variant of the larger movement of Arab nationalism.

The Russian Revolution, precipitated by the idiocy of the Allies of The Great War and the Russian, Kerensky, threw communism onto the world stage and poisoned subsequent decolonization and Western anti-colonialism with the anti-capitalism, anti-Westernism, and racial hatred of whites upon which first the reds and then the New Left based their propaganda.

Discrediting the West and all things white created an ideological vacuum into which traditional religious madness was free to move.

Thank the Reds and the New Left for Jihad.

Better to not let them come back.

France tries to stop youth from joining Jihad in foreign parts.

Is this the Democrat you want?


She has all along been more hawkish than O, and more a devotee of Israel.

Remember that she was the one, without a hint of congressional authorization, who extended the US nuclear umbrella to Israel at the demand of Charles Krauthammer.

At the time, Joe Biden pooh-poohed criticism.

Sick of these war Democrats, yet?

Some lawyers don’t get it


She’s one of them.

She urged falsehoods on the jury.

She defamed the victim in order to get an acquittal for a client she believed to be guilty, and who almost certainly was.

She won that way.

She bragged about it.

She is a woman of gross insensitivity and boundless ambition.

My guess is that’s why she never divorced Bill.

She seems to have the sort of attitude the left has lately urged is common among CEOs and the otherwise rich, the attitude of a sociopath.

Maybe it’s just common among lawyers, sort of as a taste for brutality seems common among police, soldiers, and prison guards.

“To each according to his need”?

I am not at all sure Marx would have thought this a proper application of the maxim, but here it is.


For “students most in need” read “most uneducable.”

Unless “teacher excellence” means “in special ed,” this looks like a gross misallocation and waste of talent.

Are we supposed to think that O thinks that the differences in educational performance he tries not to allude to are significantly due to factors other than the kids, themselves?

You really want to put a woman who’s dynamite teaching high school calculus in a classroom full of kids who came to her doing math at a fourth grade level and are more likely to threaten her life than bring her an apple?

What makes you think she would teach there for any plausible amount of money?

Ah, "non-material incentives."

Looking for brilliant ex-peace corps teachers, then, who bizarrely don't mind not actually teaching those who can't or won't actually learn.

Menendez victim of Cuban government dirty tricks?


Looks like the CIA thinks so.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Selling to private collectors might be the safest way to preserve what can be preserved.


Totally un-PC to favor private actions, I know.

Well, there it is.

And, no, despite the new liberal consensus that preservation by liberal-favored authorities of cultural artifacts identified by liberal-favored authorities is a state responsibility, this is not something the US needs to take military action about.

“Climate science” based on faked data


The left denies the data, the right denies the warming.

Which is the really disgraceful and anti-scientific denial?

AP goes way PC, calls them “young immigrants” and not “young illegals” or even “young undocumented immigrants.”

“Nigger” is a shameful body part


Would any contemporary paper feel the need to hide somebody’s sexually interesting parts in this way?

Did not liberals in particular join in mocking AG Ashcroft for covering certain body parts on statues in various public buildings?

These guys are fine with the astonishing vulgar displays of obscenity that go on at gay pride parades and Mardi Gras.

But “nigger”?

No way.

You can't even mention it in quotes or display it in images.

Unless you're bad, like me.

Let alone actually use the word in a headline, as did the West View News.

Not even for shock value and to make the liberal propaganda point.

The West View News also ran a column below Collier's by Alvin Hall, an African-American columnist, titled "This headline offends me."

I wonder if it's regular use in black entertainment and ordinary black conversation offends him.

No, not really.

It's all part of beating up the white guys to intimidate them.

And in the present case it's part of the constant liberal propaganda war to toxify conservatism as racist along with any policy that can be spun as adverse to, or based on hostility to, non-whites and absolutely any explicitly race-conscious policies when they are pro-white but not at all when they are anti-white.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Roman republic?

Imagine, when they had cut off Charles's head, that Lords had abolished Commons and decided to rule without a King.

Would that have made Britain a republic?

Such was the Roman state, if you added a popular assembly of Londoners with a share of legislative power, and here and there a Tribune of the People.

And it was that "republic" the emperors castrated.

Which must have made ancient history interesting in quite a different way for Brits than for Americans.

In particular, the Elizabethans.

Reading Ben Jonson, Sejanus.

His great crimes, for the Elizabethans, were to murder Drusus and the sons of Germanicus to usurp their hereditary right.

An anachronistic view, certainly.

But, all the same, how handy Machiavelli was, to enable the Elizabethans to attack vicious rulers and politicos indirectly, ostensibly attacking him.

A dissertation in American studies at Pyongyang University, 1970

Well, maybe not.

