Patterico's Pontifications

2/26/2014

Comment by J.P. McD

Filed under: — Patterico @ 7:14 am

Mr. Patterico,

I would like to make an observation on a brace of comments on one of your topics entitled, Attacking Tea Partiers: Not Good for Republicans Generally but considering the length of my comment, I would prefer to avoid overtaxing the comment section. At any rate, please note the comments at issue:

18. It makes me wonder if both establishment Democrats and Republicans were afraid of Romney’s morality, because it threatened their way of doing business.

Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/24/2014 @ 9:26 am

19. Romney’s morality is the one thing about him that appealed to me. If it bothered the people in Beltway, it’s another example of how out-of-touch they are with conservative Americans.

Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/24/2014 @ 9:27 am

20. I agree re Romney’s morality being the appeal of him, however, I would suggest that if it bothered the beltway insiders, it was because they feared being exposed for their corruption and habitual dishonesty. The dishonest and / or cockroaches do not like a light shined on them.

Comment by Dana (32105d) — 2/24/2014 @ 9:41 am

21. Romney’s morality is the one thing about him that appealed to me.(Italics in the original.)

Me too. I want my leaders to be better than me. And I expect that he would have been a good administrator too.

Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/24/2014 @ 9:43 am

23. Posts 18 thru 21… exactly! Thanks for getting it.

Comment by Colonel Haiku (6cb82a) — 2/24/2014 @ 9:49 am

I’m curious: if Romney’s “morality” is so utterly appealing to these folks (and presumably, to other Republicans/ conservatives), then how do they morally justify Romney’s role in creating Romneycare? After all, it’s the same thing as Obamacare on the state level and, up to the point of Obamacare being passed on a national level, it was the most morally corrupt law of its kind. It caused the same kind of personal and economic calamity, the same kind of disruptions to businesses and individual lives as Obamacare has created across the country. It’s passage would still be indefensible if, against Romney’s wishes as governor, the legislature had created it and he’d merely signed it into law — but that’s not at all what happened.

In fact, Romney and his team of “business experts” actively helped to create this redistributionist nightmare, along with a huge majority of the Republicans in the Massachusetts state congress. (Only two state congressmen voted against it.)
So if the “conservative” commentators cited above blame Obama for Obamacare because it is so odious to the Tea Party’s principles of “limited government”, “fiscal responsibility” and “free market principles”, then why don’t they morally condemn Romney for implementing Romneycare? Again, it’s the same fundamental travesty, differing only in geographic degree. Indeed, it would’ve been impossible to implement the program without the influx of federal funds – that is, from funds provided by taxpayers outside of the state — to Massachusetts that were used to provide the needed funding for the “success” of the program.

So why does Romney get, of all things, the moral sanction of these “conservatives” when it comes to this political and economic farce? How can Romney be a better, more moral and “appealing” man than Obama when both of these men support the same fundamental law based on the same basic ethical premise?

Romney’s supporters often attempt to evade the fact of Romney’s participation in the law’s creation by claiming that Romneycare was “inevitable” based upon socialist super-majorities in the Massachusetts legislature that were hell-bent on implementing the program. But if Romney believed that such a program was immoral then why didn’t Romney refuse to sign this abomination of government into law? Why didn’t he make a principled stand on moral grounds and let the socialists of both parties stamp their feet in protest or let them own the issue by overriding him?

But that’s not what Mitt did; he actively participated in crafting the statute, signed it into law and in the process, hailed it as a concrete example of civic virtue and “social justice.” Is this what our “conservative” forum commentators also believe when they praise his “morality”? Do they condone Romney’s (and conservatism’s) hypocrisy in this action?

Mr. Patterico, I submit that they do. I mean, what else is one left to conclude – that they merely haven’t taken the time to think it through? All of them? A year and a half after the election? Really? How else would you explain their comments?

These “conservatives” shower praise and admiration on Romney because they regard him as a good and moral man. Yet Romney’s most famous action that he took while on the political stage was, in fact, to publicly condone and actively work in support of socialist ideals. (And let me make this clear: government control of any industry, including the health care industry, is an example of socialism.)

I submit that this open support of Romney as a moral man when he hypocritically supports his political opponents is a contradiction – a critical and politically fatal contradiction for conservatism. It is at the heart of the foundations of the Tea Party. And because of the contradiction, the Tea Party will never truly succeed as a force for positive, moral political change unless and until it recognizes this contradiction for what it is and unites in resolving it.

The contradiction, Mr. Patterico, is not found in the politics of conservatism but within its ethics. One’s politics are derived from one’s ethics, thus flawed ethics yield flawed politics. Romney’s contradiction (and I’m using him as an example of the flaws inherent in mainstream conservative ethics) is that, politically, he espouses conservative ideals but he ultimately yields to socialist ethics. This failure is what frustrates the Tea Party about RINOs. But with respect to Romney’s ethics, note that Romney has never attempted to apologize for his support of and participation in the creation of Romneycare. Rather, Romney has attempted to rationalize his complicity as a pragmatic solution to the problems in the health care industry (without, of course, his actually bothering to note that government interference in the marketplace is, in fact, the cause of it all.) His “solution” to Obamacare is to repeal it and then — like Obama — force individuals to purchase coverage, except doing it through the states instead of through the federal government. Apparently that, in Romney’s mind, is consistent with the Founders’ notion of “federalism.”

To save time and space in this commentary, I will cut to the source of Romney’s flaw in his ethics: they’re based on his religious beliefs – just like that of most conservatives. Religious morality in general – and Christian morality in particular – is based upon the notion that we are, ethically, our brother and sister’s keeper. I can beat you over and over the head with reams of evidence from the tracts from sacred religious texts, scholarly articles by religious authorities and sermons from every denomination of Christianity that you can think of – all of which demand (and some, command) the faithful to provide for their fellow man so as to be moral and secure a place in the hereafter.

However, it is not my point to comment upon what people see fit as to the moral code that they choose to practice privately. It is my place, however, to point out the contradictions inherent in a given moral code and the flaws that derive from such a code when implemented as a means of public policy and, in this case, how it conflicts with respect to the stated ideals of the Tea Party.

