Who Do We Praise? Who Should We Worship?

>> Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some teachers in New Jersey seem to think Barack Hussein Obama is a legitimate substitute for God.

Here's the video. It's two minutes and change, but make sure to watch what follows, which is a discussion in the FOX Strategy Room. This is frightening stuff. Who have we elected? Mao Tse Tung? Kim Jong Il? Fidel Castro? Hugo Chavez? All of the above?

God save us from these fools.

243 comments:

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM  

What were they saying, beyond his name? I could not understand any of the words.

And I saw no discussion following it, it went straight to something about ACORN.

Given this and your last post, I suspect you might ought to relax a little bit, Eric. If the world didn't fall apart during Bush's reign, I see nothing to worry about during Obama's.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

I know I should not even post here, but just one question: Are these "teachers in new jersey" you reference, are they REALLY substituting Obama for God, or are you misrepresenting what they're doing?

Have you insulted and called "fools" these people unjustly?

Jesus said, "whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matt. 5:22)

ELAshley September 24, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

Such a rigid translation of Matthew 5:22, yet elsewhere you find enough wiggle room to allow scripture to say what you want it to say.

But, I apologize. I refuse to be antagonistic toward you.

What would you call someone who changed the words of a hymn to insert lyrics of adoration toward ANY president? Had this been done for Bush, I have no doubt you would be trumping this up at your place.

We do not worship our presidents. They are not of sufficient calibre to warrant such. Instead we hold ALL our leaders to heel! ...well, some of us do; and rightly so since they work FOR us. Not for themselves.

At least, that's the way it's supposed to be.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 2:27 PM  

What were the lyrics? What was the hymn (I did not recognize it as a hymn)? That's all I was asking.

I have certainly seen some people go overboard on the Obama praise. And you're absolutely correct, if someone were substituting hymn lyrics and putting Bush's name in where "God" usually is, I'd have joked about it at my place.

Is that what they're doing here?

ELAshley September 24, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

At the beginning, it's a rather innocuous pseudo Hip Hop praising of Obama, and that's fine, as far as it goes, but toward the end they break into melody... Battle Hymn of the Republic.

"Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on."


Though they never appear in the video to get as far as the chorus. It just disturbs me to no end that teachers are doing this kind of stuff. This is indoctrination of the worst sort. Indoctrination DOES go on in the Public School system, I'm not naive to its presence or necessity (to a point), but this is blatant Obama praise and worship. I don't recall ever hearing this done, for Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, not within MY lifetime.

This goes too far.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

Ah, the John Brown's Body tune. I can hear it now.

I still can't understand the lyrics, except for a word or two here and there.

You know, it could be the case that the children wrote this song. Schools these days, God bless 'em, are empowering children to write and perform their own works. Or, it could be a teacher, I don't know.

I'd be more sympathetic if it were a student-inspired song rather than a teacher.

I'd have to be able to hear more of the lyrics to form more of an opinion. Generally, I'm quite opposed to the hero worship sort of thing in schools, except in the case where it's students performing their works.

I don't know if you have cause to be around young children much, Eric, but from what I've seen here in Louisville, they have identified with Obama in a way that hasn't happened in my lifetime. They are all pretty pleased as punch that he's the president and they routinely cheer and celebrate his work. I suppose that's partially as a result of what they hear at home. This is probably especially true in the urban neighborhoods and schools I am familiar with.

But you're around urban areas, too, aren't you? Are you around children any? Have you seen this excitement and pride in our nation stemming from the election?

I certainly don't agree with everything Obama's doing or done. I'm still waiting to see us get out of these wars and out of Guantanamo, for instance. Still, his election IS a historic thing and many people who thought they were wholly unrepresented in their whole lifetime are feeling at least a little represented and that stirs some excitement.

The people with whom I'm familiar who are so excited about Obama's election are solid Christians, so I have no fears whatsoever that they are replacing God with Obama. They may be putting too much stock in him and, if so, will surely be disappointed eventually. But I'm willing to cut some slack on it this time, depending on the details.

That's just me.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

Here are the lyrics, according to Fox News. I would hope that this is a child's writing.

I notice,too, in the video, it appears that a child is telling the teacher the words.

That is my suspicion - this is a student-directed song.

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 24, 2009 at 4:07 PM  

As far as all the sourcing I have seen whether the sing along took place during school or after I haven't seen. But in that school district is a woman who wrote a children's book lauding Pres. Barack Obama. You can see a poster for her book in the background. So maybe this is something for her. There is so much about this video that isn't known. But if this is worship then it's pretty superficial.

Some of the things we do know is that this was performed at a school in New Jersey. The principal didn't know about it and has disavowed it. The dept. of education doesn't have any official Pres. Obama worship curriculum so I think our children are safe.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 4:14 PM  

I agree. I would note that I find the wildfire-like spread of this story as "Obama worship" more disturbing than the story itself.

ELAshley September 24, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

Safe? When no one seems to know about it except the teacher?

You two take too much for granted. Way too much.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

Brother Eric, I have had children in public schools for over 12 years now (my son just graduated and my daughter is in 8th grade). I have taught at public schools and seen how things operate first hand. I have visited and chaperoned at public schools and on trips. I have counted public school children as dear friends for all my adult life.

While there are times I have been concerned about too much indoctrination (too conservative, generally, but then, I live in Kentucky), it has not been anything near big enough that would cause me to remove my children from school. We teach them values at home, we monitor their progress at school and while there are good and bad teachers, some who are too enthusiastic for their particular pastor or politician, that is how things are in the real world and it's part of their education to learn to deal with people from all sorts of backgrounds.

So, no, I don't think I'm taking anything for granted, since I have first hand experience on which I base my opinions. I know what I see and I am generally aware of what is going on and their is nothing happening that would cause my children to start worshiping false gods.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

"THERE is nothing happening..." not "Their."

I hate it when I do that...

ELAshley September 24, 2009 at 4:54 PM  

Yeah, I hate when I do that too.

Dan Trabue September 24, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

On a more relaxed note, Eric, you may find it interesting to know that for my parents' 60th anniversary, my brother (who lives on the west coast) and I (in Kentucky) have written a song for them together and recorded it a country apart - he recorded his part in CA, I added some parts here in KY and sent it back to him and then back to me. Fun stuff.

It's called the "Ballad of Bill and Mary" and sings their praises, but we're not worshiping them...

It has been a fun way to connect with my oldest brother and do something nice for my parents. After the big party next month, I may post that song and some others.

(I also sent my brother some poetry that our grandfather wrote half a century ago and my brother has put that to music - Hazel's Waltz - and recorded it for the big shindig. Lots of fun.)

The party's not secret, but the songs are so don't tell anyone...

Mark September 24, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

I have recently added 13 "truths about Liberals" which I got from Lone Ranger to my sidebar.

Dan fits the description of truth number two:

Never try to reason with a liberal. They disregard any evidence that conflicts with their beliefs.

Number four:

Liberals don't debate, they argue.

Number six:

Liberals feel, conservatives think.

Number eight:

Liberals cannot be embarrassed. They lack the gene to blush.

Number ten:

Liberals get older, but they never get smarter.

Number eleven:

There are no honest liberals. If they were honest -- especially to themselves -- they would not be liberal.

And probably fits the others, too.

That's why I have ceased attempting to reason or debate with him. It's like arguing with a wall.

Mark September 24, 2009 at 10:55 PM  

The more Dan comments, the more I am convinced he is an idiot.

Mark September 25, 2009 at 6:30 AM  

"John Brown's Body tune"? Dan is so unGodly or so Liberal (usually synonymous) that he can't even admit the tune is "The Battle Hymn of The Republic"?

Despicable.

I wonder why the teacher stopped just short of teaching them to sing, "While Obama marches on".

By the way, the teacher wrote the song. She claims to be a graduate of Harvard Law and a classmate of Obama's.

