“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The US Government has become the enemy of the people

The United States of America is not exactly what we are or have become. "United" has connotations of willingness, a choice, it is positive, but that is not how we are today. We are ruled, often by unelected masters. You cannot be honest and call the US a democracy, not when an entire state of supposedly free people vote by referendum and make a decision on how they choose to live only to have it overturned by one appointed wizard wearing a black dress.

That is hardly an isolated incident. It is how we are ruled.

In Arizona, the lawfully elected representative body of the people decided it was past time to protect the property and welfare of the people from foreign invaders. The majority of the people demanded action. Their representatives acted and again, along came another wizard in a black dress. The wizard stared into her crystal ball, saw the ancient document and new words appeared, words never seen before, words invisible to all but our rulers and masters and their wizards.


August 05, 2010
The Prophet of the Ruling Class
By Jeffrey Folks

So now the EPA has been petitioned to ban the use of lead in bullets and fishing weights.

For hundreds of years, human beings have used lead for those purposes, and life on earth has not exactly come to an end. Now we are told that the lead used in hunting and fishing is harming animals and fish, and it must stop. The scary thing is that one individual, EPA Director Lisa Jackson, has the power to impose such a ban.

It's the same for every aspect of American life: A small group of elite administrators, czars, judges, or politicians -- often just one person -- think they have the right to decide what's best for 320 million Americans.

The political elite has always existed, but in the past, its influence was limited by a national consensus that the democratic will of the people came first. That consensus has broken down, and the elite have stepped in, determined to rule in place of, and in opposition to, the public will. The new Ruling Class.

What is happening was predicted -- and celebrated -- over forty years ago by Robert L. Heilbroner, one of the darlings of the New Left. In The Limits of American Capitalism, Heilbroner laid out a plan by which the innately conservative leanings of the American people could be quashed and replaced by the centralized control of a Marxist state. Heilbroner's book concludes with a chilling vision of the way forward. What he advocates is, in effect, a socialist totalitarian state, where the government controls every aspect of human life. In the name of reform, this statist system would regulate if not nationalize all major industries, but it would go farther than that.

What Heilbroner envisages is the rise of a new elite centralized in government, media, and the universities. This group of decision-makers would operate "on behalf of" the public and on the basis of "scientific principles" of social control. As Heilbroner writes, "Not alone economic affairs ... but the numbers and location of the population, its genetic quality, the manner of social domestication of children, the choice of lifework -- even the duration of life itself -- are all apt to become subjects for scientific investigation and control" (The Limits of American Capitalism, New York, 1966, pp. 129-130).

Heilbroner's books were bestsellers in the 1960s, widely read and admired by liberals everywhere. They were, in effect, neo-Keynesian, pro-statist instruction manuals studied by the likes of Bill Ayers and Cass Sunstein, President Obama's tutors in state control and regulation.

Heilbroner's books popularized the liberal premise that the political elite has the right and obligation to make fundamental decisions on behalf of the mass of citizens. In doing so, Heilbroner understood, the elite must find ways to subvert the naturally conservative inclinations of the people -- especially those lumpen-headed businessmen whom Heilbroner so despised. Decision-making must be shifted from individuals and elected representatives to bureaucrats and judges appointed by leftist politicians. Public opinion must be shaped and molded by elitist academics and journalists. The will of the state must be imposed, by violence if necessary. This was the future of America, according to Robert L. Heilbroner, and it is the vision of America adopted by those young activists in the 1960s and 1970s who now compose the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Heilbroner believed that it would take hundreds of years to overturn democracy in America, in part because of the widespread support of capitalism and the country's pesky tradition of individual rights. He noted, however, that the process could be sped up in the event of a severe economic crisis -- a crisis "too valuable to waste," as Raum Emanual has put it. Another great national depression or prolonged recession would make it possible for government to enact a series of "reforms" that would shift control from the private sector to government. Government would then control not just major sectors of the economy, but also the personal lives of all citizens. Their incomes, their health care, their educations, their home mortgages, their communications and entertainment, their access to news and information would all fall under the control of the political elite. At that point, Heilbroner believed, utopia would be at hand.

Everything that Heilbroner predicted is now coming to pass. In the past nineteen months, a three-judge panel has agreed to decide whether the gay marriage ban enacted by the voters of California should be overturned. The FCC has attempted to impose net neutrality, is considering reinstating the fairness doctrine to silence talk radio, and now speaks of phasing out "free" non-cable TV. Attorney General Holder has waged a virtual war against Arizona's attempt to defend itself against unchecked immigration. Congress has created an office of consumer affairs with broad powers to regulate financial and other transactions. An all-powerful, activist director like Elizabeth Warren will be appointed in the coming weeks. A European-style bureaucrat has been appointed to direct the rationing of Medicare and Medicaid services. And the EPA may now decide on whether to ban lead in hunting and fishing supplies.

The preferred modus operandi, in fact, is to appoint a single individual with the power to control some large part of American life. So much power has now been concentrated in the hands of a small cadre of appointees, most of them reporting ultimately to the President, that it is now doubtful whether America can still be considered a democratic nation. Government has become the enemy of the people because it is now in the hands of left-wing elitists who are opposed to traditional American values and who have only contempt for the democratic process.

Congress and the president have shown an appalling lack of restraint in their own use of power and in the power they have invested in new bureaucracies and regulatory czars. The liberty of every American is not just at risk -- it has already been stolen by elitists within government and the courts. Americans must drive the new elite out of government, out of academe, and out of the media. They should begin by defeating liberals in the fall elections, and by electing a conservative president in 2012.


  1. This November is a big deal.
    We got to get the hell out there and VOTE! It's a big deal, we are losing our country. We are losing our country. We got to get out there and VOTE!

