Patterico's Pontifications

11/12/2012

What Does It Mean to “Return to First Principles” And How Is It Going to Happen?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:27 am

When people talk about the Constitution and returning to the principles of our Founders, what do they mean? And how can we try to do that?

We have strayed from our Founders’ principles in several areas, but I think the primary problem is our oversized government. Our Founders believed in a limited government of enumerated powers. Supreme Court rulings expanding the Commerce Clause have paved the way for an explosion of the state, putting us on a path towards European-style socialism, where citizens depend on the government to bandage every wound and keep every ill at bay. There is no way to reconcile this philosophy with the attitude that made America great: individualism and freedom.

What can we do about it?

On the electoral front, I don’t know. I’m not a politico; I don’t know what makes for good electoral politics, and when I try to opine on that subject people should slap me. As a blogger it’s tempting to try to diagnose what would advance your point of view, but I think it’s best merely to stick to explaining what issues are important to me and why. For me, it’s the burgeoning government debt bubble, and it’s judges.

I feel comfortable opining on what we need on the judicial front — and that front is very, very important. The key is to nominate justices and lower court judges in the mold of Clarence Thomas. We need judges who are willing to adhere to the Constitution when precedents handed down by liberal judges are in conflict with the Constitution. Justice Thomas would bring the understanding of the Commerce Clause closer in line with what the Founders intended. (For all his weakness on the ObamaCare case, so would Justice Roberts, by the way.)

We need judges like Thomas on other issues as well. For example, in the Kelo case, we needed justices who were willing to require a taking to be a public “use” as the Constitution requires, and not a public “benefit.” We had four such justices, but we needed five. In the ObamaCare case, we needed judges who were willing to strike down the legislation as incompatible with the Constitution’s limits on the federal government. We had four such justices, but we needed five.

We don’t lose every battle like this. The left tried to gut the Second Amendment and they failed. They had four justices willing to do it, but they needed five.

Justice Alito is relatively young. Justice Roberts (whom we all revile for the ObamaCare decision but who is still basically a good justice for us) is young. Justice Thomas is still relatively young.

Justice Scalia and Justice Kennedy are each 76. Hopefully they can hang on for four more years and we’ll have a different President. This one may get to replace Justice Ginsburg, which is a shame. But it won’t tip the balance.

Right now we have a weak coalition at the Court. Sometimes we find five votes, but too often we have only four.

Once we have no chance of getting five votes, you can hang it up. We’re done.

We’re not at that point yet. But we’re very close.

27 Responses to “What Does It Mean to “Return to First Principles” And How Is It Going to Happen?”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  2. We need to start by becoming part of the culture. We need to teach people in an understated way that personal liberty is better than dependency. IOW the GOP and Heritage and AEI need a PR campaign, because the only people interested in their message are those who already believe it.

    It’s way too late, two months before an election, to tell voters that food stamps are bad. Try summer camps that teach entrepreneurship, Cinco de Mayo parties in the barrio, free history books to kids who come to a tutoring center.

    We need well funded pro bono law firms, an opposite ACLU, to attack leftist decisions

    The other guys spent a generation taking over the culture; now we have to start taking it back.

    Nakoula Nakoula (be0117)

  3. Oops, forgot my real name.

    Patricia (be0117)

  4. On Kelo, I don’t think the “use” vs “benefit” distinction gets the job done. It works for things like a public road, or even with a right of way for a rail line, but what about a pipeline that brings crude from a well to a refinery? With the well, refinery and pipeline all owned by an oil company, it’s all private, and the use is also all private. The public benefit is clear, and there should be some way to allow oil companies to build pipelines, even if some of the landowners along the way are in opposition.

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  5. It all starts with “Home Schooling”.

    mg (31009b)

  6. We have 45 senators non in reelection trouble but Maine in 2014 – democrats have 8 senators who carried red but under 53%

    We have now thirty governors!!! and we carried in more state houses

    Redistricting (using the case when Texas redistricted in 1992 and again in 1998) will prevent any takeover of the house by Democrats.

    We lost the election by a platry 407 thousand votes in 4 states. Romney ORCA establishment to get the vote out failed to complete its databases and an estimated 30,000 to 70,000 volunteers had nothing to do in the swing states – if each of those volunteers presuaded just 3 people each (half of 407,000) We would not be as gloomy as we are now.