As a Christian, I am insulted that the teacher changed a hymn that glorifies God to one that glorifies and diefies Obama.

And if Dan is really a Christian, as he says he is, he should be insulted, too.

Dan, I'm sure you'll join with me in condemning this blasphemous behavior.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 6:49 AM  

If I'm not mistaken, it was "John Brown's Body," that first popularized the tune, which itself, appears to come from a camp meeting song. See more here. So, I only identify the tune as "John Brown's Body," because that is how it is normally identified in musical circles, I believe. Is there a problem with that?

Blasphemy? Really?

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 6:51 AM  

By the way, I've seen no documentation that the teacher wrote the song.

Mark September 25, 2009 at 6:54 AM  

(sigh) Liberal truth number 2. Again.

Edwin Drood September 25, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

It doesn't really matter what Dan and Bent say, they will automatically take a position of support, Just as they automatically took a position of opposition to the last President. It's a mindless drone-like behavior that is typical of the left.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 8:44 AM  

liberal truth number two:

Never try to reason with a liberal. They disregard any evidence that conflicts with their beliefs.


WHAT evidence?

The only evidence that the song was written by a teacher was that someone here made the claim. THAT is not evidence. Especially considering the source.

And Drood, go read about irony.

This is funny, fellas.

ELAshley September 25, 2009 at 10:08 AM  

It was quite common, in THOSE days, to write new lyrics for a standard, well-known, melody. The same is even true of our National Anthem. The lyrics by Francis Scott Key were taken from a poem he wrote in 1814 called Defence of Fort McHenry. The tune came from a popular British "drinking song." That's right, the song many of us love to sing-- that same song many of us take such pride in and are offended when some show a certain level of disrespect for, was once a drink song.

If Dan wants to refer to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic by its original name, so what. A very very few of an already small group of musicians even know about John Brown's body tune. But Battle Hymn, just like our National Anthem, is near universally understood to be the National Anthem... not that other. Same is true of My Country, Tis of Thee or America whose melody is taken from the British National Anthem. So, Battle Hymn however much it is or isn't recognized by others with an esoteric grasp of music history, is still a great hymn of the Faith.

Dan, you know this. I applaud your musical knowledge and acumen, but you can't seriously think that the teacher knew about John Brown's Body tune.

Mark September 25, 2009 at 10:25 AM  

Eric, you're too kind to Dan. He called it John Brown's Body because he wanted to demonstrate his disrespect of America.

Tell ya what, Dan. I'll let you call the song John Brown's Body if you agree to sing the words, "Obama's body lies a mould'ring in the grave".

I like the sound of that!

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

I applaud your musical knowledge and acumen, but you can't seriously think that the teacher knew about John Brown's Body tune.

I wasn't suggesting that, although she should if she were a music teacher. In folk music circles, I expect that it's fairly universally known as that tune.

But it would be my guess based on all I've seen thus far that it was a child that wrote the words using the melody from the Battle Hymn (which is a favorite of mine, by the way - I meant no disrespect by calling it by the other name).

Of course, you might be on to something - it could be based on "John Brown" and was intended as a sly INSULT to Obama, with the "mouldering in the grave" line in mind... Sneaky teachers!

Mark September 25, 2009 at 10:53 AM  

Here's more info about the so-called teacher:

Her name is Charisse Carney-Nunes. Charisse Carney-Nunes is the award-winning author of the children’s books, I Am Barack Obama, I Dream for You a World: A Covenant for Our Children, and Nappy, as well as Songs of a Sistermom: Motherhood Poems. She is also the founder of a publishing company, Brand Nu Words LLC where she has sold over 10,000 books. Carney-Nunes works as senior vice president for programs for the Jamestown Project, diverse action-oriented think tank of new leaders who reach across boundaries and generations to make democracy real. She is also a founding member of Sistermoms, Inc., a nationwide support group for African-American mothers, and a Diamond Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has appeared on ABC News Now, CBS’s CW Network, Comcast’s CN-8, Radio One, and American Urban Radio Networks. She resides in Washington, D.C.

I don't know that she is the teacher of these children. It doesn't appear she is, but it has been reported she is the one directing these children in the video. She is the author of the song/chant. Here is a link to that info:

http://www.foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?maven_referralObject=9972437&maven_referralPlaylistId=c985e69916535a2170b2b18ab0ab7eb60401f9bb&sRevUrl=http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/24/elementary-school-students-reportedly-taught-songs-praising-president-obama/

Now, I know Dan will utilize number two Liberal truth to attack the messenger on this, since Glenn Beck is the new favorite target of the Marxists, and what Marxists can't repudiate, they attack, but this is what he reports. Like it or not. Accept it or not. I don't care. I won't argue with an ideologue.

Mark September 25, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

Oh, I found more! She has been visiting schools with her message of deity of Obama. Possibly she is the teacher teaching the song to the children.

http://thebrownbookshelf.com/2009/09/09/charisse-carney-nunes/

In the preceding linked article, Ms Carney-Nunes says,

"I wrote I Am Barack Obama because I was inspired by the impact that I witnessed he was having on children. I’d spent years visiting schools and community groups reading my first two children’s books, and in particular the Children’s Covenant, where we were seeking to teach children about democracy and civic engagement. Well, of course, in 2007-2008, everyone was talking about the election. And when the children found out, through my story, that I actually went to school with Barack Obama..."

So yes, she does claim to be Obama's former classmate, as well.

Mark September 25, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

Wow! 10,000 books! And Mark Levin has only sold over 1 million!

Hmmmm....and Mark Levin didn't have the advantage of news media promotion.

Geee, I wonder why his books sell so much more?

Mark September 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

Additionally, Michelle Malkin reports that the video was originally posted on youtube by Ms Carney-Nunes with her youtube user account name.

And it has since been taken down. And, the school board has officially denied it was part of the curriculum, and refuses to admit they even knew about it. Kind of hard to believe since the teaching staff would have had to have permission to bring in a guest speaker.

Mark September 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

And, Dan is still an idiot.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

She is the author of the song/chant. Here is a link to that info:

The link provided is for the same link that Eric originally provided, just the song. No information about the book author (not the teacher of the children, apparently). As Ben has already noted, we know that this school event was in conjunction with this author. What we don't know, what I have not read anywhere, is who wrote the songs, was this a school function or after school, the context, etc.

I've asked before and I believe it's gone unanswered: Are you all familiar with how popular Obama is with children? Especially urban children? Do you have any sense of how exciting it is for many (kids and adults alike) to have someone as president who appears to be "one of us?"

As I have noted, I don't especially want my children singing songs praising any politician as a general rule. However, I, for one, am more than glad to cut some people some slack for this exceptional situation - this First president from a minority group.

Like it or not, it IS a big deal for many people.

Now, I would certainly counsel folk to remember that he is just another dude and a politician, at that, so don't be disappointed when he fails to live up to expectations. But I'm also glad to celebrate this exceptional first in our great American experiment and would hope that all Americans could extend the same grace.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

I’d spent years visiting schools and community groups reading my first two children’s books, and in particular the Children’s Covenant, where we were seeking to teach children about democracy and civic engagement.

Wow. Hideous evil stuff, that. She actually wants to teach children about democracy and civic engagement!

Egad.

I think there are almost surely better things to spend your time worrying about.

ELAshley September 25, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

"...and would hope that all Americans could extend the same grace."

wow... shame that "grace" wasn't extended toward Bush.

I'll agree with you on this Dan. I too celebrate the historic first that is Barack's presidency. I just wish this historic "first" had been given to a man who loved America and, more importantly, loved the God of the Bible.

Marshall Art September 25, 2009 at 12:40 PM  

A couple of notes:

"She actually wants to teach children about democracy and civic engagement!"