  2. Taoteching 57:

    If you want to be a great leader,
    you must learn to follow the Tao.
    Stop trying to control.
    Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
    and the world will govern itself.

    The more prohibitions you have,
    the less virtuous people will be.
    The more weapons you have,
    the less secure people will be.
    The more subsidies you have,
    the less self-reliant people will be.

    Therefore the Master says:
    I let go of the law,
    and people become honest.
    I let go of economics,
    and people become prosperous.
    I let go of religion,
    and people become serene.
    I let go of all desire for the common good,
    and the good becomes common as grass.

  3. Sitting around on our ass, thinking everything will be ok, hunkydory, but it isn't, we are losing our country, get out there and VOTE!

  4. Miss T, the tao is just an eastern expression of the perennial philosophy, that's all it is. And you anger me, when you say, I am an AGNOSTIC taoist. You can't be that.
    T That is stupid, and you are not stupid, but the perennial philosophy is built on human experience.


  5. Golly boob, have you ever voted, before?

    Has it made a difference?

    The structural changes to the Republic, those that were made in 1913 have sealed the deal.

    The Federal Reserve and, more importantly, the direct election of the Senators has made the Federal government a power unto itself.

    The 17th Amendment made the Federal Government independent of the individual States and is the direct cause of the loss of accountability of the Federals to the States.

    The United States never was meant to be a "democracy" and the attempts to transform into one have failed to provide US with stability, freedom or liberty.

    The 17th Amendment removed the accountability of the Senate and the Federal government to the States.

    The Founders were correct, the Progressive Republicans of the turn of the century, wrong.

    The trend line did not start in January of 2009, it has little to do with Obama, even less to do with Robert L. Heilbroner.

    The 17th Amendment to the Constitution is the central issue in the loss of Federal accountability to the several States and their people.

    Vote away, it'll make no difference to the long term trend line. The problem is structural.

  6. Dennis Miller was talking with a caller about how Obama wanted to remold America on the European Model, and he looked fondly back on Clinton, who's idea of a European Model was an actual, you know, model.

  7. You, you lover of Mark


    And a lover of the river.

  8. The problem is that voters can choose their Senators, it was never meant to be that way, the Senate was designed to represent the States, the House of Representatives, the people directly.

    That was not a design error nor a flaw. The "fix" is the flaw.

  9. But, but, but, what could go wrong or be bad with a system of trishes? Certainly, there may be the need for a few broken eggs for the omelet; but Paradise is never free. And sense we will never have to win a war, no matter the provocation or necessity, the country will never be saddled with the costs of mending pottery.

  10. It was, as seems normal now, the Republicans that really screwed the pooch, back in the day.

  11. Yes, I have voted, shithead, always, and it does make a difference.

    And I'd add, you got no sense of humor whatsoever, never a laugh from the rat.

  12. Miss T, the tao is just an eastern expression of the perennial philosophy, that's all it is. And you anger me, when you say, I am an AGNOSTIC taoist. You can't be that.

    TTC 65:

    When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide.

    When they know that they don't know,
    people can find their own way.

    If you want to learn how to govern, avoid being clever or rich.

    Content with an ordinary life, you can show all people the way back to their own true nature.

  13. Have you noticed that?

    There is never ever a sense ofhumor in rat's ass.

    Just grim grim grim.

  14. The Adventurer

    After nearly 40 hours of tracking occasional bare footprints, search-and-rescue teams converged on an old mine-tailing pit Wednesday outside Dewey and found a 2-year-old who had vanished from his family's home in desert hills.

    They were too late.

    Emmett Trapp, still in the diapers and dinosaur-print pajama top he was wearing when he disappeared Monday evening, lay crumpled on the ground, apparently a victim of exposure.

    Emmett slipped out of the family residence while his mother and siblings were napping, then followed a three-mile course through desert washes and thick brush, Newmun said. After wandering in a partial semi-circle - at least some of the time within view of houses - he collapsed about a mile from where he started.

  15. There is little humor in the current political situation, boobie.

    That you are looking for laughs, indicative of your mental state.

    Please, describe how your votes have effected positive change.

    How any vote you have ever made has changed the trend line towards centralization and increased Federal authority.

    Not even the election of Ronald Wilson Reagan changed the trend toward centralization of Federal power and authority.

    There is no one in politics, today, as "conservative" as Reagan and even he could do no more than marginally slow the growth of the Federal government.

    The game is rigged and there is no "game changer' on the horizon.

  16. A system of Trishes?

    My curiosity is aroused.


    The MSM's most potent weapon in it's war on truth is to simply bury whatever is bothersome, or a hindrance to PC and neosocialism.

    To wit:
    The Journolist and Rev Wright.

    Why does Trish consider it noble to join with the MSM in burying any number of facts troublesome to the left?

    Such as the racism of La Raza, the racism and anti-semitism of Barry's cohorts, the foibles and corruption of The Left,

    The answer to bias is more bias?

  17. Mr Reagan, he exploded the debt, teaching our current crop of politicos how to borrow money in ever increasing amounts.

    With the out come being that the Republicans thought they could fight global wars, for free.

    And you right there, giving them your full and total support.

    Now that's funny stuff.

  18. Mr. Reagan had a Democrat Congress.

  19. True enough, doug.

    But he did not veto spending bills, en toto.
    No, he told US he needed a Constitutional Amendment to wield even more Executive authority.

    Instead, we are where we are.

    He does not escape responsibility for that. That he shares it with others, true enough.

    But that is still the situation we find ourselves in, today.

    When GW Bush and the Republicans held total control, the Executive, the House and the Senate, they borrowed a $Trillion USD for foreign adventures.