    Romney was te wrong choice – Ryan made it worse – despite those deep self inflicted wounds – we came very close to defeating Obama.

    I am declaring victory in the election because a supermajority of state houses and Govenorships now for the first time in history are held by republicans.

    Also thoswe giving advice that we need to change the brand etc – did the democrats do it un 68? or again in 80? Or how about in 2004 and again in 2010?

    So why should we?

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  7. sorry about the misspellings – its leaking in my mom’s basement and my twinkies are clogging my keyboard

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  8. Justice Roberts (whom we all revile for the ObamaCare decision but who is still basically a good justice for us) is young

    Thanks for writing that. I think that Justice Roberts made a horrible and incomprehensible decision in that case, but I don’t understand the conservative propensity to continually lambaste him for it and to write him off as an ally. ObamaCare needs to succeed or fail based upon its merits as implemented, not because the Supreme Court strikes it down. Remember that they upheld it as a tax, so we at least appear to have five justices who will draw the line at the degree to which the government can force us into specific market behavior.

    JVW (f5695c)

  9. I posed this question to some lawyer on the ‘nets last week:

    If the legal/academic community thought it was important to establish The Federalist Society to re-insert original-ism back into political thought, why haven’t they initiated a movement to qualify for the ballot of each state a Federalist Party, dedicated to the principles of The Founders?

    Would this be something that those involved in the TEA-Party movement should be looking towards, particularly with the animus now lurking within the GOP-Establishment towards those evil old-white-men who cling bitterly to the guns and religion?

    Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    -John Adams

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  10. I wrote this on a post at the end of last week, but I think that “Returning to First Principles” should move the GOP back to a very staunch “if you want it you have to pay for it” orientation. That’s why I am willing to commit apostasy and argue that we should call for a repeal of all the Bush tax cuts, along with very significant reductions in spending. Recall if you will that the Ryan plan was going to take something like 20 years before we reached a balanced budget, and the Obama plan never bothers to get there. The GOP should suggest tax increases and spending freezes and cuts so that we balance the budget no later than the end of this decade.

    I know that calling for tax increases and spending cuts sounds like political suicide, and there is no doubt that Obama and the Democrats will demagogue it to death. We should swipe a page from their book and make it all about the children: why should the Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y continue to live a rather opulent lifestyle while piling massive unpayable debt upon future generations? Shouldn’t those of us who lived through the fat years in the 80s and 90s (and even parts of the 00s) be the ones to sacrifice in order to ensure that Patterico’s children have at least a fighting chance at the American Dream?

    JVW (f5695c)

  11. ORCA…
    Romney’s guys created a program at the last minute, and never field-tested it; and expected to out-perform AxelFraud who has had in-place a ground-game since 2007, which he has expanded as he fine-tuned it.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  12. On Kelo, I don’t think the “use” vs “benefit” distinction gets the job done. It works for things like a public road, or even with a right of way for a rail line, but what about a pipeline that brings crude from a well to a refinery? With the well, refinery and pipeline all owned by an oil company, it’s all private, and the use is also all private. The public benefit is clear, and there should be some way to allow oil companies to build pipelines, even if some of the landowners along the way are in opposition.

    Some pipelines would be permitted if for a public use, even under the Constitutional view. But I don’t support a view of the Constitution that says we ignore Constitutional provisions just because the oil and gas industry says we need to.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  13. sorry about the misspellings – its leaking in my mom’s basement and my twinkies are clogging my keyboard
    Comment by EPWJ — 11/12/2012 @ 8:56 am

    – Truth revealed at last.

    Icy (f750a9)

  14. JVW, eight of the ten wealthiest (by household income) counties voted (in some cases, such as Marin Co CA – overwhelmingly) for O.
    O has declared that the question of taxes was thoroughly debated during the campaign, and the American People have decided that his plan is the correct one.
    So, to quote H.L. Mencken:
    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    Elements on the Left point to the prosperity of the Fifties when tax rates were 90% on The Rich (I think this is the only thing they “admire” about the Fifties),
    and it would only be “fair” to go back to that rate after all of the benefits “The Rich” have enjoyed due to “the exploitation of the working man” by Wall-Street Bankers
    (Oh, wait, they don’t mention exploitation, but it lurks in their consciousness).
    This rate increase should be accompanied by a serious Dollar limitation on the deductions/exemptions that “The Rich” can claim on their 1040 –
    somewhere between zero and $50K.