Sounds good on the surface, and Dan is quick to laud that sound. But what does it mean in practice? "Hope and change" sounded great to a lot of people pre-Nov '08, but now some feel let down. That this woman seems to kneel at the altar of Obama would leads me to believe that her notion of "democracy and civic engagement" are likely different than mine.

"But I'm also glad to celebrate this exceptional first in our great American experiment and would hope that all Americans could extend the same grace."

Two problems here:

1) This "first" is marred and tainted by the person selected to be the first. All of us who were paying attention before Nov '08 have been vindicated and continue to be. He was an incredibly poor choice in every way and this sullies the historic nature of his race being of note.

2) This "first" is a double-edged sword. To celebrate the election of a black man or woman shows that we are not a the color-blind society we aspire to be. "So what if he's black. Big freakin' deal. This is America. What would you expect?" Yeah. I like that attitude better. It shows race means nothing. We should have taken it in stride. Our kids should have been told that it means nothing and more important is the character of the man.

Which shows a great failure in our schools if the little ones are so impressed by this guy's election. We hype MLK JR. but disregard his most noble statement, that we might judge by character and not skin color. That our kids might be impressed by Obama because he "looks like them" is the proof of our failure in the area of race relations. Such celebrations should be discouraged and corrected. That Obama is "one of us" can be said by anyone, regardless of race or gender, who is American (if he's indeed American). The problem is that he is the wrong one of us and proves it daily.

Marshall Art September 25, 2009 at 12:49 PM  

As to the song and chant, some seem to want to suggest that these little kids were inspired by the visit of this woman and, like little Mickey Rooney's said, "Hey! Let's put on a show!" and took it upon themselves to compose both a chant and song parody. "Hey, let's use Battle Hymn of the Republic!" "No. How about John Brown's Body?" "Same thing." "Oh, yeah. Right." (Like I believe that's the first thing Dan thought of. You're just trying to impress.)

In any case, I'm not buying it. Even if one or two kids that age think like that, to get the rest to join in rather than engage in something more commonplace for kids that age strikes me as a major stretch. They were put up to it by an adult.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 1:04 PM  

Y'all are making way too much of the "John Brown" thing. I just thought that was common knowledge and was pointing out, as Eric did, too, that using existing melodies to create new songs is nothing new.

As to this...

Our kids should have been told that it [Obama's race] means nothing and more important is the character of the man.

All I can say is that you must have no or very few African American friends. Can you honestly say you'd be willing to say that to the faces of a group of children who are genuinely enthused about Obama's election? It DOES mean something.

Think of this: You recall the story of Esther, the Jewish girl who grew up to be Queen in a nation that was often hostile towards Jews? Would you not agree that it would mean something pretty important to Jewish boys and girls (not to mention adults) that a Jewish girl had been made queen?

It DOES mean something. I challenge you to find some African American (or other urban) children and spend some time listening to them talk about President Obama. Ask them what the election meant to them, how they view the president, does his race matter. Listen to what they say and how they say it, THEN tell me this first does not matter.

I'm guessing you have not had any conversations like this in the last nine months, am I right?

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 1:11 PM  

Which shows a great failure in our schools if the little ones are so impressed by this guy's election.

Are you suggesting it's the place of the public schools to get the kids to agree with you that Obama is a bad choice for president?

They are impressed because he is charismatic, charming, and "cool." These are, of course, shallow reasons to be impressed, but children are not adults and can be excused for being impressed by such things.

They are impressed because he's one of them: Not a child of privilege but of hard knocks. From a broken home that sometimes struggled. That has actually walked urban streets on a regular basis. Because despite some difficulties in his life, he has overcome and achieved something unprecedented and historic. Because he's more comfortable on a basketball court than a golf course.

Don't hate on children because they don't share your cynicism.

Marshall Art September 25, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

I know you're looking out to the bleachers, Dan, but check the catchers mit. You wiffed big time. I'm not saying that kids AREN'T impressed by Obama's election. What I'm saying is that they are speaks ill of us and our alleged attempts to make MLK's dream come true. If the kids are thinking in terms of skin color to determine if someone "like them" has been elected, don't you see that as a problem? I certainly do, because skin color is meaningless. Isn't it? If it isn't meaningless to the kids, doesn't that say something horrible about who's raising and teaching them? And if skin color has meaning for these kids, shouldn't it alarm that it is more meaningful than the character of this buffoon buffoons have elected? I can excuse them for not knowing the low quality of his character, but I can't excuse anyone that would pretend he overcame anything when he only moved within the circles of the Chicago political machine to get where he is, that he didn't rise because of his ability to persuade others to his vision, but spoke in ambiguous terms and was pushed to the top despite a lack of achievement.

What are we doing to our kids that they would still feel good about a guy like Obama because of his skin color and not feel negatively because of who he is? You're so in the bag for the guy that you see no problem with the kids' fixation on skin color. And you dare call yourself progressive? Where's the progress here?

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

I'll take that to be a "no, I have not spoken to any children of color or who live in urban settings about our president."

I'd think just basic intellectual honesty would require you to at least listen to what it is that you're criticizing before criticizing out of ignorance.

If the kids are thinking in terms of skin color to determine if someone "like them" has been elected, don't you see that as a problem?

Not only in terms of skin color, but someone who is like them, from a similar background with similar struggles. And no, it is not a problem. It is historic and it is important and it is exceedingly meaningful in positive, Godly, humane ways to many people that Obama was elected.

Again, talk with some of these children and learn from them first hand why they are impressed and what it means to them.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 3:03 PM  

What are we doing to our kids that they would still feel good about a guy like Obama because of his skin color and not feel negatively because of who he is?

Who he is? He's a good man, doing good work, sometimes taking actions we agree with and sometimes taking actions we disagree with. He's a Christian. He's a community organizer. He's the president of the United States of America and is trying very hard to do what he thinks is right for his children and the children of the US and the world to try to make tomorrow better than today.

He will certainly not do his job perfectly, no one does and, in fact, who COULD be a "perfect" president? He will certainly fail in some ways to do right by the US and the world, but he certainly seems to be trying to do a good job and struggling to repair some of the mistakes from the previous presidents.

Why would students (or adults) NOT celebrate who he is, as well as the fact that he's the first minority president?

Because he's spending too much? Well, that is a legitimate argument, as it was with past presidents. That he's spending too much on the wrong programs? Perhaps, but we Americans are simply not agreed on which ways to spend money and on which programs to spend money and how much. Never have been.

What of it? The thing is, not every one agrees with you that he is an evil man, or a "bastard," or whatever it is that you think about this brother.

We'll form our own opinions and, in the meantime, the children of the US and world DO seem largely impressed with him, both his historic first minority status AND who he is as a man in a hard job.

You can say that all those minorities and liberals and foreigners are just too stupid to agree with you if you want, but that does not help win us to your side.

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 25, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

What was the first fact you learned about George Washington? Was it his crossing of the Delaware? His leading the Union Army? Or was it the story of how he cut down his father's cherry tree? (Which by the way is a false folk legend)

What was the first thing you learned as a child about Abraham Lincoln? That he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and led the country during the Civil War? Or was it that he grew up in a log cabin and learned to read by candlelight?

When you were a kid did they teach you that Teddy Roosevelt set more land aside for national forests and parks than any other president? Or did you hear about the charge up San Juan Hill, and the Rough Riders?

Franklin D. Roosevelt? Was it his public works programs or his polio?

The first things we teach children about public historic figures are the facts that will perk those children's interest. For only if you have their interest can you educate children.

It is blitheringly obvious that Barack Obama will be known for being the first minority president.

Marshall Art September 25, 2009 at 4:12 PM  

Ben,

"It is blitheringly obvious that Barack Obama will be known for being the first minority president."

