Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The State of the Ruin Speech

Streams of light break through the clouds...?
A couple brief comments before bed, on the President's State of the Union speech. The first is that I've got to give President Obama credit for one thing, he has made great strides towards living up to two of his campaign promises:
"I just think we ought to spread the wealth around" and his promise to begin "... fundamentally transforming the United States of America."  
I was surprised to hear one of the pundits say that 'there were no big proposals in this speech'... I don't think they listened too clearly. For instance, I didn't hear the pundits mention this part,
"We should start with our tax code. Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it.
So let’s change it. First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home.
Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here."
Leaving aside the issue that if he believes the first part, then he ought to talk to his Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt of G.E. who recently outsourced factories to China, or his Justice Dept telling Gibson guitar that if they want to continue doing business, they should outsource their jobs to Madagascar, but that pales in comparison to the rest of it. This is a huge suggestion, intimation, threat... or maybe a 'Nudge' is the better word for it, towards govt actively 'spreading the wealth around', and an assurance for even more of the mess we currently find ourselves in. Govt using its power to take from those it dislikes, and using it to favor and reward those it has warm feelings for... and amassing power to itself through the process.

And then there was this transformational little horror,
"We also know that when students aren’t allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. So tonight, I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen."
Good lord, police state doesn't begin to cover it, but it was an incredibly appropriate bookend for the soft nationalization of American industry which his previous 'tax cuts' comments proposed. In case you missed it, following up on his earlier Youth Corps and TFA proposals, what this proposal amounts to, is nationalizing your children, America. But then since most parents seem to be just fine with govt monitoring of their kids 24/7, I guess that's a big yawn, right?

Talk about fundamental transformation. OMG.

And in ComPLETEly unrelated news, D.C. 'lawmakers' want mandatory 'college' for all students:
"Lawmakers in the nation's capital have floated a plan to require high school students to apply to college or trade school -- even if the students have no interest in attending."
Lawmakers in the nation's capital have floated a plan to require high school students to apply to college or trade school -- even if the students have no interest in attending ‎... I mean, after all, who cares what the student wants to do with their life, pshaw! Everyone knows that legislators know what's best for all, and the rest of us simply must, as Rousseau put it, be 'forced to be free'.

No cause for concern there. Nope. Moving on....

Perhaps most disturbing of all, was this:
"Some of what’s broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days. A simple majority is no longer enough to get anything – even routine business – passed through the Senate. Neither party has been blameless in these tactics. Now both parties should put an end to it. For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days.
The executive branch also needs to change. Too often, it’s inefficient, outdated and remote.
That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people."
He could have simply said "I've asked this Congress to grant me the authority to..." and left it there, because that is what he means by it. No big proposals? Maybe not in explicit plans, but the overall tone of this speech was overwhelmingly ominous. IMHO.

And finally a last couple visual observations.

One, maybe it's just me, but did anyone else notice how the camera repeatedly came back to the the flood lights streaming down before Obama, and how remarkably they looked like sunlight streaming through the clouds. Has anyone noticed that overt an effect being conveyed time and again in a State of the Union speech?

And two, did anyone notice that as Obama was making his way through the crowd and approached the seats of the Supreme Court Justices, that he turned his back to, and sidled around, Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative, and then he immediately and warmly shook hands or embraced the leftie justices Breyer, Kagan and Ginsburg?

It's late and I've got to get to bed, but if I had to give one impression (without substantiation for the moment) for this State of the Union speech, it would be that it is a fundamentally anti-American message, sure to bring the American state to even further ruin.

31 comments:

mushroom said...

So companies that continue to operate in the U.S. get hit with a high tax rate? Would the solution maybe be to LOWER the corporate tax rate? Could we perhaps stop penalizing companies by reducing regulations? Could we support right-to-work legislation so union bosses can't bleed companies dry?

No, no, we can't do any of that. We have to increase taxes on the profits of those who outsource so instead of outsourcing, they just close up shop in America and move to China entirely. That'll work.

Van said...

Mushroom said "... they just close up shop in America and move to China entirely. That'll work."

Which was precisely the thinking of Obama's Jobs Czar, Immelt, who moved his company's, G.E., factories to China.

Oh, and if you're an as yet 'uneducated' youth, you'd better hurry if you want to follow that job, because the mandatory indoctrination legislation is on the way.

Ex-Dissident said...

I keep thinking: this is just a phase; one day it will end; people will regain their sanity...wiec

Anonymous said...

Um, genius, most places require students to stay in school until a certain age (typically 16). I'm not sure how extending that requirement to age 18 is an OMG transformational we're now a police state moment, but then I don't have your depth of insight.

Van said...

aninnymouse said “but then I don't have your depth of insight “

It doesn’t require any great depth of insight, only an elementary understanding of the concept of federalism, the nature of our constitution and the separation of powers.

Oh, sorry, is that going to far over your head? You poor dear.

What you’ve missed is the difference between ‘most places’ requiring a mandatory attendance age (which is bad enough, but as you say, the norm) and that of the federal government requiring it, is that currently most of those places make those requirements at the township, city, county or state level.