The basic problem with holding the moral ideal that we are our brother’s keeper is that it dovetails seamlessly with socialism’s concept of “social justice” – that is, the quaint little notion that you have seen applied to all sorts of political topics to justify their implementation or a demand for increased funding, e.g., the demand for “equal access” to healthcare; for equalization of “opportunity” (e.g., for more funding for public and higher education); for the “need” for “socially-funded” retirement programs and for the constant push for “limits” to what the “rich” should be permitted to earn before their “excess” wealth should be confiscated and redistributed according to the moral requirements of “social justice.”

Social justice is an amorphous but politically useful moral goal that the socialists use to measure how much society has moved toward achieving their definition of “equality” for all. “Equality”, then, is deemed to be the morally legitimate, final result of society achieving “fairness” amongst its members and that, in turn, equates to “justice.” What legitimates these political demands in the eyes of the people who propose them is the underlying certainty that these ideas are moral and they’ve used this concept to pound the conservatives with this notion of moral superiority since the Sixties. The moral superiority of “social justice” and “equality” provide the foundation for how the socialists justify their political ends and unfortunately, conservatives can do little in the way of countering the moral authority of the socialists if they already agree with and sanction the socialists’ morality and moral goals.

This is the Achilles’ heel of the Tea Party. If the moral ideal is equality – of results, not of individual rights – then they can never win. The socialists practice what they preach much more consistently than the “conservatives” do. They promise more and deliver more. Hence, as bad as they actually are, they have more political credibility and more political power, further demonstrating Ayn Rand’s prescient observation in this instance: “In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.” [Emphasis hers.]

As a matter of fact, people like Romney are in a lose-lose position, no matter what they do. If he preaches “traditional” conservatism and then fails to live up to those ideals because he actually believes in and acts on the same ideals for the same reasons as the socialists then he’s (correctly) branded a hypocrite. If, however, he stands up for individual rights, ruthlessly limited government and staunch border security – all of which are objectively consistent with “conservatism” — not only will he be derided as an “extremist” by the opposition, he will also be derided as an extremist by members of his own party! Furthermore, he will always feel guilty about doing what was “logically” right but not morally right. (And, by the same token, I’ll bet that Mitt never lost a night’s sleep after having signed Romneycare into law.)

It will be an utter disaster for liberty if the Tea Party attempts to compete with the socialists in a game of “Whose Version of Socialism is Best?” or “More Compassionate” or “More Utilitarian”. The Tea Party has to understand the proper and extremely limited role of government – philosophically and historically – and define it clearly so there is no misunderstanding by the conservatives and so that it delineates them starkly from the socialists.

The Founders may indeed have been predominantly Christian but the fact is that in creating the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution (as originally presented) and the Bill of Rights, there is no hint of the Founders wanting to establish anything but a secular form of government for what should be obvious reasons. Nowhere in these three opportunities to refine our republican form of government did they see fit to subordinate the individual to the collective, morally or legally. Instead, our individual rights are enshrined in the Bill of Rights and elsewhere in the law protect the individual from the group. This is one of the many reasons why the Founders eschewed the notion of entitlements from the State because somewhere or somehow, someone has to pay for it.

From the provisions of the Constitution, it is correct to derive that the Founders obviously did not approve of the federal government interfering in the personal and economic lives of its citizens. It is not enough for the Tea Party to properly conclude that the Founders never would have approved of forcing citizens to purchase products that they do not want to purchase. Rather, the Tea Party must understand that the sheer size and influence of the State is too large to be anything but anathema in a free society. It must be massively shrunk. That needs to be the Tea Party’s overarching goal. For no matter which political party is in charge of the State, the Laws of Bureaucracy and human nature itself will conspire to ever increase its size and scope – and this increase in size is always paid for with the loss of individual freedom.

Conservatives who admire Mitt Romney because of his morality are in error. Romney’s morality is, in fact, antithetical to their professed desire for freedom and he is, indeed, a poster child for all that is wrong with “conservatism”. If the people who admire Mitt are representative of the membership of the Tea Party, we have a lot of work to do.

Sincerely,

J.P. McD

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79 Responses to “Comment by J.P. McD”

  1. I don’t have time to do these thoughts justice at the moment, but I will make a preliminary point or two and return later.
    First, there has been I think a helpful discussion of some of these points elsewhere, including questioning the very concept of “social” justice (as opposed to “other types” of justice?).
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/on-social-justice-a-reply-to-peter-wehner.php

    In general, the message of the Bible focuses on man’s responsibilities, not rights. It is not the right of a person to demand that society take care of him, and for the government to force people to do so by taking their money and then giving it to others in some direct or indirect form. Rather, it is the responsibility of individual people, perhaps in cooperation, to see that the legitimate needs of others are cared for.

    In this there is harmony in thought for both the left and the right. As often pointed out, liberals tend to give less to private charity. I actually think that is intellectually consistent and not an ethical problem. What I do think is an ethical problem is that they don’t volunteer to give more of their money to the government, but instead want others to give more (while often maintaining ways of minimizing their own contributions, of which FDR was a prime example, as I understand it). Conservatives tend to freely donate more money to private charities, reflecting a commit to live up to their responsibilities themselves.

    The great problem of governmental assistance programs is that it is impersonal and degrading in various ways. On a personal level, a neighbor or church group or whoever on a face to face basis can say, “Yes, I don’t want you and your family to go hungry; no, I’m not going to give you cash or a check to spend on your own gambling and drinking.”

    The reality is that loving one’s neighbor is costly and messy. Having the government take the responsibility to provide help helps it be less messy for all of those who want to feel like they did their part without lifting a finger.

    Now, there are certainly legitimate questions of scale and how society and government can be most effective in providing necessary help, so I’m not arguing that there should be no governmental role in the welfare of the individuals, but I am saying that as soon as the interaction is between that of a person and some anonymous institution, problems develop.