It is precisely my point that it is blitheringly obvious that if we acknowledge something so trivial, so meaningless, so contrary to what we claim to aspire, then we are guilty of failing in that aspiration by virtue of that very celebration. Why the freakin' hell does it matter to anyone what color or gender the president is if we have been serious about getting beyond such things? It certainly doesn't matter to me! And worse yet, people like myself who oppose this buffoon are called racist merely for opposing him and his stupidity.

It's one thing to teach little kids the myths of history. It's quite another to have them chant and sing songs of praise for a guy who's done nothing

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 4:24 PM  

He's become the first minority president. That IS something. Just ask a child.

Are you afraid of minority children, Marshall? Do you not know any? They'll love to talk about it, just give it a try.

You're not being called racist for opposing his policies. If that's the case, then I'm racist and so are a whole lot of other people when they oppose his policies.

If, on the other hand, you make statements that sound racially-charged or ignorant of race relations in our great nation, then some might suspect that is the case.

Marshall Art September 25, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

Dan,

I felt like emailing Mark about his insistance in calling you an idiot. I'd prefer that he kept such things on his own blog and refrain from such at this team blog. But your comments here lend credence to his charge.

You think you know kids, yet you believe that the kids in this video took it upon themselves to compose these songs of praise for Obama. This is idiocy to be sure.

You think that I know nothing of inner city kids and I'll respond by saying people are the same no matter where you find them. I don't care where they are raised, I'm concerned with how. Why are ANY kids impressed with the color of Obama? What asshole parent/teacher/adult makes that an issue for kids to adopt? Why are these kids not content with the fact that a human is president, rather than a black one or a male one?

If you know kids like you think you do, you'll know that the smaller the kid, the less race and gender matters as far as who they choose for playmates. Kids are taught the type of discrimination you think is natural in grade school kids. THAT'S what is wrong with this attitude of yours. Kids in my sphere of influence are taught race and gender do not matter in issues of leadership or friendship.

People like you have instilled this nonsense in our kids with your white guilt and your insistence that it is noteworthy that we've elected a minority.

As to the character of this man at whose feet you kneel, a litany of offenses have been listed on our blogs and elsewhere, from his heinous position on abortion, to his associations throughout his past, his pathetic opinion of our Constitution and his goals to "spread the wealth" just to name a few.

I'm watching him right now as he answers questions at the summit in Pittsburgh. He claims that we are not in Afghanistan to do anything but crush AlQueda. How do we keep such wackjobs from returning to power WITHOUT influencing the countries in which they sought to thrive? This is silly. It's never happened before. Our successes in Iraq, for example, have been greatest where we've been able to not only remove the scumbags, but show the people who we are and how we act and influence them to the point where many wish to copy at least some of our ways. We did this in Germany and Japan. I don't understand what he thinks "diplomacy" is if some of this isn't present. Diplomacy itself requires persuading the other side to see at least some things our way. He hasn't shown any understanding of these things.

But I digress.

If people like you wished to impress the kids and the dimwitted that there's something special about electing a minority, you could have at least backed a better example.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 4:58 PM  

yet you believe that the kids in this video took it upon themselves to compose these songs of praise for Obama.

I don't know that to be the case that the kids did it themselves. I also don't know it to be the case that this was teacher directed. That's the point. WE DON'T KNOW. You don't, I don't. We have not read the context of the story and yet many, many rage-oholics have begun ranting how Obama's supporters are worshiping him and that is BS.

Worst case scenario, we have an overzealous teacher who pushed her kids to sing these songs as part of this visiting author program. Not worship, not indoctrination. Worst case scenario: It's merely over-adulation based on a historic event.

No Big Deal. Relax fellas, that's all I'm saying. The world has not come to an end. Obama's not the anti-Christ. We have not gone to hell in a handbasket for electing this man.

Relax.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 5:00 PM  

Why are these kids not content with the fact that a human is president, rather than a black one or a male one?

Because history matters. To ignore our racial history, its highs and lows, is to ignore history. And we all know what happens to those who fail to learn from history.

So, I take it you have no intent, then, to talk to even a few of these children and families you so berate?

Marshall Art September 25, 2009 at 5:24 PM  

"He's become the first minority president. That IS something."

Only to those who insist race matters. It doesn't. That's what MLK and others like him insisted was the truth. Why don't you believe it? If you did believe it, you'd think nothing of Obama's race and focus only on his vast unworthiness to hold the title POTUS.

"Are you afraid of minority children, Marshall?"

There you go with the idiocy again.

"You're not being called racist for opposing his policies."

Oh, really? You're not paying attention at all, are you?

"If, on the other hand, you make statements that sound racially-charged or ignorant of race relations in our great nation, then some might suspect that is the case."

More nonsense as you don't see the racism of white guilt in your own self. "Sound" racially charged? Where's that call for clarification? Where's that tolerance for the opinions of others? Where's that desire to understand others?

"We have not gone to hell in a handbasket for electing this man."

That remains to be seen.

"To ignore our racial history, its highs and lows, is to ignore history."

It's not a matter of ignoring history, you dope. It's a matter of clinging to racial attitudes, such as those that would make Obama's election significant. To those of us who are past racial differences, it means nothing.

"So, I take it you have no intent, then, to talk to even a few of these children and families you so berate?"

Berate? You trying another rhetorical prank here (when did you beat your wife?)? I have no intention of going out of my way to talk to anyone to prove I'm not a racist. I don't carry your guilt.

Dan Trabue September 25, 2009 at 6:11 PM  

I have no "white guilt." Why would I have guilt? I've done nothing spectacularly wrong on this issue.

And I have not called you a racist. I'm saying you are being unduly harsh to people and children (children!) and their parents for merely being righteously proud of this moment in our history.

Consider this: You are familiar with the Old Testament, no? Do you recall how in several places it says something like this...

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. ~Exodus 34

Now, it won't surprise you to learn that I don't think this mean God LITERALLY curses the children of sinners for 3-4 generations, punishing them for their ancestors' sin. BUT, what I DO think this illustrates is the human reality that sin has consequences - sometimes longlasting and serious consequences that extend beyond those involved.

Now we, as a nation, were involved in the HORRIBLE sin of slavery for hundreds of years.

That sin ended roughly with the Civil War. But the EFFECTS of that sin lived on, yea, for about 4 generations AFTER the Civil War, we experienced an awful sort of racism - the years of Jim Crow and the KKK and lynchings. THAT sin of overt racism, in turn, ended roughly (not wholly, but largely) with the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

Just one-two generations ago. About the time Obama was born.

Many white folk like to say that racism is dead and "the blacks" should get over it. "We had nothing to do with slavery!" they say, "Nor with the Jim Crow years!"

And they are right. Nonetheless, the EFFECTS of that sin lives on, I would not be surprised if it lasted to the third and fourth generation.

So, while you may think that "it's over, we're good, bros," you can't dismiss the long-lasting effects of those sins.

Obama is a child of the post Jim Crow years. I expect by the time his grandchildren have elected our 3rd or 4th black president, you will be right. We should not make a big deal of it.

But we're not there, yet. You can't just wave and smile and say, this horrible sin has ended. Wounds of the nature of slavery and racism are deep and long-lasting and take time to heal.

Let the healing happen.

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 25, 2009 at 6:50 PM  

"It is precisely my point that it is blitheringly obvious that if we acknowledge something so trivial, so meaningless, so contrary to what we claim to aspire, then we are guilty of failing in that aspiration by virtue of that very celebration."

Equality is not treating someone's ethnic heritage as if it doesn't exist. Equality is not discriminating against someone based on their ethnic heritage.

To acknowledge Barack Obama is our first black president is not undermining the civil rights movement. It is a validation that a majority of the nation did not see a black man and immediately discount his ability to lead. Celebrating that someone like you is president is perfectly valid. Whether you're black, catholic, evangelical, southern, male, or Chicago Bulls fan.

For clarity I want to point out that Dan and I are making separate points. He says that racism hasn't ended as a societal problem. I don't disagree. I am simply stating that in this specific setting, you don't understand what racism and equality are.