I particularly like the repeated, rather clinical sounding references to Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, and Thoreau as "four Northern white male writers."

As if the thing were being written at the Marxist-Feminist University of Tralfamador, a thousand years hence, by someone very remote, indeed, from being Northern, white, male, or even a writer.

Tralfamadorans looked rather like bathroom plungers, as I recall.

Anyway, we are a long way from Harold Bloom.

Kim, EunHyoung

Does the word "duckspeak" come to mind?

Hawthorne's racism?

For the politically correct, racism is both as damning and as shameful as vice privatus to an earlier generation of good Catholic boys.

The PC onslaught is like a vast outpouring of sewage spilled out in hatred over all of America and all American, indeed all European, achievements.

Hawthorne's racism.

Young Goodman Brown

He saw nothing in the forest that night that a well schooled Puritan should not have expected.

Copperhead Democrat

  
Whether Brown was mad, whether he was a delusional religious fanatic, whether he was a terrorist of Bloody Kansas, whether he was guilty of murder and incitement to murder many times over, are questions of fact.
 
Whether he was a moral hero fighting a just campaign against an intolerable moral crime is an entirely imaginary question with only imaginary answers.
 
The  radical sees the conditions of the ragged and brutalized serf, slave, and free laborer and says all are alike victims of injustice.
 
His revolution does not end until all that is overthrown.
 
He will ruin the universe trying to get there.
 
The libertarian sees the same horrors and protests serfdom and slavery are unjust but not the frightful state of free labor.
 
His revolution ends with the destruction of the ancien regime and the liberation of the slaves.
 
For both he would spill oceans of blood.
 
It seems that Hawthorne, though a solid republican who disapproved slavery, was a Copperhead Democrat who would have let the South go and sympathized more with hard-driven free white labor than slaves he thought generally no worse off, and perhaps not as badly off in some cases.
 
He sought no revolution, in any case, and deplored the Civil War.
 
Not your typical Yankee intellectual of those days, though in fact for many decades that was the view of most abolitionists.

They wanted to end slavery in the US, and if the way to do that was to sunder the Union they would sunder it. 

But that was not the view of the Republicans, who agreed with Lincoln in insisting before secession that if the South attempted it "We will not let you go!"

Some, distressed by Hawthorne's position, attribute it to racism. 

That is just stupid. 

Lincoln was a racist, as were nearly all abolitionists, including the most fanatic. 

The bones of contention were slavery and Union. 

The Copperheads did not accept the intolerance of Lincoln's "house divided" speech and did not want to plunge into war either to convert the Union from a voluntary association to a creature of conquest or to end slavery. 

The Republicans wanted all those things and more. 

And did them.

They ended slavery in the South by conquest and they kept the South in the Union by conquest. 

And then they spent decades trying to force political and civic equality for blacks upon the country without real majority support. 

These things would have shocked and horrified the men of Philadelphia. 

As they shocked and horrified people like Hawthorne. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thought for an alternative history

What would have happened if America had never countenanced slavery?

No Civil War, so no civil war amendments, so what would be the reigning view of the constitution?

How would the difference in demographics have affected US foreign policy toward Europe, but also toward Africa?

Toward Asia?

Talk about a completely open field for creative imagination.

Has anybody actually written anything on that hypothesis?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Special detachments of armed men

The state is a gang of armed men, its guns leveled at the rest of us.

Their boss, relying on them, orders us to do anything he wants.

Think of Caligula.

Think of Nero.

But he cannot last an hour without the loyalty of his henchmen, if not Sejanus then Macro.

And at least the passive acquiescence of the masses.

How can he, the gang boss, a leader of thugs, achieve those things?

What can he do to earn that loyalty and acceptance?

He can provide protection from external attack and vengeance for domestic ones.

Those, at least.

And maybe cheap grain from Egypt.

And so the state is born.

Amoralism and divine law

Imagine God making law with no moral facts to guide him.

God, entirely happy in himself, needing nothing, wanting nothing, lacking nothing.

God, perfect, changeless, complete.

Epicurus thought it absurd.

Divide! You need not conquer.

La Fontaine 7/7, The vultures and the pigeons.

A realist's policy.

New, Buchanan on Nixon

Nixon's comeback

And "the lie of the Southern Strategy."

I'll wait for the paperback.

Or a sale price at B&N.

Bullshit for a glorious Fourth from the people who hate America

Spin so good you're not even supposed to notice, even when they tell you outright that's what's up.

Workplace "segregation"

The "war on women"

And then there is "reproductive health"

On the other hand, we have Obama and the totalitarian liberals

And "American Exceptionalism"

Oh, you thought the right was made up of people who love America?

See?