    They had learned the lessons of Ronald Wilson Reagan's tenure, well.

  20. The point being, doug, that even with Reagan in the White House the trend towards centralization of authority in the Federal government did not reverse nor even stop.

    It only slowed, marginally.

  21. And neither Mitt Romney nor Mrs Palin are in the same league as Ronald Wilson Reagan.

    The problem is structural, not the personnel.

  22. It is not term limits that are needed, but the repeal of the 17th Amendment.

    Which will not happen, either.

    The repeal, it could never get through the Senate.

  23. Proposition 8 (or the California Marriage Protection Act) was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008, state elections. The measure added a new provision, Section 7.5 of the Declaration of Rights, to the California Constitution, which provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."[1][2][3]
    By restricting the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples, the proposition overturned the California Supreme Court's ruling of In re Marriage Cases that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The wording of Proposition 8 was precisely the same as that which had been found in Proposition 22, which, as an ordinary statute, had been invalidated by the Supreme Court. California's State Constitution put Proposition 8 into immediate effect the day after the election.[4] The proposition did not affect domestic partnerships in California[5] or same-sex marriages performed before November 5, 2008.[6][7][8]
    Proponents of the constitutional amendment argued that exclusively heterosexual marriage was "an essential institution of society," that leaving the constitution unchanged would "result in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay," and that "gays ... do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else." Opponents argued that "the freedom to marry is fundamental to our society," that the California constitution "should guarantee the same freedom and rights to everyone" and that the proposition "mandates one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples and another set for everyone else." They also argued that "equality under the law is a fundamental constitutional guarantee" (see Equal Protection Clause).[9]
    The campaigns for and against Proposition 8 raised $39.9 million and $43.3 million, respectively, becoming the highest-funded campaign on any state ballot and surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the presidential contest. After the elections, demonstrations and protests occurred across the state and nation. Same-sex couples and government entities filed numerous lawsuits with the California Supreme Court challenging the proposition's validity and effect on previously administered same-sex marriages. In the Strauss v. Horton case, the court upheld Proposition 8, but allowed existing same-sex marriages to stand (under the Grandfather clause principle). United States district court Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8 on August 4, 2010 in the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger.[10] Judge Walker issued an injunction against enforcing Proposition 8 and a stay to determine suspension of his ruling pending appeal.[11][12]

  24. "You cannot be honest and call the US a democracy, not when an entire state of supposedly free people vote by referendum and make a decision on how they choose to live only to have it overturned by one appointed wizard wearing a black dress."

    Oh. My. God. What glaring hypocrisy! You moan on and on about how the Constitution should be adhered to and then you bemoan the adherence to the Constitution. What the heck do you think Constitutional law is all about? You know, things like preventing the 'tyranny of the majority'.

  25. Sacrifice is something that many Americans are becoming all too familiar with during this economic downturn. It was a key theme in President Obama's inaugural address to the nation, and he's referenced it numerous times when lecturing the country on how to get back on its feet.

    But while most of the country is pinching pennies and downsizing summer sojourns - or forgoing them altogether - the Obamas don't seem to be heeding their own advice. While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her "closest friends." According to CNN, the group is expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms, more than a third of the lodgings at the 160-room resort. Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times.

    Reports are calling the lodgings of Obama's Spanish fiesta, the Hotel Villa Padierna in Marbella, "luxurious," "posh" and "a millionaires' playground." Estimated room rate per night? Up to a staggering $2,500. Method of transportation? Air Force Two.

    Read more

  26. "What the heck do you think Constitutional law is all about? You know, things like preventing the 'tyranny of the majority'."

    As usual Ash, you get it half right, which is usually half wrong.

    The weakness in a democracy is that it can become the tyranny of the majority. That is what the first ten amendments are about: commonly called the Bill of Rights.

    A written constitution distinguished itself from the British Constitution which is not written. A written constitution is open to every literate person. It up to the citizen to make himself literate.

    The founders recognized that there could be disputes over what conforms to the Constitution. That is where the courts come in. They were empowered to monitor not to divine. The Document provided for change and states in the document how that should happen and it was by men elected to office by the electors.

    The Constitution is a document that places limits on federal government protecting state's rights and indicates individual rights. It is not the plaything of petty tyrants and wizards.

    Wizardry can use magic tricks, crystal balls and fairy dust to divine the hidden meaning to words that are not even there. That is what we have been reduced to, a country ruled by wizards in black dresses.

    If you have an original thought Ash, please express them, but if throwing mud pies is more amusing to you, don't exert yourself and fire at will.

  27. Unless the Constitution is amended it supersedes the laws passed by the legislatures. It is entirely legitimate to make Constitutional challenges to laws and that is what is occurring in this particular case. It is the legal system which arbitrates the Constitution and there is a good chance that this case will make it to the Supreme Court. A judge has made a ruling and you seem to object to it in this case but not, say, when a judge strikes down gun laws. That is the hypocrisy in your position.

  28. Ash...

    America is a Republic...

    Not a democracy.

    Now go back to Canada and don't forget to bow to the Queen..

  29. WASHINGTON (AP) -- Initial requests for jobless benefits rose last week to their highest level since April, a sign that hiring remains weak and some companies are still cutting workers.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000. Analysts had expected a small drop. Claims have risen twice in the past three weeks.

    Maybe if Queen Michelle had vacationed in America it could have helped our economy?

  30. Following the exclusive Arutz Sheva report Wednesday morning that Muslims were enlarging the Mamilla cemetery with fake tombs, authorities removed the tombs by Wednesday evening.

    Dozens of false tombs were “planted” just west of the cemetery, on land that is part of Independence Park (Gan HaAtzmaut) at city center. There were no graves beneath the tombs.