Nowhere, and in no way, does the federal government have the power and ability defined in law, to dictate the behavior of individuals, what they will study, or how long they will study. From the point of view of our being a “Nation of Laws, not men” THAT is most definitely “an OMG transformational we're now a police state” moment. But if we are not… it’s merely one more shrug.

I’m curious, do have even a notion of what that means, “Nation of Laws, not men”? Why it is important? How about “Separation of powers”? That government should be bound by the Constitution even? Oh… never mind, I can see by your comment that you don’t, please, don’t bother googling it, at least not for my sake.

For the president to assume the power to direct such a requirement, is one more instance of him taking up power with no basis for it – and it being tolerated. As he did in making a ‘recess appointment’ for his choice for his new ‘financial watchdog’ agency, during a time when the senate was NOT in recess. That is HUGE, but hardly a shrug in the press… did you even notice? Or when he directs the EPA or the FCC to take actions which the legislatures, House and Senate, have already rejected, it is not just an abuse of power, it is a taking up of power where there he has no authority to do so.

True, the Federal govt has been doing this for a century now, with the exception of a slight retrenching under Harding & Coolidge, with every other president of the 20th century beginning with Teddy Roosevelt & Woodrow Wilson a breather under Harding & Coolidge and the only significant roll back of federal size and power, before continuing on with ever bolder steps under Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush.

Their grabs however, incremental and destructive as they were, pale against what Obama has been ‘accomplishing’ today. And not surprisingly he is making most of his headway in the stunningly non-controversial area of education. The Longitudinal Data Systems (google up FERPA or browse here or here), the moves by the Dept of Ed which not only have no constitutional basis, but are being made in direct violation to the legislation which instituted the Dept of Ed as a cabinet level bureaucracy.

But don’t you worry your pretty little ignorant aninymouse head it over it, if and when the time comes, I’ve no doubt you won’t notice even a shred of difference between liberty and slavery… your ignorance long since having accustomed you to being enshackled.

Anonymous said...

Dear genius, what part of " I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen." don't you understand? You are quite right that the federal government does not have the power to require that, which is why he is calling on the states to do it. Are you saying Obama shouldn't be able to urge other parts of the government to act in a certain way? That is a constitutional limitation I am unaware of.

Their grabs however, incremental and destructive as they were, pale against what Obama has been ‘accomplishing’ today

Really? You think Obama has done more to increase the reach of the Federal government than FDR, or LBJ and the Warren Court? You are a strange person.

Van said...

aninnymouse said "You are quite right that the federal government does not have the power to require that, which is why he is calling on the states to do it. Are you saying Obama shouldn't be able to urge other parts of the government to act in a certain way? That is a constitutional limitation I am unaware of."

Did you look at those links? What is being tied together through the regulatory agencies is nothing short of astounding.

While it is of course true that that sentence taken by itself poses no constitutional issue, sorry, but if you are looking at that statement alone, then you are missing far more than you are seeing. If you take a look at how he operates, he asks for what he wants, and if he doesn’t get it, does it anyway through his agencies – federalism plays little or no role in such thinking.

For instance, the Common Core Curriculum was rejected by many states… which was just not good enough for this administration, so it is now proceeding through its ED agency to bypass the legislature and the states:

Flush with $550 million in new Race to the Top money, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said he intends to use the vast majority of it to design a new competition just for school districts.

And don’t forget to look into his Youth Corps and assorted ‘separate’ initiatives and TFA related
programs which may seem to be independent or state programs, but which receive hefty support through fed programs – if you think he means his words exactly as stated in that sentence alone… I think you’re ignoring an incredibly lot about how this administration operates.

If he manages to convince each individual state to pass mandatory education to 18 yrs old laws… that’d be something, and constitutional, but I can’t imagine him pulling that off, and I can even less imagine his letting that stop him… as Nancy Pelosi said about healthcare,

“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”

Read the four paragraphs following that sentence above, Obama wants this done, he wants centralized control over school curriculums, control over Student Loans, and so much more.

Van said...

And what he doesn’t get with ‘please’ he takes with force, as when he 'called on' the senate to confirm Richard Cordray, they didn’t, and he appointed him anyway as a ‘recess appointment’, while the Senate was not on recess,

"Today President Obama took his war against Congress to a new level, announcing four “recess appointments” when the Senate was not, in fact, in recess. The appointees included Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members of the National Labor Relations Board."

After failing to pass Net Neutrality through the legislature, he’s attempting to impose it upon the states through the FCC

Cap ‘n Trade failed in the legislature? Use the EPA to impose it.

I could go on and on with similar examples, and there are others such as SOPA, PIPA, Dodd-Frank, NDAA, which if they fall through legislatively, I would be entirely unsurprised to see implemented through various agencies. And then there’s his call in the speech to

”… That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people….”

If that doesn’t concern you, read “The Second Bill of Rights” by Obama’s Regulatory Czar, Cass Sunstein, particularly Chp. 2, “The Myth of Laissez-Faire”, and you should get a pretty clear picture of this administrations opinion of Individual Rights, of Individuals claim to any sort of property in any form which any govt agency might a hindrance to their ‘doing good’, and you might begin to rethink taking Obama at his words.