When you don't acknowledge people can be individually different from yourself, you strip away their right to have different moral and societal viewpoints from your own.

This is something that I run into every time I speak with a friend of mine named Marian. She is a democrat and we agree on many subjects politically. But often times the path she follows to get to a conclusion is markedly different from my own, because of her black heritage.

Other times things I am not affected by, she gives much more importance to. There were some recent incidents of nooses being in trees. To me it was a small issue, but for her it had connotations and meanings that I just didn't have. Her views were not wrong or right, compared to mine. They were simply different, informed by influences I didn't experience.

Recognizing that is equality. Telling her that her opinions aren't valid or right is racism.

Marshall Art September 25, 2009 at 11:53 PM  

Dan,

"I have no "white guilt." Why would I have guilt?"

Your guilt is evident in your supposing that I, or anyone for that matter, needs to "do" something to "increase understanding". I say again, what is there to understand? People are people. That blacks may react differently from whites regarding, say, a noose hanging from a tree, to use Ben's example, isn't hard to comprehend at all. But here's a clue for you all: a black who has actually been so threatened or has actually been a victim of such a threat, that person will have a reaction different from another black who has never had the experience. So what would that mean? That the second black is somehow lacking compassion for the first? That he is incapable of having empathy enough to satisfy you?

"I'm saying you are being unduly harsh to people and children (children!) and their parents for merely being righteously proud of this moment in our history."

Nice of you to pump up the charge--OH LAWDY! THE CHILDREN! Cut the crap. The kids can't help what they've been taught or allowed to believe. Go back and read my comments. But since you like hyperbole (do the extent that you slander--for shame), should the kids have been celebrating the coming to power of an Idi Amin? If not, why not? He's black, ain't he? Well, obviously character has something to do with such a thing after all. I would hope that we never have someone like Amin come to power in this country, but that doesn't mean what we have now is worthy of praise. As I've stated, he has much for which he needs better answers regarding his past, his associations and his positions on issues. Answers to questions his supporters, like yourself, pretend don't even exist, so ignoring the man's character, associations and positions you all elected him on what? That he isn't Bush and that he's black, neither of which ranks as a reason for celebration, both of which diminishes any sense of the historic of this occasion.

You say the blacks in this country suffer from the effects of past sins. You and people like you help to insure that they do by perpetuating this notion that we must extend to them, or anyone, something more than we would anyone else. I prefer to treat them like people. Hell, Danny boy, I'd even do the same for you.

You wanna let the healing happen, but you keep pickin' at the sores.

Marshall Art September 26, 2009 at 12:15 AM  

Ben,

I got some news for you: There's no such thing as "equality". You are not equal to me, nor am I to you. We can't be equal. Even twins aren't "equal" to each other. The concept that "we are created equal" means the application of the law. One's color, ethnicity, gender or religion can be a consideration in the application of the law. But we are not technically equal. It's impossible.

So I don't act as if another's ethnic heritage doesn't exist. I just don't attach any special significance to it. I certainly don't regarding my own and that's a fact. I've said it before on more than one occasion that the crew I hung with growing up were a mix of a variety of ethnicities (except black as there weren't any until I was almost grown) and we made fun of each other's ancestry and religion always and with great humor. None of us cared because we knew it didn't matter as to who each of us were. None of us were total assholes so the rest didn't matter to us. What a concept!

"To acknowledge Barack Obama is our first black president is not undermining the civil rights movement. It is a validation that a majority of the nation did not see a black man and immediately discount his ability to lead."

I dispute this without reservation. That is, a majority of those who voted for the man did so BECAUSE he was black, with very little regard for who he is, what he stands for, and how he got where he is. I refuse to believe that even liberals could elect a man with his background had they chose to look beyond his race to see exactly who he was.

I am well aware of the differences of my fellow man. That I do not judge them by those differences is the equality to which our founding documents alluded. Unfortunately, not all opinions are equal or righteous, only the right to voice them and believe in them is.

These are the things we need to be teaching our kids. These are the things that, should we realize them, are worthy of celebration. Not the color or gender of our president. As long as color and gender matter, we've not progressed an inch.

Dan Trabue September 26, 2009 at 12:42 AM  

Marshall said...

That is, a majority of those who voted for the man did so BECAUSE he was black, with very little regard for who he is, what he stands for, and how he got where he is. I refuse to believe that even liberals could elect a man with his background had they chose to look beyond his race to see exactly who he was.

Marshall, come now. You can believe in unicorns and fairies, too, if you wish, but with no evidence, don't expect us to sign up for a ride.

Dan Trabue September 26, 2009 at 12:49 AM  

WHAT, praytell, is wrong with his background? I voted for him in large part specifically BECAUSE of his background. I have HUGE respect for community organizers and others who are out in our streets working for a better community and nation - especially in the "mean streets" of our nation. And apparently, I'm not alone.

You are free to think the black folk and liberals are all too stupid to research a candidate's background, but don't be surprised when people draw conclusions about your ridiculous hunches.

Here's a hint: We ain't all stupid, we ain't all corrupt, we ain't all sheep. In fact, we're quite intelligent and educated and able to reason quite well for ourselves, thank you.

I honestly doubt that you are racist, Marshall, but when you make these sorts of sweeping commentaries (such as, "That is, a majority of those who voted for the man did so BECAUSE he was black, with very little regard for who he is, what he stands for, and how he got where he is.") stereotyping those black folk and liberals who disagree with you, people can't help but be tempted to draw conclusions.

ELAshley September 26, 2009 at 8:44 AM  

"That is, a majority of those who voted for [Obama] did so BECAUSE he was black, with very little regard for who he is, what he stands for, and how he got where he is. I refuse to believe that even liberals could elect a man with his background had they chose to look beyond his race to see exactly who he was."

I have to agree. It is not a stretch at all to say that 50.5% of those who voted for Obama, a mere 27 million, voted for him BECAUSE of the color of his skin. Even my own immediate family voted for Obama BECAUSE it was an historic opportunity to vote for a Black man that could actually win. My own mother for the very same reasons of historical precedence, would have voted for Hillary, and my mother has been a life long dedicated Democrat. Oh! And did I mention she's white?

Now everyone is beginning to see just how out of his depth Barack Obama is as president. Certainly not network media, but print media is increasingly seeing the man for what he is... a mistake. I would rather have had Hillary for president; and that has nothing to do with her race, but rather, her level of political saavy, and the experience she could have drawn from to help her govern. Obama did the only thing he knew how to do and that was call upon all the thugs and radicals he knew from Chicago. I'm sure we Conservatives would also be protesting Hillary, but not to the degree with which we protest Obama, whose arrogance and naivete has become not simply his own undoing, but America's as well.

Don't think America is undone? It's only been eight months. Give him another year, 'cause his ticket is punched and by election time next fall his free ride's over. And, God willing, bastards like Harry Reid will be gone.

Mark September 26, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

I am pasting Dan's earlier comment in it's entirety here because it so perfectly illustrates Liberal truth number 2:

"Marshall said...

That is, a majority of those who voted for the man did so BECAUSE he was black, with very little regard for who he is, what he stands for, and how he got where he is. I refuse to believe that even liberals could elect a man with his background had they chose to look beyond his race to see exactly who he was.

Marshall, come now. You can believe in unicorns and fairies, too, if you wish, but with no evidence, don't expect us to sign up for a ride.
"

Let me remind all of Liberal truth number 2.

Never try to reason with a liberal. They disregard any evidence that conflicts with their beliefs.

Dan, I apologize for calling you an idiot. It is an insult to idiots everywhere to give you that much credit.

Mark September 26, 2009 at 9:51 AM  

I mean, the "faires and unicorns" comment was a classic case of "You make valid points but you're wrong because I say so".

Moron.