    The fake tombs were removed by the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Lands Authority.

    A municipality employee told Arutz Sheva that the faux graves were apparently part of a plan to have the Muslim Waqf submit a demand for the additional land to be placed under Muslim ownership.

    Expect the UN and the ICJ to start a new investigation......

  31. From the Jeffrey Folks article:

    "It's the same for every aspect of American life: A small group of elite administrators, czars, judges, or politicians -- often just one person -- think they have the right to decide what's best for 320 million Americans."

    That article brings up some interesting points though his partisan bashing of the left is a bit tiresome. In fact I think it is more arguable that the slide towards elite rule in America has more so originated from the social conservative side of the spectrum. Liberals (small l liberals) tend toward a 'live and let live' kind of philosophy as opposed to the righteous 'thou shalt' of the social conservative movement. This can be seen in the imposition of anti-abortion laws, no liquor sales on Sunday laws, or the desire for the ruling elite to determine where a Mosque can be built. This tendency in American life (and other places as well) seems to emanate from a desire to impose one's own view of 'moral' on others as opposed to individual freedom's to act as they choose.

  32. The "people" of Ms have no "right" to tell me who I should/can marry, bugger, or boink. The "people" can vote till the cows come home, and I will continue to associate with whomsoever I damned well please.

    I heard all the same squealing when the Warren Court ruled on "Brown vs The Board of Education," and when the gumment passed the "Civil Rights Act."

    The "Squealing Peepulz" were wrong then, and they're wrong now.

  33. WiO wrote:


    America is a Republic...

    Not a democracy."

    And your point is??? Not that I disagree with the Republic part of your statement but the democracy part of your statement makes little sense. Are you suggesting the two are mutually exclusive?

  34. rufus, I'd amend your statement to include the concept of 'consent'. You can't boink, or marry, a kid, or an animal because the can't 'consent'.

  35. That was pretty well said there Ash, I think that's the first time you made any sense.

  36. Who in the hell would want to boink with Rufus anyway?

  37. Sometimes there were many. Sometimes there weren't.

  38. Ash loves the good ole U S of A. He eats it's food, wears it's clothes, drives it's cars, plays on it's golf courses, and sails on it's waters.

    He loves to sit on his throne in the People's Republic of Canada, bow to it's Queen, wait in line for medical care, and criticize and make light of everything American. He is the ultimate hypocrite.

    Much like Obama he hasn't a clue what it means to be a countryman. No clue as to what it means to have roots or a sense of culture or patriotism. He is truly an internationalist, just like Obama.

    Nose nose everything goes, sorry about that let it all hang out.

    He has no religion or belief system or loyalty except the Church of Liberalism, the Church of Political Correctness, and he bows and prays at that altar everyday.

  39. claims for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000...

    Biden said the heavy lifting was done and it was time to go into campaign mode.

  40. There were about 3,200,000 Job "Openings" in May. That's UP 2.9% Year on Year.

    Job "Openings" lead Employment.

  41. That's "29" Percent, not 2.9%.

  42. Business "Capital Spending" very robust.

    "Productivity" very high.

    "Job Openings" rising.

  43. I think, right now, businesses are advertising jobs for which the unemployed workforce isn't "trained."

    At some point soon, businesses will start hiring underqualified workers, and "Training Them Up," themselves.

  44. "I think, right now, businesses are advertising jobs for which the unemployed workforce isn't "trained."

    Why do you think this Ruf?


  45. UN panel: New taxes needed for a climate fund

    "Carbon taxes, add-ons to international air fares and a levy on cross-border money movements are among ways being considered by a panel of the world's leading economists to raise a staggering $100 billion a year to fight climate change.

    "British economist Nicholas Stern told international climate negotiators Thursday that government regulation and public money also will be needed to create incentives for private investment in industries that emit fewer greenhouse gases.

    "In short, a new industrial revolution is needed to move the world away from fossil fuels to low carbon growth, he said.
    "It will be extremely exciting, dynamic and productive," said Stern, one of 18 experts in public finance on an advisory panel appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon..."

    UN Wants Global Carbon Tax

    Right. I'm sure we can trust the UN to handle a $100 billion more a year. They are afterall the UN.

    The following is on point.

    "The most spectacular recent example of UN corruption emerged with the oil-for-food fiasco, in which billions of dollars were siphoned to the regime of Saddam Hussein under the guise of humanitarian aid. Ex-Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker led an inquiry into the scandal, whose final report appeared five years ago to a resounding lack of interest from governments.

    "The UN, however, claimed that it would beef up its internal oversight. Ms. Ahlenius was appointed to the OIOS, and another special office was set up to look at procurement practices under Robert Appleton, a former U.S. federal prosecutor who had served as lead counsel on the Volcker inquiry.

    "Mr. Appleton’s office was closed down in 2008, and attempts by Ms. Ahlenius to have him appointed her chief investigator were persistently blocked by Mr. Ban on the basis that Mr. Appleton didn’t meet the UN’s “gender” or “geographical” requirements.

    "Where were the female candidates from Burundi? Ms Lapointe obviously scores in the gender department, but may raise some grumbles because Canada is far too developed a country...

    Cleaning the Swamp? Bull. Shut the UN Down

    The UN causes more problems than it solves. It is a corrupt organization and should be shut down. The US could accomplish this overnight by deciding to no longer fund it.


  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Civilized society says you cannot marry your sister, brother, father, son or daughter nor anyone under the age of 16, 17, or 18 (varies). Society does that because it is sensible.

    Society has the right to discriminate.

    Marriage by definition is between a man and a woman.