    Now, the only question is:
    What constitutes “Rich”?
    Some wags in the past have said that to a Democrat/Progressive, “rich” is anyone with a job.

    Let the games begin!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  15. I saw that data on the rich voting for Obama, askeptic. Living here in L.A. County you see a lot of very nice beach homes with Obama, Waxman, Yes on Prop. 30 yard signs, and you see luxury vehicles with Obama stickers and magnets.

    I should have mentioned that Conservatives/Republicans should preface our call for higher taxes and less spending by noting that (1) we believe that higher taxes are a drag on the economy and (2) we believe that at a certain point that tax increases become counterproductive because their destructive nature overwhelms the extra revenue demanded. My strategy — which may fail miserably — is to call the Democrats’ bluff. Going back to Clinton tax rates would, I believe, bring in something like $200B in extra revenue per year. We then turn to the Democrats and say, “OK, we agreed to raise taxes, now you have to find $800B per year in spending cuts to reach a balanced budget.” If they balk, then we need to demand that they propose new tax increases.

    Lots of rich people are happy to vote Democrat when it only “costs” a 35% income tax rate and a 15% capital gains tax rate. They even claim that they are willing to back to a 39.6% income and 28% capital gains tax rate. Let’s see if they continue to vote that way when it costs 50% income and 40% capital gains.

    JVW (f5695c)

  16. The national GOP should be touting their governors who turned their states around. There should be ads on TV, articles in papers, appearances on soft venue shows.

    Patricia (be0117)

  17. But, Patricia, ads cost money, money that would be better spent on retreats, and cruise-seminars for the Establishment Intelligentsia (Nomenklatura).

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  18. Patterico:

    You are correct about first principles. Liberty & Truth require constant vigilance.

    Trouble is we have largely abandoned our first principles – and our Constitution.

    This country was founded with the first, first principle – being Liberty. Liberty has been overcome with falsely applied secondary principles of equality, and fairness.

    The Constitution start out, We The People – cross that out and write in the present We The Government.

    The three foundational principles of the Constitution are: 1) a limited federal government; 2) a written Constitution and Rule of Law; and 3) a representative Republic. Again, these principles have been largely abandoned.

    1) The federal government is anything but limited, and does everything but its core functions; it has become cancerous behemoth, ever metastasing and ever diminishing out Liberty. See Who Will Tell The People: The Betrayal of American Democracy (1992) by William Greider. http://www.amazon.com/Who-Will-Tell-The-People/dp/0671867407
    2) The Constitution and the Rule of Law, are routinely trumped by politics and corruption, and the federal government has ever increasing immunity and secrets; and,
    3) We have abandoned being representative Republic, when we capped the House of Representative at 435 in 1911 when we had a national population of ~ 125,000,000; we now have over 315,000,000 people and still 435 representative. The Legislature was placed first in the Constitution, as it was the most direct connection to the People, as they were elected by the People, especially – The House – as it was supposed to be the pulse and life blood of the nation’s government. Yet representation has been ever diminishing since 1911. http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ Further, the judiciary which was placed third and last, was supposed to be the weakest, could will nothing, and its only power was through the wisdom and reason of it decisions, now has over twice the amount of judges as we have representatives. http://www.uscourts.gov/JudgesAndJudgeships/FederalJudgeships.aspx The judiciary has leap frogged over the House and is now first. Can you say judicial supremacy? California is even worse, and as the saying goes, As goes California, so goes the Nation. And then tack on the dearth of impeachments and that almost 100% of misconduct complaints against federal judges, year-in-year-out are dismissed without any discipline being imposed. See Without Merit: The Empty Promise of Judicial Discipline (1997) http://www.judgewatch.org/articles/without-merit-1997.pdf and The Center for Judicial Accountability’s March 6, 2008 Critique of the Breyer Committee Report on the Implementation of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980 http://www.judgewatch.org/web-pages/judicial-discipline/federal/critique-breyer-report.htm arguing the Breyer report is a fraud. Current Poster Child for judicial misconduct after Chief Justice Roberts re ObamaCare decision: USDC-Central District, California, Manuel Real. And finally, add in the unconstitutional despicable and dastardly doctrine of Absolute Judicial Immunity – that covers corrupt and malicious acts.