Mark September 26, 2009 at 10:06 AM  

Wait. I'm not done. Dan, you voted for Obama because of his background?

Huh?

His community organizing consisted of representing and training ACORN workers.

Perhaps he's the one who taught them how to evade income taxes, commit voter fraud, and turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, child abuse, prostitution, etc.

Other than that, we still don't know what he did as a "community organizer".

He was a college law professor who taught the Marxist principals of "Rule for Radicals" author Saul Alinsky.

And he sat in the church of an America hating, White people hating, Jew hating pastor for 20 years.

So...let's see. You voted for Obama BECAUSE of his background.

So you believe voter fraud, prostitution, child abuse, sex trafficking, illegal immigration, Marxism, and hating America, Jews and white people are qualifications to be President.

Because really, those are the only things in his background anyone knows about. He has successfully concealed the details of everything else, including his country of origin.

Good going, Dan!

Now I'm going to have to apologize to morons, too.

Mark September 26, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

Oh, and let's not forget that he voted "present" over 120 times as a state legislator.

Dan Trabue September 26, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

Thanks for the relatively kind conversation, Eric. Take care of yourself and relax. Things will be what they will be, God is in control and the church can be community for one another.

Peace.

Mark September 26, 2009 at 1:05 PM  

Dan says, "God is in control and the church can be community for one another."

Uh...which God is that, Dan? Obama? And who's church? Obama's state-run church of Marxism? And what community? Obama's concept of a Utopian community with himself as supreme leader?

I('ll ask Eric's question to you, personally:

Who do you praise? Who do you worship? because, frankly, your idea of Christianity looks more like Obamaism to me.

Gabrielle September 26, 2009 at 6:17 PM  

Evidence, Dan? Exactly what evidence do I need? I have yet to hear of anything positive in his background that makes him worthy of anyone's vote. He didn't do anything as a community organizer that is cause for balloons and confetti. He basically taught people who should have been working, caring for their families and communities, policing and beautifying their own neighborhoods, to be nuisances and pests who bully businesses into changing policies to satisfy their whining. You want evidence that he was unworthy? I demand, from SOMEONE, proof that he did ANYTHING that would justify voting for him. I've pleaded for it since he tossed his hat into the ring and NO ONE has come up with anything other than meaningless rhetoric and hyperbole. The guy did NOTHING to get where he is, and all he's done since getting there is prove he doesn't belong.

I also dispute his "humble beginnings" as having any merit, for we can look to black conservatives and find the same. Condi Rice grew up in the racist south, a close friend blown up in her church by a Klansman. How many kids look to her? Clarence Thomas wasn't born into wealth, and he gets smeared as an Uncle Tom. Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, JC Watts... all people who have actually done something meaningful and OBAMA is deserving of praise, adulation and 52% of the vote? Give me a freakin' break!

Don't go giving me crap that Obama's race had nothing to do with his election, for that's just a freakin' lie. It was a large part of it and I base it on the fact that no one has provided a worthy reason to support the guy. What the hell else, besides him not being Bush, could have possibly propelled him past Hillary, Biden, Edwards and all the other goofy Dems who at least had real experience doing things in government rather than voting "Present"? You're a kool-aid drinker, Dan, and this batch is every bit as deadly as Jim Jones'.

Dan Trabue September 26, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

I demand, from SOMEONE, proof that he did ANYTHING that would justify voting for him. I've pleaded for it since he tossed his hat into the ring and NO ONE has come up with anything other than meaningless rhetoric and hyperbole.

1. First off, I voted for him because his policy positions were closest to what I believe in, therefore, I voted for him.

2. He was opposed to the war (and his ACTIONS were that he spoke out against it all along, to his credit) and I thought the war was a terrible wrong, therefore, I voted for him.

3. He was a community organizer working in Chicago trying to make a difference in the life of poor children. I don't know the specifics of what all his job entailed, but I know community organizers and they are good people doing Godly work, therefore, I voted for him.

4. He was relatively new to politics and, for me, that is a positive. I tend to think that politics tends to have a corrupting nature and am more distrustful of lifelong politicians, therefore, I voted for him. (there are exceptions, of course)

5. He said a lot of the right things, he spoke of Justice and I believe he was sincere - something that I don't usually find with politicians, therefore, I voted for him.

6. AND, his words for justice were backed up by his life (attending progressive churches, working in inner cities, working as a community organizer, working to improve education - these are all positives to me and, I would hope, most reasonable people), therefore, I voted for him.

7. He was not just another rich white guy and, for me, that is a positive, therefore, I voted for him. (which is not to say that all rich white guys are "bad," just that they're WAYYY over-represented in our politics).

8. He held some of the right positions on our critically important environmental issues, therefore, I voted for him. Of course, he has to live that out, but so far, I'm relatively pleased on this front - he just recently started asking Coal companies to abide by the laws, something that went undone during the Bush years.

9. He showed in his speeches and by his academic career and in his writings that he is a man of great intelligence and this is important to me, therefore, I voted for him.

10. He demonstrated in his speeches and writings that he was not anti-science and pro-big business and pro-corporate welfare (with some notable exceptions) and, after 8 years of someone who seemed to let businesses write the energy and science rules in our gov't, I was more than ready for that, therefore, I voted for him.

11. His undergrad major was in political science with a specialization in international relations and he seemed well-versed on these matters, as demonstrated in his speeches and writings and this is important to me, therefore, I voted for him.

12. In his work as a church-based community organizer, he was director for the Developing Communities Project and during his tenure, its staff grew from one to thirteen and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000. He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. These strike me as good, positive things and, therefore, I voted for him.

How long would you like me to go on?

Yes, he did not have as much experience as McCain, but he held the right positions and that, primarily, is why I voted for him, although his background was an important factor, too.

Marshall Art September 26, 2009 at 8:28 PM  

Obviously, I wasn't aware that my daughter had been using the computer. Though Gabrielle is one sharp cookie, she doesn't spend much time looking over my blogs.

I'll be back later to tackle Dan's list.

Dan Trabue September 26, 2009 at 9:19 PM  

Condi Rice grew up in the racist south, a close friend blown up in her church by a Klansman. How many kids look to her? Clarence Thomas wasn't born into wealth, and he gets smeared as an Uncle Tom. Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, JC Watts... all people who have actually done something meaningful and OBAMA is deserving of praise, adulation and 52% of the vote?

Providing proof that people did not support Obama purely because he was a minority. It's his character, his background, his positions.

Marshall Art September 26, 2009 at 11:41 PM  

No Dan,

That only provides proof that the "humble beginnings" angle is a wash at best if not total crap. The "children" and others had such examples in people of far better character and achievement. That is to say that it ain't like it hasn't happened before, but only that such a person, who might happen to be black, hadn't until then. Apparently in this day and age, we still are expected to celebrate every "first" regarding minorities and women. How tragic is that? How much more evidence that we haven't gotten over race can there be? How much more evidence that some wish to cling to the victimhood attached to claims of racism?

Marshall Art September 26, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

But let's talk about his character. Here's a guy who said that he can't see the "personhood" in a child who had survived an abortion and thus, voted against bills written to protect the lives of such unfortunates. Yeah. That's a man of character that can't see the humanity inherent in the child. What's more, it comes from the mind and mouth of a black man who claims to understand the suffering of people who were once treated as less than fully human. Yeah. Great character there. How oxymoronic. And of course, as an IL senator, he voted against restrictions of public funding for abortions, because, I guess, not enough black babies were being sacrificed as it was. Add to that his vote to have IL endorse embryonic stem cell research and we've got a great man of character for whom innocent life has no meaning.

That would be quite enough for most voters of honor and character, but he also voted against letting people argue self-defense in court if charged with violating local weapons bans by using a gun in their own home. Great character there to let citizens suffer due to an unconstitutional notion about the right to bear arms.