If that doesn’t do it for you… I can’t help you out, your own genius is just too much for my feeble abilities.

Van said...

“Really? You think Obama has done more to increase the reach of the Federal government than FDR, or LBJ and the Warren Court? You are a strange person.”

I said he is accomplishing more, and I didn’t mention the Supreme Court, that still remains to be seen, but yes, I do think that what he has managed to pull together, building upon what those before him have done, has succeed in consolidating and centralizing power beyond their wildest dreams.

If Obamacare stands, Social Security will pale in comparison to how every life will be affected. If Cap & Trade stands, along with taking over G.M., denying its bondholders, forcing dealers to sell or close their dealerships, shutting down oil drilling in the Gulf, turning away the Keystone Pipeline, closing down the Boeing plant in South Carolina, NDAA, Libya, the still non-existing budget, quantitative easing, the implementation of TARP & similar programs, cash for clunkers, …etc, etc, etc, and he’s not even done with his term… yeah, I think that’s pretty huge.

Anonymous said...

If Obamacare stands, Social Security will pale in comparison to how every life will be affected.

Ludicrous. If Obamacare were something like the British National Health Service, that might at least be plausible, but it leaves healthcare delivery untouched.

shutting down oil drilling in the Gulf, turning away the Keystone Pipeline

There was government environmental protection long before Obama came around, neither of these are even a bit radical.

I'm at a loss to see why corporations should be permitted to foul public resources. Having the Federal government regulate polluters is an unquestionably good thing, even if not always executed perfectly.

Not to mention the fact that there is more oil drilling in the Gulf now then before the BP spill.

closing down the Boeing plant in South Carolina,

You didn't get the memo did you: "The National Labor Relations Board dropped its much-disparaged action against Boeing Co. on Friday, a move praised by Republicans as overdue but one that deprives the GOP of one of its most reliable talking points in its criticism of the Obama administration." Although personally I thought the ruling was wrong, Boeing was clearly in violation of labor law.

NDAA

If you are referring and objecting to the parts of that that authorize indefinite detention and other broaches of civil liberties, well, at last we can agree on something. But I don't agree that it represents some radical break with the past; it's just an extension of policies begun under Bush.

Libya, the still non-existing budget, quantitative easing, the implementation of TARP & similar programs, cash for clunkers, …etc, etc, etc, and he’s not even done with his term… yeah, I think that’s pretty huge.

Alright, I can't be bothered to go through all of these, I guess you get the idea. Obama is a moderately liberal, moderately activist President who had to deal with an alarming economic situation. Nothing he's done is remotely some kind of radical break with the past. Are you sure there's not some other quality of his, besides his policies, that is getting you all bent out of shape?

Van said...

aninnymouse said "but it leaves healthcare delivery untouched"

It leaves healthcare delivery untouched. And in the process of supposedly untouching that delivery, it in fact orders that every person in America must pay a fee, in order to justify not being fined or imprisoned, it even empowers bureaucrats to write rules regarding who lives and who dies... but by God, it leaves healthcare delivery untouched.

That's just fantastic.

And you are satisfied with that because it is not as bad as it may be elsewhere. Tell me, would you excuse a thief because he didn't commit grand larceny? Would you excuse someone of assault and battery because they didn't commit murder? Would you excuse a murderer because he isn't a mass murderer?

No? Why not? Based upon... what? Not upon Rights, certainly, you've thrown out their political anchor, property rights, and installed 'for the greater good' in their place, you've traded rights for permissions... under the expectation that you will be in the favored class.

I find that disgusting.

Despicable and disgusting in every manner, shape and form. You, who believe this, might be in many, most or even all other ways, a decent person. You might even be a kind and loving sibling, spouse or parent or all three. But what I am exposed to of you here, your ideas, your brutal, barbaric disregard for the rights, mind and soul of your fellow man, for gain, and/or envy under the cover of your faux-morality... disgusts me. It is intellectually and spiritually filthy.

And you give and comfort to that filth, within your own mind.

(Break)

Van said...

(Cont.)
But at least you can make me laugh: "Are you sure there's not some other quality of his, besides his policies, that is getting you all bent out of shape?"

ROFLMAO.

A quality. Has to be a 'quality' for you doesn't it, couldn't possibly be an idea and the threat of implementing it which I vehemently disagree with, as I do with every leftist imaginable, on principle... no, of course not. For you, that is inconceivable. And with that, your inner leftist has exposed the sum total of its ability to 'understand'.

Appearances. Circumstances. Power.

Your sentiments have left you with no concept of concepts, only positions; you do not think, you simply shuffle words around to get the desired result. The New York times came out and made it official last year, "Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth", that Reason is no longer seen as a tool for pursuing Truth, but as a tool to win arguments and get your way - and fallacies are simply useful tools towards that end - and that is the truth for the leftist philosophy.

There is little point in continuing this discussion, there's no point in arguing about industry or law, you won't get that, or the need for abiding by laws that abide by the Constitution. By your beliefs you have rendered yourself incapable, see your own comment for reference:

"Having the Federal government regulate polluters is an unquestionably good thing, even if not always executed perfectly."