    Another example. Affirmative action is (I guess) based on the idea that some classes of people in the past were denied legitimate opportunities, so we need to some how “make it up to them” by pushing things the other way (“for awhile”). But the problem is that in trying to promote “social justice”, one ends up doing new injustice to people on an individual level. The real answer is not to allow an African-American neighborhood to have lousy public schools but force colleges to take people with inadequate skills anyway, but to make sure those kids have the same quality of education as anybody else and not to let them be discriminated against at the next level.

    But it is much easier to make a law making someone else fulfill quotas than taking on the challenge of providing adequate education choices to a poor parent.

    I know that was long for some initial thoughts, but more discussion later.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  2. No. Sorry. Federal apples and state oranges. The federal government is a government of enumerated, limited powers. The individual states are not mini USAs, and they were never intended to be. They were meant to maintain their individual character and diversity, and even be “laboratories” for social experiments. They are absolute sovereigns with their powers limited only by the Constitution. Among them being the police power. The greatest good for the greatest number. Romney may have violated some Objectivist or Libertarian tenet with Romneycare but no Federalist or constitutional one.

    And, in any case, it is not a moral failing not to be a Libertarian or Objectivist. Or even not to be a Federalist. Neither is it to base your principles on religious belief. It is a moral failing to lie, bribe, and coerce as Obama did.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. We cross-posted, MD. My comment was to the post.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. oh, I know nk.
    I cross post a lot, as I did with you earlier elsewhere, because while I think slow and speak even slower, it is in typing that I am the slowest
    😉

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  5. JP,

    There are a couple of easy answers to your question. First, as nk notes, the states are the place where our Founders expected us to innovate, experiment, and even fail as we look for new ways to solve public problems. I submit that was what Romney wanted to accomplish with RomneyCare — I honestly think his goal was to provide more people with health care, don’t you?

    Second, even if we think RomneyCare was a mistake (and I think it was), it doesn’t make Romney an immoral man because he supported a policy we think is wrong. To me, there is a difference between a mistaken policy and an immoral policy. I can only call it an immoral policy if Romney knew RomneyCare would bankrupt the health care system under the guise of pretending to promote health care for everyone. ObamaCare does that but, as a state experiment that could be changed or discarded if it didn’t work, I’m not sure we can say the same about RomneyCare.

    But, JP, I’m not going to take the easy answer here because I think your question touches on something much more important. If a moral man supports immoral things, is he worthy of our support? That, to me, is a very hard question. Thus, can I as a Christian, support Romney the Mormon — a religion that is not easy for me to deal with? Can I support Romney because he’s supported liberal solutions like RomneyCare? And so on …

    My answer, JP, and it’s only my answer and not one I am trying to convince you to accept, is that all humans are fallible. We are not moral all the time or even most of the time. I don’t know what is in other peoples’ hearts so I have to judge them by their actions, and Mitt Romney has led a life of many good deeds. I admire him for that and I give him credit for that, especially during an age when so many politicians seem to willingly and publicly do the opposite.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  6. FWIW, JP, if you’ve been reading this blog for long then you know I voted for Romney because I preferred him to Obama, but he was my least favorite of the GOP candidates. I did not support Romney in the 2008 or 2012 primaries.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  7. I may be inserting words in the mouths of adults well aware of their motivation but,..

    When a community is divided members are at pains to find nice things to say about their counterpart. ‘Oh, I like your tie, where did you find it?’

    The behavior avoids the crux of disagreement and defuses some animosity.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  8. At the risk of making JP even madder at me, I will take this discussion one step further. I think Barack Obama is a good father and I like that he married one woman and stayed married to her, especially during an era when that’s not common for black men. I also like that he and Michelle believe in education. That’s about all I like about them, however. I don’t like their Marxist-socialist tendencies, their infrequent need for religion, their willingness to use their power to turn people against each other instead of trying to bring them together, and the way President Obama has subverted our laws and the Constitution to achieve his political goals. Does that make him immoral? I won’t say, because to me the Bible says we shouldn’t judge people’s standing with God. But I am concerned about what seem to be many immoral acts.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. JP,

    Thank you for raising this. I really like to think about and talk about topics like this.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  10. The basic problem with holding the moral ideal that we are our brother’s keeper is that it dovetails seamlessly with socialism’s concept of “social justice”

    Without that concept, what is the reason for laws against robbery and murder?

    Sammy Finkelman (e5fb44)

  11. I never understood what was Romney’s explanation for why RomneyCare was not bad in Massachusetts, except maybe that 98% of the people were already insured.

    There must have been some other differences too. I did read massachusetts was havinga roblem with physician access.

    But Massachusetts didn’t have a failed website until they tried to transition to Obamcare.

    The real truth, though, is, that Romney didn’t find much wrong with Obamacare, and in particular, with the individual mandate, which is one thing he would not have repealed, which means he didn’t understand the first thing about Obamacare.

    Sammy Finkelman (e5fb44)

  12. DRJ always has this way of giving people a ton of benefit of the doubt. I see it as patience.

    I can assume until proven otherwise that these nanny state mistakes are meant to help the nannied, but only via a contempt for their personal freedom, and awareness that you are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Especially with Mitt Romney, who comes across a lot like Bloomberg as a nanny who seeks to run the lives of his subjects efficiently. Less freedom, more gun control, the right decisions on health care, for the good of the society. And yes, with costs transferred to each according to their ability.

    The essential sentiment with Romneycare is inherently socialist.

    Yet DRJ makes a good point. If one state tries something socialist and it fails, there is some value in that. I wish that’s how it worked in this country. As JP notes, the federal government has absolutely no business involving itself in our choices to this extent. I should have privacy as to whether I even have health insurance! But this is wrong because of human rights, not just federalism, and imposing your will and control on others at any level of government is socialism.

    When Romney’s failed nanny state became the model for the nation, though, where was Romney to step up, be the bigger man, and admit the lessons we learned from his leadership.

    He was in USA Today promoting nationalizing Romneycare. Before the Tea Party happened and it became clear this was unpopular (at which point Romney flip flopped).

    It doesn’t surprise me that people point to a man who loves his family and talks a good game on Sunday as a moral man. And just because Romney made a lot of mistakes as governor doesn’t mean these aren’t merely the mistakes of a normal and flawed human being.