Yet, he'll worry about the poor criminal by sponsoring a measure to expunge some criminal records & create employment grants for ex-criminals. Because, golly, they've suffered enough, what with nasty citizens trying to defend themselves. He also voted against making gang members eligible for the death penalty if they kill someone to help their gang. You're right. This is a man of great character.

As for his policies, he's voted against giving tax credits to parents who send their kids to private schools. He insists they bite the bullet or just send their kids to the crappy public schools. Sound policy there. And he voted to end $300 million worth of tax breaks for businesses. This is really nice now since our state is freakin' broke and our current Governor, another Dem, wants the raise taxes on a struggling citizenry or threaten to cut services. They both could have taken a hint from Mario Cuomo who GAVE tax breaks to businesses in order to attract them to his state. This kinda helps with the job situation and all. Good policy, Barry.

Marshall Art September 27, 2009 at 12:16 AM  

So he opposed the war. What an imbecile. Now he waffles over what to do with the two fronts now in progress. In the meantime, war threatens with Iran due to constant jerkin' around over their nuke situation. In short, for all that Bush was ragged over, he's carried on, and not in a better way. Oppose the war. Everyone opposes war. Idiots do even when it might be required. What was his alternative at the time? Diplomacy? Hah! 12 years since the first Gulf War and diplomacy did nothing.

(I can't go by your list after all, since you've repeated yourself more than once there)

And here's a little something about his work at Altgelt Gardens. In short, nothing's improved as a result of his great work there. Much of what his job entailed had to do with training people in how to deal with issues in their communities as far as getting landlords to respond. The thing is, much of that was no more than better whining, and in the end, those areas still suck. HIS type of community service turned out to be about as impotent as it gets. HIS type of activism resulted in more people expecting to get stuff that the rest of us work and sacrifice for or simply do without.

He wasn't "relatively new" to politics at all, except perhaps on the national scene, and he was bred under one of the worst political systems in the country, the Chicago Machine. His man Axlerod is a veteran of that system and well schooled in how to play that game. Said a lot of the right things? Typical Chicago politics. Discerning suckers like you lapped it up.

Progressive churches? No. Just one. Trinity United Church of Christ under the race-baiting Rev. Wright. We've been over the Marxist, unbiblical aspects of Black Liberation Theology before and this man of character just happened to have been sleeping during Wright's derogatory sermons. Because over twenty years, he only had that one sermon, right? Kool-aid drinker.

Marshall Art September 27, 2009 at 12:37 AM  

What else we got? Oh yeah, "justice". Well, that was blown out of the water by my comments above regarding self-defense, the unborn and the rights of the scumbags of society. And you can talk about community service, working to improve education and other such high-handed talk, but without real results what the hell good is it? I knew a guy who really knew baseball. Great on the stats, strategies and all that. Couldn't catch, threw like a girl and was afraid of getting hit by a pitch. He'd bring no good results to my team. Obama brought no results to his own team. Education in Chicago hasn't changed and neither has life in the inner city.

"7. He was not just another rich white guy and, for me, that is a positive, therefore, I voted for him. (which is not to say that all rich white guys are "bad," just that they're WAYYY over-represented in our politics)."

No. That's not racist at all. And hey, no class envy, either! Perfect. So glad you have the right to vote.

He's an idiot on environmental issues. He thinks he can get the world to change their habits to reduce what has so little impact on the climate of the earth. In the meantime, since not signing on to Kyoto, our country has done far better in reducing those nasty emissions (except for the gas from Democrats) than any of the signers have. Bush got no credit. And Barry's ideas about the coal companies, and how he intends to tax the crap out of them if he gets the chance, belies any talk of intelligence right there. Frankly, I've yet to hear anything out this guy that supports the notion that he's got a great intellect. That's just unsupportable piffle from his lap dogs, like yourself.

Not anti-science? He supports abortion and embryonic stem cell research. This is not a man who is down with the science on either of these two subjects. He sides with the AlGore AGW idiots. This is not a man of science. "...after 8 years of someone who seemed to let businesses write the energy and science rules in our gov't..." see my comments about Kyoto.

But that's quite enough for me for now. This is a guy who is in no way deserving of chants and songs by small children who have no idea of who it is they sing about. Kinda like you.

Dan Trabue September 27, 2009 at 2:17 AM  

Marshall, is it okay with you if God-loving, patriotic, civic-minded neighbors and brothers and sisters have a different opinion than you do?

Is it all the same to you if we think that Obama IS a decent enough leader, as presidents go? Not perfect or an object of worship, but a good enough guy whom we would like to see what he can do?

Not a socialist or a child murderer or a foreigner or a monster of some sort?

Do you mind terribly if we are proud of our nation and think we're doing a great many things right and we like mostly the direction the Obama administration is taking?

If so, I'd like to keep my own opinion, thank you.

ELAshley September 27, 2009 at 7:45 AM  

I like this one Dan, number 7...

Let's break it down:

[a]He was not just another rich white guy and,
[b]for me, that is a positive,
[c]therefore, I voted for him.
[d](which is not to say that all rich white guys are "bad," just that they're WAYYY over-represented in our politics).


E's Analysis

[a] So Barack was not just another white guy. Well, neither was Alan Keyes, and he is far more accomplished and truer to the word of God than Barack Obama. So, on the one hand you voted for Barack because he was black, and more importantly, because he was a "progressive" black.

[b] For you this is a positive. You approve of his color over that of his opponents because, as you stated in the previous clause, "he was not just another rich white guy." You voted for him BECAUSE of his color, among all the other reasons you claim.

[c] And here's your admission... "THEREFORE [taking the two previous clause into account], I voted for him" You voted for him because he wasn't white, and because he wasn't rich, and, according to your reason #6, Barack's "words for justice were backed up by his life (attending progressive churches..."

So, you voted for Obama because, in no particular order, he attended a "progressive" hate-filled (and therefore devoid of the God of Truth) church, wasn't rich, and not white... i.e.; black, or at least HALF black. Half is better than none since had he no black in his parentage at all he'd of just been a poor WHITE progressive and indistinguishable from the other cast of "progressive" characters in last year's democratic field of contenders.

And finally, the clincher...

[d]You voted for Barack Obama BECAUSE he was Black. Whites are "WAYYY over-represented in our politics," right? THEREFORE let's vote for a black man who, as it so happens, isn't rich and sits on a pew for twenty years being indoctrinated into progressive ideology, learning to hate America.

Way to go Dan. You go out of your way to prove you voted for the man for reasons OTHER than the color of your skin, and prove the exact opposite.

You'd have been far better off... indeed, the entire COUNTRY would be far better off, had you and the rest of Progressive and Black America voted for Alan Keyes.

Dan Trabue September 27, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

Eric, if you don't mind, I'll keep my own opinion.

ELAshley September 27, 2009 at 8:12 AM  

"after 8 years of someone who seemed to let businesses write the energy and science rules in our gov't..."

You mean the way Barack keeps calling it "My plan" when in actuality he's punted the crafting of HIS plan to Pelosi and Reid? To a Democrat led Congress that never met a tax it didn't like; that never met a lie it wasn't willing to tell?



"...and we like mostly the direction the Obama administration is taking."

Which doesn't speak much for our opinion of the color of YOUR politics Dan. Whether you care to admit it, let alone SEE it, Barack Obama has engaged in facist tactics, and IS engaging in attempts to subvert the freedoms of all Americans. The fact that you CAN'T see or admit this is perhaps the most frightening aspect of the Obama presidency.

I may have said this elsewhere, but I'll repeat myself if I must... I never understood how, according to God's word, that an entire world could be sent such a strong delusion that they would believe the Antichrist was the savior of the world. But now I understand, at least in part. No, Obama is not the Antichrist, but there is such a strong delusion upon many in this nation that I can't help but believe it is placed there by design. After all, the title of this blog is not with out design. America must, according to prophecy, fall. And God has always raised up weak leaders to affect his judgments.