Unquestionable. Really? Regulations are unquestionably good, if imperfect. How would you know, if you haven't questioned it? And you haven't, have you? Ever? Nooo... like a good little fanatic, you just believe.

(Break)

Van said...

(Cont.)


But just for fun.

It doesn't matter if oil rigs are 'allowed' back into the gulf.
It doesn't matter if the NLRB had to roll back their criminal actions in South Carolina.
It doesn't matter if...

It doesn't matter what they did and then undid, or to what degree they did any of it... what matters is that they thought it was perfectly ok to do what they did, because they had the power, and the will, to do it. They shows that they have no respect for individual rights, for property rights or for peoples lives and their right to live them as they choose. They are Anti-American. They may win, it's possible and they certainly have the upper hand, but they will never measure up to what they mindlessly tore down.

'They'? Who are 'They'? The Proregressives, of the left and right, who dare to call themselves 'progressives'. But it is as false and anti-American today, as it was in Coolidges,

"...About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers..."

A man lives in his moment of choice. If you prevent him from doing that, you imprison him within his own body. To deprive a man of his ability to act upon his own right reason, deny him the right and ability to Pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness is evil.

I don't need any of your primitive and barbaric appearances to despise you or any of those who seek to use power to force others to live their lives in a way that you desire them to. The only difference between a punk like you, and a Stalin, is degree... and a twisted form of competence.

I don't need your mindless envy and hatreds.
I don't need conspiracies to explain you and yours.
I don't need monsters.
You are quite enough, thanks.

(Break)

Van said...

(Cont.)

You can follow my links to see what my ideas are based on... or ignore them, no matter.

But if you wish to try and actually examine your ideas and what your notion of 'rights' are... note, I do not mean whichever excuse you wish to make which you think justifies your destroying lives for the greater good, I'm not interested in that at all; I'm only interested in what you think passes for your ideas, that I'll take a look at. If not, you've pegged my disgust-o-meter already, and any more of the same I'll simply delete.

Run along now.

Anonymous said...

I notice in all your frothing you don't actually manage to respond to a single point I made.

Let's take a single one, the constitutionality/desireability of environmental regulation. There are various arguments for the constitutional basis of regulation, such as the language in Sec IV Article 3, that "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States;".

But the more significant issue, one that seems to entirely escape fundamentalist nitwits like yourself, is that the US Constitution was written for a pre-industrial society, and the law and government has of necessity adapted to the very different society we have today. Almost all of the things you hate can be traced back to these necessary adaptations. Some of them may have stretched the interpretation of the document rather far, but that's what happens when you try to run a 21st century society on 18th-century ideas. Fortunately the founders had the sense to make the constitution both amendable and interpretable.

There are many things about the results of this process that I don't like, such as the huge military/intelligence complex (there seems to be a small but nonempty overlap with the things you don't like). But that's the world we live in, and nothing is going to return us to the agrarian world of the constitution, other than a near-total collapse of the economy.

Van said...

aninnymouse said "you don't actually manage to respond to a single point I made"

I see that even now you seek to avoid the one point I asked you to make. I’m not interested in your points and opinions, as I said, I’m interested in your reasons, or more likely, your evasions. But I’ll play along a moment longer.

Um, genius, there is no Article 3, Section 4 in the Constitution. However in the portion of Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2
(I realize you probably just googled it up, but please, do check your sources, um kay?) which you quoted, you equivocate, as a leftist must, upon the last portion “belonging to the United States;” But please note, it doesn’t say that it gives the congress power to dispose of the property of the people of the United States, rather it is regarding govt property, and no other, and specifically property which the govt comes into possession of, through war, etc, as the records of the convention make clearThe propositions are as follows To dispose of the unappropriated lands of the United States”. Joseph Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution, elaborates:

“§ 1318. As the general government possesses the right to acquire territory, either by conquest, or by treaty, it would seem to follow, as an inevitable consequence, that it possesses the power to govern, what it has so acquired. “

And no, neither the people, nor their property, are the property of the govt. You’d do well to read both.
(break)

Van said...

(cont)
You continued to babble that:
“the more significant issue, one that seems to entirely escape fundamentalist nitwits like yourself, is that the US Constitution was written for a pre-industrial society, and the law and government has of necessity adapted to the very different society we have today.”

Actually, the more significant issue, one that seems to entirely escape leftists who don’t bother to think beyond what they ‘clearly and distinctly’ assume to be true, is twofold. The first, and most obvious to those who have given it a bit more thought than simple assumptions can provide, is that Human Nature has not altered in the least in the last two or three centuries, or even millennia. Neither has the need for Law, nor its proper basis… nor people’s tendency to do the first ‘smart idea' that strikes them, or their unceasing attempts to seek the easy way out of facing up to it at all.

Have you ever bothered to read any real history? Have you noticed that what we face today, and how we are facing it, is little changed from the time of Solon or Cleisthenes (ring any bells for you?) Or that the issues of a constitution and a society that has begun to neglect it, leads to essentially the same crisis, and excuses for tyrants as they did then, or in Cicero’s time, or Lockes or our Founders?