    But to hold this politician of politicians, this phony of phonies up as some kind of moral leader has sometimes struck me as an awkward attempt to avoid saying something unseemly and unpopular. No one who has flipped as egregiously and often has strong character. Give me a break.

    What does the Tea Party stand for if not against everything Romney stands for? Not just the policies he enacted as governor, but the ruination of the GOP brand that he defines? More and more conservatives are unashamed to point this out. And need to be.

    Great letter, JP!

    Dustin (303dca)

  13. That’s the Texan in you, Dustin. We don’t like people to infringe our liberties, and I’m glad we don’t. We also don’t like flip-floppers and hypocrites. But I can’t agree someone is immoral just because they embrace policies we disagree with. There has to be something more, some intent or willingness to hurt people for no good reason.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  14. I don’t think that John Locke was more moral than Karl Marx, based only on what I what I know about them which is their respective philosophies. I do think that Washington and Jefferson were more moral than Lenin and Trotsky, based on what I know of their respective propensities to kill people.

    I guess I agree with DRJ.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. In honor of Willard–the classic head and shoulders of a market top:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-26/pump-and-dump-day-3

    Its just business cycle window dressing but the Market bull is a goner.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  16. But I can’t agree someone is immoral just because they embrace policies we disagree with

    As a rule this is a very good view. And you’re right, of course Romney had no intention to harm any of his subjects. The nanny thought they were using their freedom poorly, so the nanny took the freedom away. It was a kindness.

    And I’m not being sarcastic. He really had no malice in his heart and there’s a distinction from Romney and an evil leader.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Dustin (303dca)

  17. Romney reminds me of Bush 43, especially at the end. They were both willing to use government to do things they thought were important. I guess Democrats would argue Obama is doing that, too, but the difference to me is Obama has been deliberately deceptive about his policies and goals. People may not agree with Romney or Bush 43, but we knew what they wanted to accomplish and how they planned to accomplish it. That’s not true of Obama. That’s why I believe it’s fair to call Obama’s governing methods immoral, but I won’t call Romney’s or Bush 43’s immoral.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  18. Romney reminds me of Bush 43, especially at the end. They were both willing to use government to do things they thought were important. I guess Democrats would argue Obama is doing that, too, but the difference to me is Obama has been deliberately deceptive about his policies and goals.

    This is completely parochial and probably slightly unfair of me, but when Republicans like Bush and Romney use big government to accomplish goals, they are at least ostensibly doing it while looking out for the best interests of the individual citizens. I know that Democrats would insist that they are also looking out for the interests of the citizen — and to a certain degree I’m sure they are — but they are also looking out for the interests of the bureaucratic class and the public sector workers at the same time, and perhaps to a greater degree.

    For example, let’s say you were to come up with a plan to spend $1 million dollars to provide housing vouchers for poor people, but your plan called for $500,000 of that to be used for the actual vouchers and the other $500,000 to be used to set up the administrative bureau to administer the program. I’ll bet the average Democrat would be just fine with that arrangement, whereas the average Republican would withhold support until a more reasonable division of revenue was proposed.

    So my larger point was that to Romney, RomneyCare was about helping people purchase insurance. To Obama, ObamaCare is about empowering the federal government and enlarging the bureaucratic class.

    JVW (709bc7)

  19. I agree with your point, JVW, but I subscribe to prefer to give away government fishes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  20. There’s probably a lot of psychological baggage in that or maybe it’s genetics, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. Oops. My comment 19 lost a couple of lines. I meant to say:

    I agree with your point, JVW, but I subscribe to the “Teach a man to fish” theory. Liberals prefer to give away government fishes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  22. On my earlier topic, and proving that I try to hold conservatives to the same standards that I hold liberals, I think George H.W. Bush was deliberately deceptive about keeping his “No taxes” pledge and that breach of trust was an immoral action. He violated the trust between a political leader and the electorate who voted for him. It should have cost Bush 41 votes unless he could find a very, very good reason to explain why he didn’t keep his pledge.

    Of course, Obama’s breaches of trust make Bush 41’s look like childs-play. That’s another difference between liberals and conservatives.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  23. JP, I believe that Massachusetts’ health reform legislation was wrong headed. I believe that Obamacare was and is worse.

    But I strongly think that “morally corrupt” does not mean what you think it means.

    SPQR (768505)

  24. The basic problem with holding the moral ideal that we are our brother’s keeper is that it dovetails seamlessly with socialism’s concept of “social justice” –

    Actually I would claim, as also argued in the link I provided, that Christian morality in being one’s brothers keeper does not dovetail at all with socialism’s concept of “social justice”.
    Any Biblical morality must have as part of its foundation the idea that private property is a perfectly valid concept, “You shall not steal” because what is his is his, not yours. Not only does Biblical morality object to theft, it also objects to greed and envy, “You shall not covet”.
    Right there is a huge distinction between the socialist left and “conservative” morality. Being rich is not a sin or moral evil, but to feed envy and say a person should get some of what another person has for free is evil.

    Second, being one’s brother’s keeper is (almost*) never equated to ensuring some relatively equal existence. Originally it had to do with not murdering your brother, refraining from harming him. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, it had to do with not ignoring the plight of one in a crisis (even an “innocent victim” if you will). In the most explicit comments in the NT, we are told that the rich should be generous and rich in good deeds, not depending on their wealth for security, and that “if they will not work, let them not eat”. Also, it is explicitly said that people have a responsibility to help their own family first, and those who are to receive aid are those who are “real widows”.