So good you don't even notice.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ignoratio Elenchi

The Latin name of the fallacy is sometimes loosely translated "irrelevant conclusion."

Libertarians before now have written denunciations of government and attacks on any supposed right to rule of great force, as have anarchists and even mere Objectivists.

But perhaps they draw the wrong conclusions, that minimalist government, or none at all, is best.

Perhaps a more pertinent conclusion would be that governments are all of them on all fours with pirate kingdoms, were that "moral equivalence" not too unfair to the pirates.

Or perhaps the lesson is that the criminals are right, in that respect, anyway.

Or at any rate that the rest of us are merely hoodwinked.

And to get to this we did not have to invoke either atheism or amoralism.

And many are those who do invoke atheism and amoralism, either or both, and still somehow they never get here.

Psst. You can't always take Wikipedia as gospel.

Mugabe

Mugabe tells white famers 'to go'

Holy crap! That was quicker than I expected.

PC attacks on military culture

Per the story,

First they came for the Redskins.

Now, following up on charges that the name of Washington’s football team is racist, offended activists are calling on the United States military to rechristen the military vehicles — including the Apache and Black Hawk helicopters — that are now named for American Indians.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The end of funny?

Actually rather amusing up to now, rather like Dickens, the funny stops with a few remarks that, in French, might have been Zola.
 
The House of the Seven Gables,  Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851, B&N Classics, 2007.
 
Page 106.
 
Phoebe has just met Judge Pyncheon.
 
She notes his "hard, cold, relentless" look, by which he resembles his long dead ancestor of the same name, the man who built the house on stolen land, and wonders if it is his settled character, inherited.
 
Hawthorne intrudes, commenting this realization implies a hereditary transmission of "criminal tendencies" and "moral defects" more certain than the hereditary transmission of wealth and property according to law.
 
Not funny.
 
Character is destiny, said Heraclitus and Schopenhauer.
 
A remark of which Sheriff Longmire's libertarian interpretation the other night could not have been more absurd. 

Facebook scandal

They conducted secret experiments in emotional manipulation of their customers and, when caught, attempted emotional manipulation by apologizing for their communications about the experiments.

Facebook.

Social medium for nincompoops.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pat Buchanan, right again

Sometimes I find it really annoying when PB is right.

But there it is.

Bill Ayers, broken clock

Weather report

Some people are doomed to be almost always wrong and, when right, right only accidentally, equivocally, or for quite wrong reasons.

I give you Bill Ayers.

Where is that in the First Amendment, again?


Booman, not for the first time, shows no better reading comprehension than the judge whose written work he criticizes.

Alito does not say that taking birth control is immoral, nor does he say anything that entails it, or even suggests it.

What he does say can be summarized and fairly paraphrased as follows.

1. That the Obamacare requirement that EGHPs provide coverage for certain forms of contraception “arrogates to itself the authority to provide a binding national answer” to the question whether it is wrong “to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another.”

2. That “HHS and the principal dissent in effect tell the plaintiffs [Hobby Lobby] that their beliefs are flawed.”

3. That “courts must not presume to determine the plausibility of a religious claim.”

4. And that the federal government may not require person A to do something that enables person B to do something person A thinks, on religious grounds, would be wrong.

1 and 2 are just hot air. 

Alito, a practicing Catholic, does not like this provision of the ACA.

(This was a 5-4 ruling, by the way. All five are practicing Catholics.)

Prohibitions 3 and 4 are neither in nor implied by the First Amendment, which says exactly the following.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Next up, employers who are Jehovah’s Witnesses cutting coverage for blood transfusions for their employees or their children?

Can they forbid transfusions to their own children, now?

What about others who deny medical care to their children, altogether, preferring to pray over them or perform other religious rituals?

Such things have not been allowed, up to now.

Are these remarks of his a hint that Alito thinks such things should be allowed, and will be if and when he and the other Catholics of the court get a chance to ensure that?

What about moral waivers for fundamentalists on paying taxes to support schools that teach evolution?

And does Alito agree that if the government cannot compel A to enable B to do something A thinks would be wrong, neither can the government compel A to do such a thing?

This could go very far, indeed.


She begins her public protest with a falsehood that is dangerously close to the truth.

"In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs," she wrote.

And it is perfectly reasonable to ask how the court, consistent with their decision, can stop short of that.

Still, and very significantly, Justice Ginsberg makes the very relevant and valid points that Hobby Lobby is a corporation, that corporations do not have religious beliefs, and that they cannot sanely be supposed to engage in any form of exercise of religion, though of course their stockholders might.

And it is the corporation that is the employer, not the stockholders.

And it is the corporation that would be required under ACA to provide contraception coverage in its EGHPs, not the stockholders.

All entirely telling points, I think.

On second thought, see this.