Or are you really so naïve as to think that human nature was somehow remade anew when 'modern technology’ and industry came upon the scene? And if you really are that naïve (tell me, are you still in high school? Cause that’d at least make sense), if your argument that society has been changed by time and technology, then how do you possibly now cling to such an old, pre-internet ideology, as that to justify the same depredations that your ideological grandfathers embraced?

Has it occurred to you that the argument you just repeated was first made by Woodrow Wilson in the 1800's? Has it occurred to you that his notion of ‘modern technology’ was still aghast at the idea of electricity and the light bulb? How could you, using your own criteria, be so foolish as to listen to such dark age fools at that?!

Or how about this, that the ‘proregressive age’ of Wilson's, which gave rise to your feeble notions, is now more ancient to us today, than the Founders era was to Wilson's, when he and others first began to float such idiocy back in 1886?
“… Old as democracy is, its organization on a basis of modern ideas and conditions is still an unaccomplished work. The democratic state has yet to be equipped for carrying those enormous burdens of administration which the needs of this industrial and trading age are so fast accumulating. Without comparative studies in government we cannot rid ourselves of the misconception that administration stands upon an essentially different basis in a democratic state from that on which it stands in a non-democratic state….”

(break)

Van said...

(cont)

Wilson was still babbling such gibberish two decades later, but the ‘big lie’ had begun to take, and his edition of ‘hope and change!’ succeeded in snowing the fools then, just as they do you today:

"The laws of this country have not kept up with the change of political circumstances in this country; and therefore we are not even where we were when we started....I am, therefore, forced to be a progressive, if for no other reason, because we have not kept up with our changes of conditions, either in the economic field or in the political field. We have not kept up as well as other nations have. We have not kept our practices adjusted to the facts of the case, and until we do, and unless we do, the facts of the case will always have the better of the argument; because if you do not adjust your laws to the facts, so much the worse for the laws, not for the facts, because law trails along after the facts. Only that law is unsafe which runs ahead of the facts and beckons to it and makes it follow the will-o’-the-wisps of imaginative projects."

I run into fools such as yourself nearly every day, and I foolishly continue to ask: Do you bother to think at all? Or is Wanting whatever you want, whenever you want it, because you want it, enough to justify whatever it is that you want? But it is foolish to ask, because you do not think, not in a reflective fashion, you don’t ponder and consider and look beyond the flattery your own mind serves up for you, and you call that ‘Common Sense’ .

You are simply uneducated, and you have been made uneducated by those who your own parents trusted to educate you. It is appalling.

And today, just as in Wilson’s, Calvin Coolidge, who had to clean up after Wilson, provided a more than adequate response to your foolish fancies, as quoted above:

"If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."

“There are many things about the results of this process that I don't like,”

Why? Based upon what? By what reasoning do you find them lacking? What would their proper redress require? Have you considered that at all? Have you thought it over? Have you thought about whether or not your wishes, or your dislikes, have a justifiable basis in principle, in truth, it what is Real?

Now. If you want to continue this, please continue it from that angle, I’m not interested in more of the same foolishness such as you spouted above.

Anonymous said...

Human nature may not get changed by technology (it's arguable, but lets say not). But the structure of human society most definitely does, and politics and government are about the ordering of scociety. Industrial-scale pollution of the commons was not an issue in 1789, it is today. Immensely powerful corporations were not (that much of) an issue back then; they are today. Instant communication between all citizens of a continent-spanning nation (and indeed, of the entire world) were not an issue back then; it is today. All this is blindly obvious, or should be.

Why? Based upon what? By what reasoning do you find them lacking? What would their proper redress require? Have you considered that at all? Have you thought it over? Have you thought about whether or not your wishes, or your dislikes, have a justifiable basis in principle, in truth, it what is Real?

Well, of course I have thought about it, but given that this is a democracy, my reasons for disliking a military empire or anything else are not really the issue. Of course to be effective I need to persuade others to share my opinions and that does involve the deployment of reason and rhetoric. Or to put it another way, my likes and dislikes are rooted in my being and don't need any metaphysical gubbish to underlie them.

I sense you are aware that this is how things really work, which explains the high-pitched note of hysteria in your devotion to truth, Reality, and the American way. Actually it's more than a note, you sound like you are about to boil over at any moment. I suggest taking a few deep breaths and examining the nature of this Real you seem to think you have a handle on.

PS: I don't know why you call Wilson's writing "gibberish". It's certainly possible to disagree with it, but it's perfectly understandable.

Van said...

Wowww… you packed a lot of assumptions into such a small space… but you did catch my interest with it, so... here come another flurry of comment box busting replies.

Oh well.

Van said...

anonymous said "Human nature may not get changed by technology (it's arguable, but lets say not)."

How about we not say not, unless you mean not... or not bother. If you think it does, that says a lot about the fundamental arguments you do buy into, how deeply your leftism goes, so to speak; are you aware of those philosophic assumptions and their implications?