    Liberty & Truth require constant vigilance.

    gzerman (a10726)

  19. Eminent domain is wrong in principle even for public use — if it’s that damned important to buy just this plot of land and no other, then we should be willing to pay for it. There’s no such thing as land that isn’t for sale at any price. Eminent domain is just a way of lowering the price. But wrong or right, there’s no question that for public use it’s constitutional. And if it’s kept to genuine public use then the harm is minimised, because there’s only so much land the public can possibly use. The real problem with opening it up to private uses is that there’s no limit to how much land could be swept up in it. And of course the potential for corruption is so great that it’s inevitable.

    The only fair alternative to abolishing eminent domain, at least for all but genuine public uses, is to make it automatically available to everybody, without any need for political connections. Allow anyone to buy any property for 10% above its declared value; if your house gets bought, no problem, just use the money to buy someone else’s house. The 10% premium should help with the moving costs.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  20. PS: the most sensible way to buy land for a large capital project such as a road or pipeline, is to make it a package deal; everybody’s payout depends on the entire parcel being sold. That way the holdout is holding out on everyone, and will come under pressure from his neighbours to see sense. Or if he’s demanding crazy money, route around him, and around as many of his neighbours as you have to, and they don’t get their bonanza either.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  21. But, Patricia, ads cost money, money that would be better spent on retreats, and cruise-seminars for the Establishment Intelligentsia (Nomenklatura).

    Comment by askeptic — 11/12/2012 @ 11:20 am

    Sad but true.

    Patricia (be0117)

  22. “There is no way to reconcile this philosophy [socialism] with the attitude that made America great: individualism and freedom.”

    Of course you can’t. So why do “conservatives” think that we can?

    Since you’re considering “first principles”, allow me to quote Ayn Rand on not “first” principles, but principals in general and see if you might think that any (or all) of these observations might be applicable to the conservatives’ latest ass-whoopin’:

    1. In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.

    2. In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.

    3. When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side.

    You can blame Romney for running his campaign foolishly or you can blame Obama and the socialists for being the Chicago-style thugs that they’ve become or you can come to another conclusion: Has it dawned on you that the socialists and the conservatives in Congress have essentially merged, not merely politically, but ethically? I mean, all that we actually have to choose from are the socialists and socialist lites. This was precisely the choice offered to the America in the recent elections: the man who shoved Obamacare up our collective posteriors or the man who (unrepentantly, I might add) signed its legislative model into law in Massachusetts. The difference is… what, exactly?

    The socialists win — and will continue to win — because they’re more consistent with respect to their ideology of big government. And the Republicans continue to believe that their ideology embodies “limited” or “small” government? Really? All that the Ryan plan does is demonstrate how to pay for the socialist state within a budget after a certain amount of continued deficit spending. Wow. What a concept. But roll back the “oversized government”? Cut spending? Eliminate bureaucracies and regulation of the economy? Oh, puhleeze.

    If you’re interested in a discussion of “first principles”, then one must ask how “limited” can limited government ever become if one holds the same moral ideals, the same fundamental philosophical principles, as the socialists? Socialism is based on the ethical principle of altruism, which is the idea that man does not live for himself, but for others. Socialism is merely the political implementation of that ideal. The socialists are supremely confident that such a principle would enable their cherished political end result of egalitarianism and thus, “social justice”. To them, this is a perfectly rational — and, more importantly, moral — goal and they are tireless in their pursuit of it. Verily, they are as dogmatic about it as radical Islamists.

    What is the “conservative” moral ideal based upon? That’s a good question. Well, what you hear from the conservative talking heads, the RNC, and the Republican politicians is that conservative principles embody the “traditional American values” of independence, self-reliance, and individual freedom (which is, conveniently, left undefined.) Yet these same politicans vote for an ever-increasing State and the consequent curtailment of our individual liberties. There is nothing in the conservative platform that represents a plan to reduce government. Rather, it is merely filled with empty bromides about “limited” government. So if “conservatives” are the silent majority that conservatives seem to think that they are and their ideals actually embody what they claim that they do, then why would there ever be a disconnect between the conservative voters and the conservative politicians?