    With the fundamental idea that the individuals in a society have a responsibility to provide help, care, and mercy to those who need it, the question then is how does the governing of a society best facilitate this. A foundational principle must be that one does not get just results through unjust means. That is ever the problem with leftism, “I love Humanity, it’s just the guy next door I can’t stand”. hence the common history of socialist revolutions being followed by counter-revolutions and so on.
    Many people did not like the fact that Romney had championed the changes in the health care system that he did in MA and voted for him in spite of that. But even with that, as pointed out, Romney at least worked on a plan that included the rest of the government and was, as far as I know, a more or less transparent process. ObamaCare was not any of that. Furthermore, as others have argued, there is legal argument to say that what one state was willing to try was fine, but for the feds to impose it on anyone went beyond the separation of powers in our governmental system.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  25. Excellent comment, MD.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  26. First as a follow up to my last comment, I agree that at first appearance anyway there is the appearance of a dovetailing of Judeo-Christian morality, but I think it is more of an appearance than a reality. The appearance is strong enough that I know many people who confess to be a Christian who have much more of a leftist view of what the government should be doing in social programs.
    I have commented in the past on what I call the “liberal instinct”, where there is more of a dovetailing than in the actual governmental details. The liberal instinct is the basic human reaction to seeing suffering, you would like it to stop. If you can’t make it stop, or don’t think you can make it stop, then you either want someone else to make it stop, or you find a way to ignore it. The liberal mindset starts there and insists that there must be a way to make the pain stop, and they’re not going to stop trying until the pain goes away. But since on this earth one cannot make the pain “go away”, the liberal mindset takes people to ever increasingly desperate and illogical attempts to “make everything right”, including murdering the individuals (even if they are millions) who get in the way of getting to the place where “everything is right” in society.

    The conservative mindset knows we are in a mess and that we will be in a mess as long as we live on this earth. That does not mean that we do nothing, it means we do what we can and don’t try to force something we can’t.
    Doing what we can includes being honest rather than deceptive, not making promises we can’t keep (spending money we don’t have), and making fair judgments between disputing people. Believe it or not, not only does the Bible say to not show preference to someone because they are rich, but it also says to not show preference to someone because they are poor.

    Now, “Judeo-Christian morality” is a prime historical influence in Western Society, even more so in the US than in Europe, especially at this time. But there is a huge difference between political thinking and religious belief.
    In my thinking, the two main points of the Tea Party were very minimal:
    1) stop spending money we don’t have
    2) be responsible in the law making process, read what you were voting on, let the public read it before it is voted on.

    As I’ve said before, from what Obama said in 2008, he was a Tea Party candidate. The problem is, he did anything but once he got into office. Many of us knew enough of his background to know he would do what he did, not what he said.
    Whatever faults Romney had, few people think he would be so dishonest in the way he governed, again, because of seeing what he had done in the past.

    This is why some people like Ted Cruz. He said that Washington was spending money it didn’t have and needed to stop, and that ObamaCare would make things worse, not better, and it needed to be stopped. Lo and behold, his actions have been largely consistent with what he promised to do.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  27. You’ve been on a roll with commenting lately, MD. It’s nice to see. This one (25) comes across as an especially well thought out post.

    elissa (4da0a1)

  28. Thanks, DRJ.

    I have a question, can one be a friend of Beldar and a member of SPQR’s cabal at the same time? Are there T-shirts for friends of Beldar? (Like, real T-shirts, not ones that are promised but never arrive; but then, I don’t think I ever paid for one.)

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  29. i love your comment Mr. McD

    i love it like times a thousand

    Romney.

    Egads.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  30. I’ve enjoyed reading your interesting posts on this thread as well, DRJ.

    elissa (4da0a1)

  31. Thanks elissa.
    I have spent over 30 years trying to understand how to live out my Christian faith in the context of living in a city and being a physician, in the midst of others who also try to do the same. It makes for lots of opportunity to think, disagree, make mistakes, etc. I am glad that some of my comments are worthwhile.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  32. Mr. SPQR was sort of all hat no cattle with respect to his cabal, MD. Many promises and compliments but no follow through!

    elissa (4da0a1)

  33. I think their cabal is a “CINO;”
    a cabal in name only.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  34. 31. Rubber meets the road application of faith is often much harder than theoretical faith, MD.

    elissa (4da0a1)

  35. MD in Philly, Beldar is not a member of my Cabal but “we” consider him a friend of the Cabal.

    elissa, that’s the point. A commenter who is no longer here said that I had a “cabal” and I’ve been ridiculing the idea that anyone would actually willingly associate with me given my strong anti-social personality.

    SPQR (768505)

  36. ‘the first rule of cabal. . .

    narciso (3fec35)

  37. Yes, SPQR, I remember both that commenter and the incident vividly.

    elissa (4da0a1)

  38. when you talk to obamawhore food stampers

    it’s always so so so hard to get past this idea
    that

    Meghan’s cowardly p.o.s. daddy

    or that disgusting romney loser were the alternatives

    did it really ever matter?

    not so much

    you failmericans lick it up and then you lick it up some more

    disgusting

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  39. I don’t remember any of it, I just wanted a T-shirt.
    Preferably from Duluth Trading Company, the antidote to Plumber’s Butt.
    ES’s take on it was funny.

    OT. Anybody know anything about “Liberty Counsel”:
    http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?pid=14096
    They’re getting involved in this bizarre case in MA about Justina Pelletier.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  40. 38. Foodstamps redeemed for pot in CO.

    Meanwhile dope implicated in 350% more fatal car accidents.

    Unexpectedly.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  41. Social scientists baffled.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 2/26/2014 @ 5:08 pm

    Believe it or not, not only does the Bible say to not show preference to someone because they are rich, but it also says to not show preference to someone because they are poor.

    In a court case. It has to be honest.

    Bt actually you should give them what they are missing. Just not through distorting justice.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  43. A last comment here (too), unless the discussion becomes active again.
    Here is why the left-right political question is ultimately a religious/spiritual issue (not my original idea, but I don’t know the reference).
    The leftist view of the world sees that economic and circumstantial well-being is the most important issue that we humans deal with. Logically, then, material well being (and “justice”) become the most important goal to be sought. If it ends up that society is made up of a bunch of bipeds that sit around and find ways to waste away awaiting feeding time (figuratively or literally), that is fine. Slaughtering people to get there is fine, as there is little to no intrinsic worth of the individual human being.
    All of this is consistent with the view that man is little more (if anything more) than just another animal.
    The opposing view of the world sees man as “little less than God”, merely a creature, yes, but a creature with creativity, intellectual reasoning, moral reasoning, able to appreciate beauty, able to recoil from ugly. The most important thing is not physical/material well-being, but living a “fulfilling life”. In this perspective, being the third generation of people who have never worked and have never been part of an intact family is a tragedy, even if they are well fed, have a flat-screen TV, and internet access.