"... But the structure of human society most definitely does…"

Nope. Societal structures affect Human behavior, not Human nature. Human nature is no different in the wilds of New Guinea, than it is in the various areas of Asia, Africa, the West or any of the soviet style national gulags. The obvious differences between the jungle tribesmen and the texting westerner, are reflections of the constraints imposed by the customs, knowledge, means and abilities of a culture (including its politics), and what their system does or doesn’t allow to develop and be expressed. The extent to which a given culture is able to admit, verify and disseminate new knowledge and corresponding behavior, is the limit which is imposed upon its growth, by themselves.

Van said...

anonymous said “…, and politics and government are about the ordering of scociety.” Politics is about providing an ordered means for society to ‘go about its business’ in line with the customs, knowledge and norms of its people; a political system is responsible for directing the collective power of that society towards goals which are compatible with, and maintain, its culture.

When Politics seeks to alter or 'order society', it creates disorder and risks bringing about the collapse of that society.

The idea of actively ordering society, in the active, changing sense that I think you intend, although that is the bent of modernity in particular, is an attempt by some in society to do away with the existing culture… it is revolutionary, or warfare by intellectual means, which may be compatible with Clausewitz's famous saying about war, that it is the continuation of politics (policy) by other means, but it is not what is normally considered as normal internal politics.

Normal political goals can be broken down into three areas - maintaining the system for the systems sake, or for directing the system towards the interests of a few (elites or popular opinion), or directing the system towards upholding and defending an abstract sense of justice.

Tribal cultures maintain the system for the systems sake, the culture is all, the individual and the other are nothing and nearly interchangeable with the ‘enemy’; this applies equally to stone age headhunters, Islamic caliphates or other theocracies.

Kings, tyrants, oligarchies, Democracy, etc, are for using the power of society for the betterment of a few, where the ‘few’ could equally refer to small quantities of individuals, or small quantities of groups which speak for a sizable number or majority of the population, such as with the popular opinion of the majority.

A Republic is about directing the power of society towards upholding an abstract system of justice, reliant upon principled law as opposed to rules benefitting powerful favorites (‘a nation of laws, not of men’), it seeks to uphold and defend what is rightful and Just, regardless of whether the parties concerned are individuals, groups, the wealthy and powerful, middle class or the impoverished. Only a Republic is compatible with the idea of 'Equal Justice before the Law, for all'."

The political structure which governs best, is the one which minimizes conflicts between the requirements of governing society, and the individuals governing of themselves. The Political system which does that best, is also going to be the one which is most adaptable to the needs of the foreseeable moment (which can’t be done when people aren’t free to make the decisions necessary for living their own lives; something which regulations unavoidably interfer with) while not disconnecting the people of the present from their past, absent which, their society truly has no future.

Politics, properly speaking, provides a means for society to best order itself, in line with the customs and ideas of its people, and the needs of the foreseeable moment. Politics, improperly speaking (meaning leftishly), means ordering society as it seems pleasing to ‘those who know best’, in order to ‘improve’ society, or as Rousseau said, to ‘force them to be free’ - whatever euphemisms you want to use, that last is not compatible with liberty and freedom, let alone Justice.

A large cause of the effects which are visible as the differences between societies, such as traditional tribal models, Asian models, or between the various Western forms vs Soviet-ish societies, are the results of their understandings or beliefs regarding the 'metaphysical gubbish' which underlies ethics, and its subset, politics.

The better a political system is at not inhibiting the growth of knowledge while also enabling the cultural norms to continue, is a society that has the best chance to grow and become civilized.

Van said...

anonymous said "Industrial-scale pollution of the commons was not an issue in 1789, it is today..." And your putting it that way, as if it obviously meant that ‘new ideas!’ MUST replace all ‘old’ ideas, is consistent with the method that the unprincipled always use to approach a matter of principle, from the tenured fool who prates on about not being able to step in the same river twice, to the congressional committees examining too much competition in free trade. What should be "blindly obvious" about this (and assuming you meant ‘blindingly obvious’, that is so literally true…) is that they attempt to focus your attention upon an arbitrary particular, asserting that since the relevant principle wasn't formulated when this specific instance came about, all discussion should be focused on their favored particulars, while dispensing with principle and reason.

Neatly sidestepped by such an approach, is the understanding that the purpose of being principled is so that you don't have to evaluate each particular instance as if it were something new under the sun, and you don’t need to, because principles result from there having been isolated a general, common truth, that pertains to all particular instances, past, present and future. Principles are what enable a society to evolve towards a reasoning civilization; abandoning them in order to deal with each particular as if it were something new under the sun, which it is not, is a descent into a more primitive mode of thought, more applicable to tribal cultures, than Western technological society.

Prudence is required (which on the surface can seem like breaking with principles), but to discard principles in order to deal with each matter 'pragmatically' (the rejection of principles, on principle), is madness. Principles are what connect a person to a reality based understanding of the world and their place in it… pragmatism returns them to a splintered, pre-conceptual hell, populated with spooks, godz and Keynesianism, each of which must be propitiated with one sacrifice or another.

If you actually are concerned with the issues, you should stop that.