    The sad answer is that there isn’t a disconnect; the conservative politicians DO represent their constituencies. It’s that their constituencies are ethically inconsistent. How many “conservative” farmers want our borders secured, yet hire illegals to work on their farms? How many businesses screech about “unjust” regulations from Washington, yet lobby for price supports, subsidies and tax breaks? How many people complain about the quality of public education, yet routinely vote to increase funding to the educational bureaucracy? How many “conservatives” — including the Great Communicator himself — shout against the evils of socialism as being a cancer upon the body politic, yet agree that there MUST be “some” sort of government funded “safety net” for the poor, the aged, the children, the “victims” of inequality? How many Republicans will vote to ELIMINATE the food stamp program, breakfast and lunch programs for school children, student loan programs to minorities and women, funding for small-business start ups, or the Dept. of Education at the federal, state or local level?

    A lot? No, relatively few actually or they would certainly have recognized the threat to their individual liberties and would have already acted to repeal such ethical and political travesties when they were in control of the government. By now, you could have cited the historical examples of them doing so — but you can’t because they haven’t. They don’t see the ethical principles of socialism (the cause) as the problem, yet they can’t help but help but rail about socialism’s results (i.e., the effect.)

    Regrettably, though, you are left with the only logical, obvious and (for the conservatives, uncomfortable) conclusion: the Republicans cannot repudiate socialism because they believe in the same guiding ethical principles as the socialists. The “conservatives” will not — on a fundamental, moral level — challenge the moral foundation of the socialists that justifies the socialists’ goals. This is the flaw, the MORAL flaw, of the “conservatives”. THIS is why they lost and will continue to lose elections. Implicitly or explicitly, conservatives believe on some level in the tenets of altruism, i.e., that we are our brother’s keeper. But if the Republicans believe and operate on this principle, then they’re ethically no different than the socialists.

    If these two political parties share a common belief in a First Principle — and they DO — then then all of Rand’s observations listed above are true — and the irrational, evil, and yet, consistent party wins. And always will. You cannot build a nation of free and independent citizens upon a foundation of altruist ideals. It cannot work and I offer the state of modern conservatism as proof. Obama’s unprecedented rape of the economy, imperial legislation and arrogant anti-American bigotry merely overshadows the ridiculous fiscal irresponsibility, regulatory lunacy, privacy-invasion-in-the-name-of-security and the “compassionate” conservatism of Bush.

    If you embrace the notion that you are your brother’s keeper — that, as a people, Americans are ethically responsible for providing material support for people we don’t even know or value, be it in your neighborhood, the next state over or on the next continent — then two factors come into play and both are deadly.

    A. There is a certain “logic” to the socialism: if a little socialism is good, then more is better. If the government creation of Social Security as a retirement system for the aged is a social value, then wouldn’t government subsidization of their health care be an even better value? If marginal regulation of business for the “safety” of the consumer is good, then massive regulation makes them safer, right? If minimum regulation of pollution is a value to all, wouldn’t forcing everyone to build a “clean” energy infrastructure be better?

    Needless to say, when one (in this case, the conservatives) accept the tenets of socialism, it would be contradictory to argue for “limited” government, now wouldn’t it? Also, there will never be any need for a moral justification by your government betters when they call upon you to sacrifice your most cherished values for the “good” of others.

    B. The laws of bureaucracy apply with a vengance, e.g., the bureaucracy will always act to protect itself. Furthermore, if morally the government is the answer to all of our social problems, then there will be no reason for the bureaucracy to think that it’s ever going away — which yields to another law (a variation on Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy): the bureaucracy will always act to expand its scope and its power as justification for its continued existence. Do you really want an IPAB, let alone, have it rule your life forever?

    Altruism is not moral — it is a morality of cannibalism, based upon the sacrifice of the lives and effort of others — thus it is not practical. If the State can sacrifice the life or the property of one, then in principle it can sacrifice the lives of all and it is simply a matter of time before you are the sacrifice. Socialism eventually metastasizes into either communism or fascism but both will consume its citizens. It is the unavoidable end result of a regime built upon moral cannibalism.

    Until “conservatives” grasp that the moral principle that they’re “conserving” is altruism, nothing with will change for the better. To quote Rand again, “There can be no compromise on [First] [P]rinciples. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction.” Additionally, “Contrary to the fanatical belief of its advocates, compromise [on basic principles] does not satisfy, but dissatisfies everybody; it does not lead to general fulfillment, but to general frustration; those who try to be all things to all men, end up by not being anything to anyone. And more: the partial victory of an unjust claim, encourages the claimant to try further; the partial defeat of a just claim, discourages and paralyzes the victim.”