    Most of life is lived somewhere in between, usually more by default than by design, unless we are actively seeking one way of the other, and unfortunately, there is an ingrained tendency to slide towards being little more than another animal. It’s like a moral gravity that is easy to go with than fight.

    For example, the radical environmentalists see humans as just another animal, one that has terrible powers to mess things up for other animals. It would just be better if the world had to tolerate a whole lot less of them (especially the “them” part, no one volunteers to lead the way and walk into a volcano as an example). There is no appreciation for the fact that humans can create, they can solve problems, they can make areas that were once desert grow vegetables and fruit (if the EPA lets them).

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  44. Ephesians 6;12 rather neatly addresses this, and Romans, and a whole host of other places.

    narciso (3fec35)

  45. Indeed. Maggie Thatcher’s granddaughter read the Ephesians passage at her funeral.
    We are so much in a steep slide through Romans 1+2, and picking up speed.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  46. A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates.

    St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”

    “Okay,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”

    “That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”

    “Three points?” he says. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.”

    “Terrific!” says St. Peter, “that’s certainly worth a point.”

    “One point? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”

    “Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says.

    “TWO POINTS!!” the man cries, “At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!”

    “Come on in!”

    nk (dbc370)

  47. nk, what a great way to summarize the message of the Bible. I’ll have to give you credit when I use it.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  48. Though your summary does lack detail in how Jesus’ death was the way how all of those negative points were erased from the list.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  49. the last point, is the key, we can never earn god’s grace, it is freely given,

    narciso (3fec35)

  50. Please note that today would’ve been John Steinbeck’s 112th birthday… he was a wine critic and a blogger of his time. Or something.

    Colonel Haiku (c1bfa3)

  51. 43. I think its certainly fair to color the contrast as a materialist/spiritualist divide.

    A complication to that characterization might be presented by a current in Roman Catholic Tradition that, somewhat like Judaism, demands that we as agents of God incarnate sanctify the Creation.

    I can’t point to a developed theology as the source of the tradition only the very difficult books of James and 1 John.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  52. For example, the radical environmentalists see humans as just another animal, one that has terrible powers to mess things up for other animals. It would just be better if the world had to tolerate a whole lot less of them (especially the “them” part, no one volunteers to lead the way and walk into a volcano as an example). There is no appreciation for the fact that humans can create, they can solve problems, they can make areas that were once desert grow vegetables and fruit (if the EPA lets them).

    The great irony being, of course, that the radical enviro doesn’t see himself as an animal but rather the bearer of truth and rational thought . Where does he think that ability to think, reason, and seek comes from? They believe their view/beliefs right for everyone – what other animal can make moral and ethical assessments and commitments ?

    Our ethics and moral philosophies inform our politics – not the other way around.

    Dana (3a78b7)

  53. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 2/27/2014 @ 6:26 am

    The leftist view of the world sees that economic and circumstantial well-being is the most important issue that we humans deal with.

    The religious or more right point of view also tends to regard this as also valuable – and, as a result, since this what people agree on, all focus tends to be on that.

    The leftist point of view will also tend to value “education” although the content doesn’t seem to matter, just the time that is put in, or, sometimes, the credits or degrees earned or awarded.

    Now education in ethics or morality is actually the most important thing, but all that is talked about in the public sphere is accumulation of data or skills. That is not the most important thing in education for parents! But do you ever hear this discussed?

    One important point is, at least in the United States of America, the government can’t do this teaching of ethics and morality, because, for one thing, people differ on the details, let alone the rationale for abiding by ethics and morality But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important! And it is quite consistant with the United States Constitution to facilitate it.

    Sometimes there is college level “education” in ethics, dealing with a specific minor aspect of it, where ethics is treated like a subject matter to learn like other subjects, and where the ethics themselves may very well be wrong in some or many places.

    Ethics , however really needs to be taught to young children, before puberty, or it is largely worthless.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  54. “Our ethics and moral philosophies inform our politics – not the other way around.”

    YES!!!

    Colonel Haiku (c1bfa3)

  55. There is some limited secular education in ethics and morality, either done directly or implied.

    I don’t know if that would be the case, if it wasn’t for Nazi Germany.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  56. Col Haiku, I think that Of Mice and Men could aptly be the subtitle of this thread. Both George and Lenny lived it simply and with reverence, fully understanding their positions: mere men before God. Even in their individually limited ways. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist.

    Dana (3a78b7)

  57. Logically, then, material well being (and “justice”) become the most important goal to be sought.

    “Social Justice” you mean.

    If it ends up that society is made up of a bunch of bipeds that sit around and find ways to waste away awaiting feeding time (figuratively or literally), that is fine.

    Or in jail. Or in refugee camps. If all you do is total number of lives.

    Slaughtering people to get there is fine, as there is little to no intrinsic worth of the individual human being.

    Not true. That’s ruled out by the experience of 1933-1945 and the universal condemnation of a certain person whose name I will not mention.

    What does go on, is that certain categories or people have no or little intrinsic worth. Unborn babies, maybe just born babies, unconscious people who doctors think will never become conscious, and perhaps some extremely sick or disabled people, especially those just born or who have a limited or substantially lower life expectancy than average, people in pain, and people with a bad medical prognosis. But Godwin’s Law scares people off from going very far.

    All of this is consistent with the view that man is little more (if anything more) than just another animal.

    That would be more the radical environmentalists.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  58. Dana @ 52: “Our ethics and moral philosophies inform our politics – not the other way around.”

    54> Comment by Colonel Haiku (c1bfa3) — 2/27/2014 @ 7:53 am

    YES!!!

    That’s not what the gay rights lobby thinks.

    That’s what the whole controversy about the Arizona law was all about.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  59. The opposing view of the world sees man as “little less than God”, merely a creature, yes, but a creature with creativity, intellectual reasoning, moral reasoning, able to appreciate beauty, able to recoil from ugly.