Van said...

anonymous said “…. Immensely powerful corporations were not (that much of) an issue back then; they are today…” Hudson Bay company? Or The East India Company? But maybe they don’t qualify as ‘much’, after all, what’s a revolution in the scale of things, right (it wasn't high taxes that sparked the Boston Tea Party, but the Crown giving monopoly control of the trade to the East India Co, Mercantilism, which shocked the colonists into how easily Britain could and would impose itself over their rights to make their own choices)? Continuing on, “…Instant communication between all citizens of a continent-spanning nation (and indeed, of the entire world) were not an issue back then; it is today. All this is blindly obvious, or should be.” Hmmm… are you trying to limit freedom of speech because speech can be communicated over great distances? Where are you going with that?

But regarding the need for ‘regulatory law’, as opposed to that primitive constitutional system of those Founding Fathers and their goofy concern for Individual Rights and Property Rights, if you've looked at the history of regulatory law, from a perspective other than that of those who adore it and see it as the salvation of society (shouldn't that utopianism raise a few fears? Read that essay by Wilson on Administrative State if you’re not sure what I mean), you'd find out that from the very beginning with the ICC and later the FDA, that regulations are written by those who are being regulated and in order to favor the most politically 'wealthy', at the expense of the 'common man'.

(break)

Van said...

(cont)

The only defense which the common man has against the wealthy and politically well connected, is a rigorous respect for everyone’s property rights and objective law. Objective law, as opposed to that which relies upon 'interpretation', which amounts to the subjective whim of the judge or regulator, states that anyone who violates the property of, or otherwise infringes upon the rights of an individual, is in the wrong, and must give restitution or some form of punishment for having done so.

That applies whether it is your neighbor who drains his cesspool into your yard, or a corporation which drains its toxic waste into areas which the public has property in – their air, water, etc - whether it be the township, county, state, etc. If the Louisiana Slaughterhouse cases had been decided upon on that basis, as expressed by justice Fields (this will take you to the section of one of my posts, leading up to the 'Slaughter House Cases'), modern American history might have been very different, but it wasn't, it was decided upon by the pro-regulatory view, whose judgment was to essentially set up partnerships between the state and the corporations... guess where that left the public. That is what happens when Property Rights are rejected, and the interests of the wealthy and powerful, are imposed upon all, by law.

It is only the concept of property rights which enables David to stand up to Goliath, knowing that he has the power of govt (meaning the collective power of society), in his sling - assuming he is in the right.

Regulatory law accomplishes the exact opposite, when David stands up to Goliath, Govt is Goliath's spear and David is disarmed.

Again, I've gone into ridiculous amounts of detail on this subject, much of which can be found in the links above, and in particular in these three.
Regulatory State of Mind 1
Regulatory State of Mind 2
Regulatory State of Mind 3

I've done my homework, and did it before I came to the conclusions that I have. Do your own homework.

Van said...

anonymous said "Well, of course I have thought about it, but given that this is a democracy," And from what I've seen, the quality of your thought upon the subject is comparable to what you just stated there: We are not a Democracy. I know the left likes to posture about when this is pointed out to them, our State educational board says "Democracy IS good!" and when pressed upon it they fell back to "We are a Constitutional Democracy!", but the fact is that we are not that either, and were not intended to be. We are a Republic, a constitutional, representative, Republic (some of whose members are democratically elected), NOT a Democracy, and the reson we are not one, is the result of an exceedingly deliberate choice made by our Founders, and affirmed by ratification of We The People - they went out of their way to ensure that we would never become a democracy.

Despite the fact that Proregressive putz's like Wilson early on began referring to us as a democracy (in completely unrelated news, early on that was identified as the preferred tactic to nudge a society towards communism), we are not one, and they only did so because it has been the proregressive dream to change us to a democracy so that they wouldn't have to deal with pesky things like the constitution and individual rights in their zeal to 'do good unto us'.

Van said...

anonymous said "Or to put it another way, my likes and dislikes are rooted in my being and don't need any metaphysical gubbish to underlie them." Allow me to translate: "I want what I want to be so, and I don't like having reality mucking things up, my whims are validated with popular opinion."

I'll say this, if the "metaphysical gubbish" you refer to has anything to do with the garbage of the likes of Hegel, I am in sympathy with you. However if you are attempting to heap a reality based metaphysics, such as Aristotle's, and without which logic cannot be meaningfully practiced, you should be able to clearly see me on the opposite side... with a metaphorical red dot trained upon your forehead.

A recognition of reality - that it trumps your wishes for what is real, and that you are able to perceive and understand it; the necessity of conforming your ideas to what you know to be true about reality; and the ability which you and your society have for storing and passing on its knowledge and customs; these are what affect the development, lack of, or corruption, of a society.

This is what goes to the 'metaphysical gubbish' which underlies ethics, and its subset, politics. I sense that you, as with most moderns, realize that, and shy away from it, usually with frantic accusations of 'religiosity' or some other such strawmen which helps them to feel better about either denying reality, or its effective equivalent, denying our ability to actually know what is true. THAT is metaphysical gibberish, and it forms the central core of modern philosophy, with progressively increasing emphasis from Descartes forward.