    Sound familiar?

    J.P. (bd0246)

  23. Some pipelines would be permitted if for a public use, even under the Constitutional view. But I don’t support a view of the Constitution that says we ignore Constitutional provisions just because the oil and gas industry says we need to.

    When they built the Alaska pipeline, it wasn’t just because the oil & gas industry said so. The government sold oil leases on public lands, but that didn’t mean they wanted them building refineries there. So, a pipeline had to be built to take the oil from the wells to the refineries. One way to do it would be for the government themselves to build, own and maintain all that pipe. But, isn’t it better if they say that the companies should be responsible for building and maintaining it themselves? But, that can’t happen without using eminent domain to allow the land to be bought, or at least an easement granted to the oil company in question.

    Given all that, does the use of the word “use” in the constitution really prohibit that kind of arrangement? I think not. But, if not, how do you draw the line? If you can use eminent domain to build a pipeline, how about a marina? How about other types of development? Again, I do not think the distinction you are making (use vs benefit), as I understand it, does the trick.

    Anon Y. Mous (cb1134)

  24. I don’t revile Chief Justice Roberts for his decision on Obamacare. I think he was wrong on that occasion. I think he was driven to that error by a deep and generally laudable fidelity to some very old-fashioned and important principles of judicial self-limitation.

    Yes, it was an important case whose result mattered a great deal; yes, he ought to have known better. But none of my other heroes — and certainly none of my heroes as a lawyer! — is perfect either. All of us make mistakes. And I have zero doubt, none at all, that over a period measured in decades, not years or even presidential terms, John Roberts’ service on the SCOTUS will be for conservatives what Dwight Eisenhower’s service as SACEUR was to the European Theater in WW2: low-key, steady, competent (albeit not mistake-free), and utterly indispensable.

    Beldar (cee64e)

  25. “…the Republicans cannot repudiate socialism because they believe in the same guiding ethical principles as the socialists. The “conservatives” will not — on a fundamental, moral level — challenge the moral foundation of the socialists that justifies the socialists’ goals…”

    This lies at the heart of the conflict beginning back in the Fifties between the East-coast Establishment GOP pesonified by Ike, and then Rockefeller; and the hard-core Conservatives led by Taft, and then Goldwater.
    The Est-GOP refused to repudiate the New Deal, and set out to accomplish the same goals but scaled-down: Not so fast, not so expensive.

    This was also a hallmark of the Congressional GOP in the out-years of ’54-’94, where the operative phrase was to go along to get along, and Bob Dole earned the moniker as The Tax-Collector for the Welfare State.

    This is still the division between the contemporary Establishment-GOP, and the TEA-Party GOP. The Establishment is Dem-lite, whereas the TEA-Party is looking more and more as grass-roots Federalists (see: Federalist Society), and that frightens the Hell out of those on Capitol Hill that want to Tax and Tax, Spend and Spend, Elect and Elect; just not quite on the same pace as Harry Reid & Co.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  26. PS: the most sensible way to buy land for a large capital project such as a road or pipeline, is to make it a package deal; everybody’s payout depends on the entire parcel being sold. That way the holdout is holding out on everyone, and will come under pressure from his neighbours to see sense. Or if he’s demanding crazy money, route around him, and around as many of his neighbours as you have to, and they don’t get their bonanza either.

    LOL:
    You Can’t Take It With You…

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in all 57 States (8e2a3d)

  27. Well, what you hear from the conservative talking heads, the RNC, and the Republican politicians is that conservative principles embody the “traditional American values” of independence, self-reliance, and individual freedom (which is, conveniently, left undefined.) Yet these same politicans vote for an ever-increasing State and the consequent curtailment of our individual liberties. There is nothing in the conservative platform that represents a plan to reduce government.

    You confuse the RINOs in the GOP with the true conservatives. They aren’t the same by a long shot. That’s part of what the Tea Party was about, people getting sick and tired of lipsync and nothing else.

    Note also that the Tea Party movement has been partly co-opted by some people who are, if not RINOs, then at least not necessarily conservatives. Michelle Bachman, for example, leads something called the “Tea Party”, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the original groups that were a grass-roots development.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in all 57 States (8e2a3d)


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