    I think you could say “good and evil” in Genesis 2:9, 17, and 22 could be, and maybe should be, translated as, “beauty and ugliness”

    The Hebrew word “Tov” I think, really means well-formed, which can also mean “good” and carry over into a characterization of actions, and “Ra” just means something like the English word “bad.”

    That’s my thinking.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  60. Godwin’s Law can bite me. I have no qualms comparing Oregon’s assisted suicide law and Texas’s involuntary euthanasia law to Tiergartenstrasse 4. Or painting Planned Parenthood, and its founder Margaret Sanger, with the Nazi brush.

    It’s after WWII and Stalin and Zhukov are now considering the massive American war machine to the West of them. Stalin asks Zhukov, “Georgy Konstantinich, what our plans should Patton choose to invade our territories?” Zhukov answers, “We will deal with them the way we dealt with the Nazis, Iosif Vissariovich”. “Oh no”, Stalin groans. Why did you have to go and say that? Get in touch with Patton and negotiate terms of surrender.” “Terms of surrender?”, asks Zhukov. “But why?”. “Godwin’s Law”, says Stalin. “When you said “Nazis’, we lost”.

    nk (dbc370)

  61. SPQR,

    I’m sure you already knew this but apparently the Colorado Senate race is about to get more interesting:

    Rep. Cory Gardner’s entrance into U.S. Senate race elevates its national importance

    With 21 Democratic U.S. Senate seats in play this November, Colorado in a single day moved from a relatively safe seat for incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, to one of the more closely watched competitive races in the country.

    What’s your take?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  62. nk, I love your anti-Godwin’s Law joke. I’m going to use it now and again.

    JVW (6a1e21)

  63. DRJ always has this way of giving people a ton of benefit of the doubt. I see it as patience.

    Someone once said that “patience is a virtue”.
    Enough said.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  64. I’m not that patient, but I try to give people the same benefit of the doubt I want them to give me. Having said that, being open-minded and logical isn’t enough. Common sense and experience matters, too.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  65. That’s why I like it here, where most people value all those qualities.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  66. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/26/2014 @ 10:15 am

    I think Barack Obama is a good father and I like that he married one woman and stayed married to her, especially during an era when that’s not common for black men.

    He’s not like other black men. His life experiences aren’t even remotely similar to those of most black males in the United States until at least about the age of 20, and then they’re not similar to most of the people who lived in his constituency. Which is an important point.

    The contrast should be to his father, who married, or had serious relationships and children, with four women, and didn’t bother with the legal niceties of divorce if he could avoid it.

    His marriage to Barack Obama’s mother was actually a case of bigamy, although when he was pressed, he made some kind of claim of a tribal divorce. The matter actually resulted in his losing his Harvard scholarship and not getting his Ph.D. if I remember a book right.

    He went back to Africa with a second white American woman, with whom he had two sons, both of whom were born in Kenya.

    When she finally left him because of his drunkenness and his infidelities, (I need to check a book, though, to get this right, but she would not go back to him) he made a trip to Hawaii, where Barack Obama’s mother was then living after separating from her second husband, and tried to persuade to go back to Africa with him, but she wouldn’t.

    This was when Barack Obama was eleven years old, and is the only time he saw his father after he was an infant. He didn’t like his father much – he kept on telling him to study, and that was about all he said to him.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  67. I also like that he and Michelle believe in education.

    I don’t like that. I think it’s an illustation of his stupidity.

    He’s totally undiscriminating, at least in his public statements, just like he is with doctors.

    And then he only values an accumulation of data or skills. I should say skills – Barack Obama is not strong on accumulating data before coming to an opinion.

    He actually has studied the military since he’s become president, and is fascinated by the idea of small scale activity to the point where he thinks we hardly need a regular army any more.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  68. That’s about all I like about them, however. I don’t like their Marxist-socialist tendencies,

    It’s not really there – that was just friendship and networking with people who held or stated these kinds of views.

    Whenever Barack Obama has stated views, he’s really distinguished his views from socialism.

    Now it is still sophistry.

    their infrequent need for religion,

    That is really true, at least when it comes to public worship. He likes or liked a Passover Seder, even though it was kind of odd to have his daughter ask the 4 questions one time.

    Barack Obama cared so little for public worship, that he picked a pastor who was a demagogic fraud.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  69. their willingness to use their power to turn people against each other instead of trying to bring them together,

    Machiavelli said that fear is better for a ruler than love, but in Obama’s case, it’s fear (or loathing) of the other guy(s) he tries to promote.

    and the way President Obama has subverted our laws and the Constitution to achieve his political goals.

    He’s stretching it, but I am not sure he really has any goals.

    Politically useful positioning, yes.

    A desire to save himself from acknowleding a need to amend the PPACA, and discomfort Democratic politicians, yes.

    But goals, I am not really sure he has any.

    Maybe to be admired.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  70. As I said, most people.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  71. MD in Philly, for you.

    http://www.e-reading.bz/chapter.php/84798/30/Steinbeck_-_Cannery_Row.html

    Then Doc played Ardo and the Amor from an album of Monteverdi. And the guests sat quietly and their eyes were inward. Dora breathed beauty. Two newcomers crept up the stairs and entered quietly. Doc was feeling a golden pleasant sadness. The guests were silent when the music stopped. Doc brought out a book and he read in a clear, deep voice:

    Even now

    If I see in my soul the citron-breasted fair one

    Still gold-tinted, her face like our night stars,

    Drawing unto her; her body beaten about the flame,

    Wounded by the flaring spear of love,

    My first of all by reason of her fresh years,

    Then is my heart buried alive in snow.

    Even now

    If my girl with lotus eyes came to me again

    Weary with the dear weight of young love,

    Again I would give her to these starved twins of arms

    And from her mouth drink down the heavy wine,

    As a reeeling pirate bee in fluttered ease

    Steals up the honey from the nenuphar.

    Even now

    If I saw her lying all wide eyes

    And with collyrium the indent of her cheek

    Lengthened to the bright ear and her pale side

    So suffering the fever of my distance,

    Then would my love for her be ropes of flowers, and night

    A black-haired lover on the breasts of day.