    It is specific as addition in mathematics:

    Assume all men are a number 3 and all woman are a number 5 and the + symbol means "a union"

    3 + 5 = 8

    The number 8 is marriage.

    A union by any two people has three possible combinations:

    man+woman, 3 + 5 = 8

    woman+woman, 5 + 5=10

    man+man, 3 + 3 = 6

    We have assigned "marriage" exclusively to the combination that equals 8. We need now to assign a word to the categories that equal 6 or 10. Sensibly we already have and it is called a "civil union".

    by definition we have assigned the term "marriage" to the number 8. therefor the union of a man and a woman is "marriage"

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Q, look at my post above. Businesses are (and, have been for awhile, now) spendng on Capex. This always precedes hiring.

    The unemployment rate is very high, but so are "Job Openings."

    Plus, anecdotally, I've heard several business execs on CNBC saying they "need x (usually a large number) number of "trained" employees.

    This just leads me to think that business is installing new machinery/systems/etc for which they are having trouble finding operators.

    And, knowing American businessmen, if they can't find'em, they'll "train'em."

  50. Nice way of putting an argument that also expresses my opinion on the subject Deuce.

    Any arguments beyond this become an argument about politics not about rights.


  51. The Writers of the Constitution gave blacks the number 0.6.

    That didn't make it "right."

  52. all the argument is saying is it is true because we've defined it to be true which doesn't really tell us much. The Constitutional question revolves around the question as to whether the 'truth we've chosen to define' violates the Constitution- does it apply to all equally. The restrictions you mentioned regarding marrying your brother or sister ect. apply to ALL people equally but does the restriction on marrying a member of the same sex meet the same equity issue? That is what is before the courts and they are not the enemy of the people for considering such an issue.

  53. Reasonable assumptions Ruf.

    I wouldn't argue about it. I am kind of an agnostic right now.

    I don't know what has to happen before hiring starts.

    The GOP argues that businesses are sitting on cash because they are uncertain about the elections and tax policies.

    What everyone seems to ignore is that the same businesses are also sitting on historically massive debt which may also have something to do with their caution.

    I just hope someone gets it figured out soon.


  54. The number 0.6 involved a "rights" issue.

    The numbers 8, 6, and 10 do not. Civil Unions removed that issue from the realm of "rights" and instead positioned it in the "political" sphere.


  55. by definition we have assigned the term "marriage" to the number 8. therefor the union of a man and a woman is "marriage"

    You can call it anything you want so long as I get Fely's stuff when she dies.

  56. The people of Washington D.C. could equally ban guns by voting in favor of it could they not? Does that meet your requirement of No Guns + People = OK because the people voted it so in their district or does the Constitution supersede that vote?

  57. As far as I know a member of my family has fought in Every War this country has Ever fought. In one we were on "both" sides (gotta hedge your bets, you know.)

    The point is, We didn't fight in all those Wars just so some uptight asshole can tell us "with whom, or how, we can "get it on" (with the usual common sense exceptions of children, etc. of course.)

    As far as I know my children are pretty much heterosexual. If they weren't, however, there is no goddamned way I would want them discriminated against.

    I bought this country for them, and I will Not allow it to be taken away by some bible-thumpin asshole, or confused mathematician.

  58. Federal agencies don't like the Freedom of Information Act, and no wonder.

    It's the law of choice for journalists and other watchdogs who suspect that public officials might be covering up corruption or incompetence. Government bureaucrats like to breeze along without your eyes prying into their — ah, your — business.

    "Isn't it ironic that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is making lots of noise about forcing more transparency on business, wants to keep its own secrets?

    "Congress went along like a lapdog in the new financial reform law.
    That law specifies that the SEC need not disclose records it gets when it examines businesses that register with the agency. The law is written so broadly that it could exempt almost all the agency's work from the Freedom of Information Act...

    Transparancy, SEC Style

    I assume those statist bureaucrats who believe the expansion of the Federal bureaucracy is actual needed to support the increasing complexity in our lives (as opposed to contributing it) and assure our safety will have no problem with this move in these FinReg regulations which were purportedly designed to increase transparancy.

    Interesting point. GM is getting ready to issue an IPO. Obama was asked on CNBC today if the government would consider allowing a Dutch Auction which would allow ordinary investors to get involved with the IPO rather than restrict it to the fat cats. Obama answered that he couldn't respond to that because he wasn't privy to the thinking at the SEC. Evidently, in the future, no one else will be either.


  59. Q, I pretty much discount the "frozen by prospect of higher taxes" scenario. It just doesn't jive with what I know about businessmen.

    I do think the Healthcare bill might be having an effect on the hiring of "marginal" workers in the lower skills area.

    I think, right now, the "smaller" businessmen, that always hire us out of recessions, are having trouble getting money. This could, likely, continue for quite a while.

  60. Dog chews off Michigan man's toe, saves his life

    DETROIT (Reuters) - A Michigan man credited his dog with saving his life by chewing off his diseased big toe as he lay passed out in a drunken stupor.

    Jerry Douthett, 48, woke up on a Saturday night in late July in his Rockford, Michigan home to find his Jack Russell Terrier, Kiko, had gnawed off his right big toe.

    "The dog always lays with me on the bed," said Douthett. "That night, I woke up and looked down at my foot, and it was wet. When I looked it was blood, and there was the dog looking at me with a blood mustache."

    Douthett's wife, Rosee, rushed him to a hospital where doctors found he was suffering from Type 2 diabetes. His toe was badly infected and surgeons amputated the remainder of the digit.

    Douthett's wife, a registered nurse, had been urging him for weeks to have his infected toe examined by a doctor.

    On the night Kiko ate his toe, Douthett said he had been out with his wife and drank about "six or seven beers" and a pair of giant margaritas "big enough to put goldfish in."