With those flaming strawmen in mind, I'll state it clearly: my philosophical understanding is not based upon religion, but upon reality and our ability to perceive it, and conceive ideas which correspond with it (which, btw, is not in conflict with religion, or with those who are not religious). Obviously you haven't read through the links I provided... it would take days to, yet you’ve replied within minutes of my comments, so unless you've been reading my site in-depth for years, don't bother trying to say that you are responding to me and my ideas – rather you are responding to your assumptions about me, which means that you are talkng to yourself... and you should stop that, it makes you look crazy.

I began a series of post some while ago, which I'm still in the midst of carving into concrete html, what the reality based ideas are that I base my understanding upon, but the 2008 election and Tea Party issues have sidetracked me, and unfortunately the point I was about to get in-depth into, was metaphysics, starting with Aristotle's (which I mostly agree with). But, I've given several synopsis of it, and in the links above, and the 'briefest'(pause for laughter) overall summaries would probably be these two.

The Spiral of Knowledge
Dehumanistic mystics

Van said...

anonymous said "...which explains the high-pitched note of hysteria in your devotion to truth, Reality, and the American way." Lol. Any 'high-pitch' note you perceive through my html, is simply the struggle I feel between laughter at these feeble points, and frustration over having to refute them over, and over, and over again, but rest assured, my smile is affixed firmly in place.

"I suggest taking a few deep breaths and examining the nature of this Real you seem to think you have a handle on." Good advice, which I continually and consistently practice. Hence my lack of faux tact in confronting ideas such as yours. Matters are too important to risk allowing them to slip by without being solidly named and confronted.

"PS: I don't know why you call Wilson's writing "gibberish". It's certainly possible to disagree with it, but it's perfectly understandable." What is perfectly understandable is that his writing bears no factual relation to history or reality, hence its gibberishness.

Van said...

I probably should have turned these comments into a post, and might still, but one last point, the better a political system is at not inhibiting the growth of knowledge while also enabling the cultural norms to continue, is a society that has the best chance to grow and become civilized. The stories a society tells itself, is what Educates that society about itself and its relation to the world. Eliminate those stories which convey it, and you risk eliminating the society itself - Which has been the operating theory of proregressive leftism, and which it has nearly accomplished by eliminating Homer, Virgil, The Bible, etc., from the content of our educational curriculum.

These weren't simply 'dusty old stories' or marble bound classics, they ARE the vehicles of Western Civilization - mistaking math and science and technology for the heart of the west, is as tragically idiotic as mistaking the fists of a boxer for being more important than his heart, and seeking to remove it in order to free up more blood to go to them.

If we don't transform our system of education back into one that Educates... all the other questions will be moot points.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Haploid Christ, I've never seen a higher word/insight ratio in my life.

You just keep repeating the same blather over and over, it is no more convincing the 20th time than the first. Learn to make an argument. That means not relying on your outraged opinions or not-that-clever wordplay like "proregressive", but actually engaging with the thing you are arguing against.

Take Wilson, for example. He sends you into paroxyms of blustering outrage, but it's not very likely that he was a complete idiot, or a conscious evildoer, or an unpatriot bent on destroying America. Maybe he was wrong! But ranting about him the way you do won't convince anyone who isn't already convinced.

Oh well, it's probably useless, you seem to think you have some sort of unique ability to proclaim definitively on complex historical issues. Maybe we should make you king or god-emperor, since you have things figured out so thoroughly.

Van said...

Once again aninnymouse, you dodged my request that you come out and make your case. Telling me that I'm blathering on, gives me nothing to reply to. Make a statement and support it with the ideas you derive it from. If you can.

This post which you are here commenting on, is not one where I've made an argument for my ideas and so I'm not going to recreate them for you here, especially since you have not yet managed to give me a specific, substantiated, objection of your own.

On the other hand, in many of those numerous links to my posts above, I have already made my case and my arguments for them... you might note that many of them are rather long - I'm not going to recreate my wheels here for the amusement of someone who refuses to either substantiate their own claims, or refute mine with their own arguments.

"...on your outraged opinions..." Lol, I'm laughing at your superior outrage.

"not-that-clever wordplay like "proregressive"" ;-) Thank you, I do like that one, and I appreciate your validating it; so descriptive as well as annoying to those such as yourself. Perfect.

"paroxyms of blustering outrage" lol, no, but I do admit to enjoying a snicker over the paroxysms of offended outrage it elicits from readers such as yourself. A cheap thrill, but fun nonetheless. It’s the little things.

Wilson is wrong, and his errors stem from his philosophy, the roots of which I've gone over before... at length.

" Maybe we should make you king or god-emperor, since you have things figured out so thoroughly." If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve.

This is a blog dude, I've put my ideas out here hoping for argument from those who disagree - unfortunately, trolls such as yourself (you are anonymous, you never state the reasons for your positions, you never substantiate your disagreements, you continually dodge questions and move to another attack - you are a troll... how proud your parents must be), seem to think rattling off news stories, quoting statistics, or asserting that I am not convincing, is itself an argument - it is not.

I'm not here for your amusement. You, on the other hand, are here for mine, and unless you are providing me with an interesting argument, which you are not... then I’m sorry to tell you that the magic is fast going out of the relationship.

One more time, if you have an argument that you would like to make, rather than a claim, or an insult, please make it, otherwise you're done... ta-ta.