    Even now

    My eyes that hurry to see no more are painting, painting

    Faces of my lost girl. O golden rings

    That tap against cheeks of small magnolia leaves,

    O whitest so soft parchment where

    My poor divorced lips have written excellent

    Stanzas of kisses, and will write no more,

    Even now

    Death sends me the flickering of powdery lids

    Over wild eyes and the pity of her slim body

    All broken up with the weariness of joy;

    The little red flowers of her breasts to be my comfort

    Moving above scarves, and for my sorrow

    Wet crimson lips that once I marked as mine.

    Even now

    They chatter her weakness through the two bazaars

    Who was so strong to love me. And small men

    That buy and sell for silver being slaves

    Crinkle the fat about their eyes; and yet

    No Prince of the Cities of the Sea has taken her,

    Leading to his grim bed. Little lonely one,

    You clung to me as a garment clings; my girl.

    Even now

    I love long black eyes that caress like silk,

    Ever and ever sad and laughing eyes,

    Whose lids make such sweet shadow when they close

    It seems another beautiful look of hers,

    I love a fresh mouth, ah, a scented mouth,

    And curving hair, subtle as a smoke,

    And light fingers, and laughter of green gems.

    Even now

    I remember that you made answer very softly,

    We being one soul, your hand on my hair,

    The burning memory rounding your near lips:

    I have seen the priestesses of Rati make love at moon fail

    And then in a carpeted hail with a bright gold lamp

    Lie down carelessly anywhere to sleep.

    I get the sense you share the same reverence I do for civilization.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  72. That reverence is to be admired and encouraged;
    The advocacy for the alternative is what is destroying it.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  73. Don’t take it the wrong way. I wasn’t making romantic overtures. Just that my impression was that it was the doc’s job to preserve and promote civilization on Cannery Row.

    I thought that was my job as a naval officer, that I should know something about what it was I was defending. It never occurred to me that someday I could make some reference to Ozymandius or Jericho and only I and the SEALs would know what the hell I was talking about. Like it’s an inside joke. Maybe instead of standing watch over there I should have been back here ‘spailin’ things sloooowly and Louoooodly.

    As a side thought, I guess the the idea that “rape culture” is the natural outcome of masculinity is the corollary to the thought that every woman is simply a life support system for a vagina.

    And no you don’t want to click on the link unless you really don’t know what I’m talking about.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iMGpx4FrgtU/UEJjjcWN7LI/AAAAAAAAA4A/x8-WnuQXW9s/s1600/7863467184_3721b5a3f5_c.jpg

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  74. …They joined battle then. They were the crew of a San Pedro tuna boat, good hard happy fight-wise men. With the first rush they burst through to the party. Dora’s girls had each one slipped off a shoe and held it by the toe. As the fight raged by they would dip a man on the head with a pike heel. Dora leaped for the kitchen and came roaring out with a meat grinder. Even Doc was happy. He flailed about with the Chalmers 1916 piston and connecting rod.

    It was a good fight. Hazel tripped and got kicked in the face twice before he could get to his feet again. The Franklin stove went over with a crash. Driven to a corner the newcomers defended themselves with heavy books from the bookcases. But gradually they were driven back. The two front windows were broken out. Suddenly Alfred, who had heard the trouble from across the street, attacked from the rear with his favorite weapon, an indoor ball bat. The fight raged down the steps and into the street and across into the lot, The front door was hanging limply from one hinge again. Doc’s shirt was torn off and his slight strong shoulder dripped blood from a scratch. The enemy was driven half-way up the lot when the sirens sounded. Doc’s birthday party had barely time to get inside the laboratory and wedge the broken door closed and turn out the lights before the police car cruised up. The cops didn’t find anything. But the party was sitting in the dark giggling happily and drinking wine. The shift changed at the Bear Flag. The fresh contingent raged in full of hell. And then the party really got going. The cops came back, looked in, clicked their tongues and joined it. Mack and the boys used the squad car to go to Jimmy Brucia’s for more wine and Jimmy came back with them. You could hear the roar of the party from end to end of Cannery Row. The party had all the best qualities of a riot and a night on the barricades. The crew from the San Pedro tuna boat crept humbly back and joined the party. They were embraced and admired. A woman five blocks away called the police to complain about the noise and couldn’t get anyone. The cops reported their own car stolen and found it later on the beach. Doc sitting cross-legged on the table smiled and tapped his fingers gently on his knee. Mack and Phyllis Mae were doing Indian wrestling on the floor. And the cool bay wind blew in through the broken windows. It was then that someone lighted the twenty-five-foot string of firecrackers.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  75. I submit that any fight that involves a 1916 Chalmers piston and connecting rod is an eminently sophisticated fight.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  76. JP McD,

    This is a really misguided email you sent to Patterico. In fact, I think it is largely BS.

    There are plenty of wonderful left wingers who believe in silly public policies.
    By the same token, there are awful right wingers who vote for wonderful “conservative” public policies.
    Please do not conflate the two different aspects.

    Voting/advocacy is not the same as being a “moral” person. And being a “moral” person is not the same as voting/advocacy for “good” policies.

    You may not have heard of the old addage, but it goes like this;
    “The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.”

    What is the matter with some of you people ?
    Seriously.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  77. 76. …You may not have heard of the old addage, but it goes like this;
    “The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.”

    What is the matter with some of you people ?
    Seriously.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 2/27/2014 @ 1:38 pm

    Actually the saying I was raised on went like this:

    “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of priests.”

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  78. Business cannot cash Republican checks.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/02/27/video-ny-small-business-owner-on-expansion-job-creation-its-just-not-worth-it/

    Apart from, perhaps(a big maybe), changing the replacement of coprolite Ginsburg, handing Mitch Mr. Microphone probably isn’t going to change our lives measurably.

    The CEOs of JPM, GE, ADM and P&G may have more access to government, Sarah Fluke will still have her access to contraceptives and you, more than ever, will reach under the vanity for a new roll and find yourself sh*t out of luck.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  79. Stop me if I’m wrong, but NSA still hasn’t figure out how to monitor my canoe?

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

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