    "I was self-medicating at this point," he said. "The moral of the story is that the dog saved my life, because otherwise I never would have gone in to see a doctor."

    The couple said they were amazed that Kiko appeared to know Douthett had an infection that needed treatment.

    "He kind of chewed off the infected part and stopped at the good bone," said Rosee. "We joked that we shouldn't have had to pay the co-pay because he did half the job by chewing off half of the toe."

  61. Blogger Quirk said...

    "Federal agencies don't like the Freedom of Information Act, and no wonder."

    I once played a round of golf with a gentleman who worked for the Canadian Federal Government clearing documents requested under the "Freedom of information act". He jokingly referred to it as the "Freedom from information act". His point was that by creating a law determining what and what should not be released to the public it gave the government more room than they ever had to restrict information releases.

  62. "there is no goddamned way I would want them discriminated against"
    "Marriage" has been a positive definition since time immemorial in virtually every country on Earth.

    It had nothing to do with discrimination in your modern PC sense that can regard almost anything as "discrimination."

    More like "discriminating" between male and female, black and white, and etc.

  63. Two aunts living together was once refered to as two aunts living together, whether they were gay or straight.

    Now some of them have the "right" to call themselves "married"

    Brave Newspeak World, indeed.

  64. You can call it anything you want so long as I get Fely's stuff when she dies.

    That's a really lovely Felying Jesus Christ Teresita

    I don''t even think of my wife that way. And we don't get along.

    What the hell kind of relationship do you have, anyways.

    Is there any love there, a little compassion?


  65. If they weren't, however, there is no goddamned way I would want them discriminated against...

    You and Ash continue to confuse with the term "rights" with "political definitions".

    If a civil union grants one the same rights as an agreement designated as "marriage" what rights have been violated?

    As Doug points out in one of his few moments of lucidity, the word marriage has had a distinct definition for thousands of years and it doesn't include same sex unions. If there is any discrimination involved here, despite your red herring patriotic histrionics, it is against heterosexuls who are being asked (coerced?) into changing the meaning of a perfectly good word.

    I say this is a political question because the push for gay "marriage" is a push to make these arrangements appear more mainstream.

    T recognizes the difference. Although I suspect she would approve the expansion of the definition of marriage, she recognizes what the real rights issues are.


  66. The Writers of the Constitution gave blacks the number 0.6.

    That didn't make it "right."

    Irrelevant to the argument, It was still called for what it was slavery. In fact there was logic in that the slaves were stripped of freedom which certainly is a lessening of their rights.

  67. "What the hell kind of relationship do you have, anyways."

    Jesus, Bob. How fucking obtuse are you?

    Get a grip.

    Go fishing.


  68. The argument was about logic not math. I beg your pardon if my logic confused you.

  69. Hey, Doug. Just kidding about the lucidity part.

    You have gotten one or two things right in the year I've been here.


  70. I'm going, fishing, but that one really ticked me off.

  71. Phil Lebeaux (sp?) interviewed Pres. Obama at a Ford plant this morning. Sure didn't look like the buick plant I worked at for a couple of months when I was 18 (and, probably, different that an auto plant will look in 2030.)

    Obama made quite a bit of sense, I thought. He answered most of the "economy" questions about the same way I would have. I'm starting to feel like he's beginning to get his feet under him in understanding how the thing works.

    I think we're at such an inflection point, right now, though, that nobody car "really" see too far ahead.

  72. Christ, to say all you want out of your loved one is her stuff. Christ!

  73. If Congress can "bestow" a right to "Civil Union," that Congress can TAKE IT AWAY.

    If it is a "CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT," then a, particularly, bible-thumping, populist Congress CAN NOT TAKE IT AWAY.

    To not allow Teresita, and Fely the "Right" of Inheritance is to Discriminate against them on Religious Grounds; And, THAT is "Unconstitutional."

  74. quirk wrote:

    You and Ash continue to confuse with the term "rights" with "political definitions"."

    I don't believe so. The "right" is to be treated equally. I think most would agree, and the courts definitely, that to limit Marriage to only white people discriminates against black people (and others) and this would violate the Constitution. The question now is whether "gay" is a reasonable reason to discriminate. The fact that it has been that way for many years of the fact that the Constitution consider Blacks .6 at one point in time is irrelevant. The .6 was amended out and a history of discrimination doesn't justify current discrimination. I think an important question for the courts is limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex a reasonable encroachment on the right to be treated equally. I think the courts would agree that a brother and sister marrying would be a reasonable limit on discriminating against that union though it does pose an interesting question on how literally one should interpret the equal rights clause.

  75. "If it is a "CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT," then a, particularly, bible-thumping, populist Congress CAN NOT TAKE IT AWAY."

    The only rational part of your statement. However, defining constitutional rights is not part of Rufus' pervue. Defining same-sex unions as "marriage" is not part of the constitution. The way it becomes part of our system of laws is the usual way. It gets written in.


  76. p.s. most here appear to favor a very literal interpretation of the Constitution.

  77. As I interpret your last statement Ash it said exactly nothing.

    That the courts will ultimately rule on the subject?

    Hell what do you think is happening right now?


  78. "Christ, to say all you want out of your loved one is her stuff. Christ!"

    Jesus, Bob, surely you can see that T was attempting to add a little humor to her response stating her position on a serious subject.

    Suggestion. Go back and delete those two rediculous posts.

    It's much better to have people consider you a whack-job than to prove it to them.


  79. Quirk - Deuce's main point in all this has been like his title says "The US Government has become the enemy of the people" and then he wrote:

    "You cannot be honest and call the US a democracy, not when an entire state of supposedly free people vote by referendum and make a decision on how they choose to live only to have it overturned by one appointed wizard wearing a black dress."

    He seems upset that the courts would even entertain the notion of overturning the California law (and the Arizona immigration law). I'm of the opinion that both violate the equal rights amendment and that gays should not be discriminated against in marriage matters. I'm ambivalent about whether one should allow brothers and sisters to marry if they should so choose and I think it is an interest idea brought up by deuce in this context.

  80. Quirk, you haven't figured out that he is a whack job yet? I find it preferable to not tread in any boobie droppings.

  81. "I'm ambivalent about whether one should allow brothers and sisters to marry if they should so choose and I think it is an interest idea brought up by deuce in this context.

    You have now entered into areas that are too weird even for me.

    I'm out of here. Gotta go look at furniture.


  82. hey, if some brother and sister want to marry it's no skin off of my ass. If they want to have children, well, there are some very real health concerns for the potential offspring. Getting married does not equal having children.

  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. Man, I hate political parties. The "Liberals" want to tax me to death, and control everything I do once I walk out of the door of my house,

    And, the fucking Republicans, want to tell me who I can have sex with, and how I can do it.

  85. The State has assumed the authority to "license" marriage.

    In all my readings of the Constitution, I find no limits upon nor even mention of marriage, either as a "right" or as an obligation of citizenship.

    The State defines marriage by statute as well as the benefits that accrue to those that obtain the license, from the State.

    Those that are qualified to be licensed and the requirements for that license have changed greatly, over time.

    While there are many forms of marriage that are historically viable, that the State will not license. That it has even invoked statutes against.

    There were often racial and religious requirements that had to be met, prior to a license being issued, by the State.

    While often times cohabitation, without license, was illegal.

    As long as those licensed to marry accrue special benefits from the State, then there will be pressure to "open" that licensing to more and more variations of the theme.

    If one looks to the historical norm, the State should license polygamous marriages, as they are prevalent in many historical and modern cultures. Both in the United States and abroad.

    Marriage, seems to me, is defined by many, here, in a more religious context than a legal one.

    The solution, simple.
    The State should absolve itself from licensing marriages, and only license civil unions.

    With the benefits accrued to those unions being equal to all that are licensed.

    If the State wants to promote child bearing and family unity, there are other means to do so than by licensing marriage.

  86. Leave marriage in the Churches and Synagogues, and let the State license civil unions, exclusively.

  87. It kind of begs the question though. The States license marriage and can they discriminate in the licensing based on the sex of the participants?

  88. No they can't, because the only argument they can make at the end of the day is "Religious."

    And, There, you get into the purvue of The Constitution.

  89. "No they can't, because the only argument they can make at the end of the day is "Religious.""


    Yeah, like if your religion is SCIENCE, you can base the "argument"(definition) on the contention that men and women are different.

  90. Not, I think, in the current state of the State.

    The prohibitions will be found, more than likely, illegal.

    Especially in light of Roe v Wade and the "Rights" that have been recently established with regards equality of opportunity, let alone outcome.

  91. Power to the people, except those Hymies in Hymietown, some of whose ancestors fought in wars on this continent before it became the U.S. Of course, the number for Jews is 0. Let Hymietown burn so long as the good ole boys of MS get to Constitutionally boink whomever. What a perversion of the founding.

  92. The First amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion",

    The 14th amendment, due process clause, applies this to States, as well as the Feds.

  93. CA already had civil unions with all the attendant rights:

    This Gay Judge wanted his show trial to be televised.
    Supremes said,

    138 pages, bascily full of his opinions and those of his chosen experts, that we are bigots.

  94. What would you cite as your "conservative" credentials Rufus?

  95. rufus said...
    What Rat said.

    Right on.
    But you argue otherwise endlessly.

  96. Conservative Credentials?

    My desire to conserve my freedom to marry whosoever I damned well choose?

    The desire to keep the government out of my bedroom?

  97. No, Doug. I agree that the "state" has no business getting involved in "marriage" in any way, shape, or form. It's outside their purview.

    They sentenced a guy in Texas to a whole bunch of years in jail because someone peeked in his window, and testified he saw the man's wife giving him a blowjob.

    Is that what "Conservatism" means to you?

  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

  99. McCaskill: 'Message received' from Missouri voters on health reform

    Right...The morons don't know what's best for them. May the rest of her party follow her lead into November.

  100. Q @ Thu Aug 05, 02:55:00 PM EDT

    Democrats at work.

  101. .“’I was there when he came into this world and I will be the one to carry him out,’ he said.”

    Now, boys and girls, this is real world and real courage.

    Father mourns loss of Marine son

  102. Bob is my boy



  103. Michelle sure has a set of white teeth ,but no brain.

  104. "No, Doug. I agree that the "state" has no business getting involved in "marriage" in any way, shape, or form. It's outside their purview.

    They sentenced a guy in Texas to a whole bunch of years in jail because someone peeked in his window, and testified he saw the man's wife giving him a blowjob."

    Is the second comment merely a non-sequiter or is it somehow related to the gay marriage question? If related, by your logic a guy or gal who is into masturbation ought to be allowed to mark "married" on their income tax form and list "hand" under the space for spouse on the joint form.



  105. Q, I used that as an example of just how dangerous it can get when you let the government get involved in sex, and marriage.

    Another example would be those old laws down in some of the Southern States that forbade marriage between a "white," and another who had a "single drop" of negro blood. It was a "prison" offense.

    The government just has no business getting involved in this.

  106. I hate to say it Ruf but you are terribly naive.

    Anytime you have an issue that involves the allocation of scarce resources you have a political issue and one that the government will get involved in at some level.

    Marriage is one of those issues. You are correct in pointing out the government is capricious in the issuing laws that govern sexual mores; however, the examples you gave have nothing to do with the issue of gay marriage.

    When you get involved with tax rules, credits, inheritance rights, adoption, etc. you are going to get the government involved.

    The questions then arise as to what level of government writes the rules, the federal or the state. If it's decided that there should be federal rules governing marriage, I say the civil union plan mentioned by rat makes sense to me. If it stopped there. However, this is just my opinion but I don't think it would stop there.

    By requiring everyone to go with the civil union as a prerequisite you are assuming the European model and adding an extra burden to heterosexual couples. Instead of one trip to the county clerks office you would have two, one to get a license and one for the civil union ceremony. Then they would have to get the religious ceremony if they so choose.

    An extra step, more bureaucracy, but I think it would be worth it if it eliminated this devisive issue. Unfortunately, I don't think this would settle it. Again, merely my opinion, but I believe you have two groups directly affected by the gay marriage debate.

    The first group, like T, is mainly concerned with the current inequality under various laws (tax, probate, etc.) that benefits married couples. They could live with the concept of civil unions that level the field.

    Then in my opinion you have a group of gay activists who will insist on eliminating any distinction at all between same-sex marriage and traditional marriage. They are not only interested in equality (civil unions) or acceptance (the majority of Americans have no problems with the gay lifestyle as long as it doesn't empact on them) but they will push for "marriage" because they are looking to get their lifestyle recognized as "mainstream" with no difference between their's and the heterosexual lifestyles.

    This is matter of social norms and values that seem to be changing in this country. However, the activists are unwilling to wait.


  107. What possible business does the "State" have issuing Marriage/Civil Union Licenses?

  108. It's for the same reason you have to have proof that you actually gave that money to charity on your tax forms.

    It's the same reason you have to have a marriage license to prove inherited property is yours without having probate court rule where it goes.

    There is a rationale for tax laws. The current ones promote marriage. You don't like that either? Work to change them. Ignore them and go to jail.

    If the government wasn't involved, I'd be the first one to get into the business of printing up the document that said a couple of gays were married, or that Rufus and his hand were married for that matter.


  109. If rufus was ambidextrous, the question arises as to potential violation of bigamy laws. Under sharia, that confusion could be eliminated.

  110. Then they just cut off the left hand, right?

  111. MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's supreme court on Thursday upheld a landmark law that allows gay marriage in the capital city, bucking a challenge raised by the conservative government of President Felipe Calderon.

  112. WASHINGTON - Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Elena Kagan as the nation's 112th Supreme Court justice on Saturday, making one-third of the nation's highest court women for the first time in history.

  113. Civil union statutes have always, in my opinion, been the adaquate solution to the issue. The argument is well summarized at BC "Proposition 8" post & thread yesterday: 12. Sara (Pal2Pal).

    I've yet to hear a cogent argument opposing that view. I expect Teresita would disagree. I hope that doesn't threaten our friendship.

  114. One or the other, rat. I imagine a question of which bride was first might enter into the deliberations.

    Of course, if the guy in the dock was that famous fellow from Nantucket, there could be fatal consequences for the defendant.

  115. It will be very interesting to see how well the constitution holds up under our secular society. Back in the day, the nation was more cohesive, less diverse. People had a shared morality based on Judaeo Christian ideals. That society is disappearing before our eyes. The boomer generation has seen the deterioration of the society that we once knew. Once we bought into the fiction of separation of church and state, we sealed the fate of the republic. Many of the problems of inheritance can be addressed through wills but some problems such as Soc Sec or Pensions currently cannot. I prefer to remedy the problems rather than redefine "marriage." In the end though, it may all be a matter of semantics.

    What disturbs me is that if enough people buy into the argument that gays are denied their constitutional rights, then what other constitutional changes can be implemented? Already, some members of Congress are referring to a right to medical care.
    I find myself becoming increasingly estranged from the popular culture. I watch the whirl spin, rotated 180 degrees, from the axis I have been oriented to. I am increasingly detached, lacking the indignation I once had. You want to turn the whirled upside down to get your way, knock yourself out, just don't tread on me.

    It's getting to the point of every man for himself.

  116. It will also be interesting to see if the Rufus-Hitchens anti-religion animus kicks into a more virulent back lash.

  117. Quirk: Jesus, Bob, surely you can see that T was attempting to add a little humor to her response stating her position on a serious subject.

    And I might add he's got no sense of humor whatsoever, never a laugh from the bob. Just grim grim grim.

  118. I think bob is going through another trough.

  119. LT: Civil union statutes have always, in my opinion, been the adaquate solution to the issue.

    Separate but equal. Two sets of water fountains was an adequate solution for the coloreds in the 1960s too. What the LGBT community needs is a Rosa Parks who will stay planted in her seat and not move to the back of the nuptial bus.

  120. "I am increasingly detached, lacking the indignation I once had. You want to turn the whirled upside down to get your way, knock yourself out, just don't tread on me..."

    Probably a good attitude to adopt Whit. Saves on the Prylosec.

    More and more kids these days are comfortable with a lot of these ideas. It will be their world to run in a few years. If that's the way they want it, God bless em.

    As you said just don't tread on me in the meantime.


  121. A Soupy Sales retrospective on now on PBS.

    I loved that guy.


  122. Thu Aug 05, 02:42:00 PM EDT

    : )

  123. With a face like that, and you call me GRIM?

  124. The Founders believed, on the whole, that no civil society was possible without religion. Their opposition was to a tithe collecting state religion.

    I will be happy to give 10:1 odds on this point.

    We have moved far from the Founders on this point. We are disintegrating.

  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

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