Is America about to be judged? Hmmm. Are you a Christian? Do you believe what the bible has to say in terms of the prophetic? No prophecy need be fulfilled before all the troubles the bible speaks about can begin. Everything is in place, and almost everyone is in place.

I applaud you for attending church, Dan. Too many people don't even do THAT much. I do, however (and this is no reflection on my personal feelings toward you), wish your church were truer to the word of God.

May God illuminate your heart and mind on this Lord's day. And no, I don't mind if you keep your own opinions.

Mark September 27, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

2. Never try to reason with a liberal. They disregard any evidence that conflicts with their beliefs.

LOL! Art and Eric present beautifully crafted, reasonable, logical, arguments on why Dan is full of crap, and Dan's response is "Can I keep my own opinion, pleeeeeease?"

In other words, Dan is saying, "You just proved to me that I am a racist, class envious, religiously confused moron, but I disregard your finely tuned, reasonable arguments because I choose to believe in my savior, Obama. Why? because I am a Liberal and I must fit the description in truth number 2."

Mark September 27, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

Here is Dan's full description:

1. Always expect the worst from a liberal and you will never be surprised.

Dan will always come down on the wrong side of an issue every time.

2. Never try to reason with a liberal. They disregard any evidence that conflicts with their beliefs.

Proven over and over ad nauseum (see above comments)

3. You can always tell what liberals are up to by what they accuse you of doing.

How often does Dan accuse others of lying? I rest my case.

4. Liberals don't debate, they argue.

Self evident. I've long said Dan just likes to argue

5. Liberals have no moral standards.

This one's not so obvious. I believe Dan has moral standards. He just ignores the lack of them in politicians he supports (again, see above comments)

6. Liberals feel, conservatives think.

no explanation needed here. Dan proves this one with every word he types

7. Whenever you don't understand a liberal's motives, just look for the money.

Dan is obsessed with class envy and derision for anyone with more money than he (except Liberals.(see explanation for number 5)

8. Liberals cannot be embarrassed. They lack the gene to blush.

Again. Self evident

9. The Liberal creed is, "Do as I say, not as I do.

This one doesn't seem to apply to Dan. He appears to practice what he preaches as far as I can tell.

10. Liberals get older, but they never get smarter.

Again. Self evident

11. There are no honest liberals. If they were honest -- especially to themselves -- they would not be liberal.

If Dan really believes the things he says, he is a moron. If he doesn't...well...case proven.

12. A liberal's business is nobody's business, but everyone's business is a liberal's business.

Demonstrated by the way he incessantly tries to get everyone else to agree with his hare-brained positions

13. Liberals have an inflated sense of self-worth. They are like house flies that criticize the air-worthiness of a Stealth fighter. (Sarah, Palin, George W. Bush, ad infinitum are morons.)

LOL! Since he feels the need to insert himself into nearly every discussion and position himself as an expert on everything, Dan proves this one, also.

Marshall Art September 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM  

Mark,

One point: To have a blog with an open comments section is to invite anyone to insert themselves into whatever discussion they choose. It's kinda the nature of the beast, as it were.

Marshall Art September 27, 2009 at 12:49 PM  

Dan,

That you keep your own opinion has never been a problem for me. Only wondering how you could has. Why post your opinion at all in this medium if you are not willing or able to defend it?

Some feel that they have no desire to influence the opinions of others, yet by merely voicing one's opinion, that is exactly what they are doing. It can't he helped except by never voicing it at all. Despite how goofy I find most of your opinions, I would not wish that you never again sought to present them. What fun would that be?

If I thought it too much effort to put forth to defend my own, I'd resign myself to expressing myself on paper only, where no one could read it and take issue. To post my opinions without allowing counterpoints would lead to no one taking the time to read them at all.

Dan Trabue September 28, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

Sorry, I'm trying to leave here, but I found this video (an excerpt from the movie, "Jesus Camp," I believe) and found it intriguing...

Have you seen it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE2WEJ6BX8U

Marshall Art September 28, 2009 at 6:40 PM  

Thanks, Dan, for presenting an example of a more acceptable exercise in schools. They prayed over the president for a blessing. Seems they were concerned that he govern in a manner acceptable to God. They didn't praise him as if he was one. Good catch indeed, Dan.

Dan Trabue September 28, 2009 at 7:36 PM  

Really? Seem a little creepy and overzealous to me.

Much more so than the school kids in Eric's video (which, I shall note again, remains wholly unverified, as far as I can tell).

Al-Ozarka September 28, 2009 at 9:47 PM  

"I still can't understand the lyrics, except for a word or two here and there." -Deceiver Dan

Dude! Take your fingers out of your ears, your hands away from your eyes.

They'd be better placed over your freaking mouth.

Bubba,  September 28, 2009 at 11:43 PM  

Context, gentlemen.

Dan Trabue laments that "many, many rage-oholics have begun ranting how Obama's supporters are worshiping him and that is BS."

The man that will preach against incivility and demagoguery, here dismisses his political opponents as "rage-oholics."

But the more important point is that Dan objects to the conclusion that some Obama supporters have moved into the creepy realm of a personality cult.

This is the same Dan Trabue who quoted a song that asserted...

"Barack ran, he ran and he won
So that all our children could fly
"

The same song indulges in a Year-Zero fantasy that is unbecoming of anyone who actually has any respect for the last 230 years of our country's history, as Obama's adoring throngs are "Knowing as one [they're] creating a new nation."

And Dan apparently thinks it's just grand.


Eric is right, Dan's support for Obama was -- by his own admission -- at least partially because of his race, and he's apparently so unashamed of his emphasis on race that he'll tell you outright if a sector of our society doesn't meet his preferred quota and is "over-represented" by white people. He's hardly one to object to the assertion (likely true) that a great number of people supported the candidate for the same reason.

And Dan himself has embraced the personality cult surrounding Obama.

"Barack ran, he ran and he won
So that all our children could fly
"

He's in no position to assure us that no one really worships the man.


Heh. Apparently the only time Dan detects the risk of idolatry is when Christians dare to follow Jesus Christ in His respect for the authority of Scripture.

People can respect the Good Book too much, but not Dear Leader.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 7:00 AM  

Sorry you feel that way, Bubba. In truth, I have no God but God, Jesus my Lord. I'm sorry you have the wrong impression of me. Fortunately, not everyone misunderstands my allegiances. I suspect it's just those with a different ideology than mine.

It can be difficult to understand those different than you, eh?

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

But many of us ARE concerned about the level of rage that appears present in some on the Right (not all, just some). That is my concern.

Can they not disagree with policy without calling the Other side murderer, nazi, socialist, fascist, questioning others' faith and calling belittling names? Without talking about assassinations and armed revolution?

It just seems a bit extreme in this great nation that we can't disagree a bit more civilly.

ELAshley September 29, 2009 at 7:17 AM  

"It just seems a bit extreme in this great nation that we can't disagree a bit more civilly."

Really? Where were you and yours when Bush was president? What about all the talk of assassination during his term?

NOW you want civility? NOW you want respect for government? You gotta give it to get it, Dan.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

Ummm, I never called for armed rebellion or assassination, nor did I condone anyone who did nor do I know of any who did it in the mainstream of the Left. We were peacefully (but passionately) protesting what questionably were war crimes. That's where we were.

On the flip side of that, though, Eric, is the reality that Bush was engaging the US in a war that we thought entailed war crimes so, yes, when a president is THAT far removed from doing the right thing, a bit of anger and irritation is appropriate.

With Obama, however, we merely have matters of disagreement on how much money to spend where and general policy questions. Not matters of life and death where the US may be involved in war crimes.

There is a time and a place for everything. When lives are in the balance, that is a time for action (not armed rebellion or assassination). When we disagree on mere policy, that is a time for grace and civility.

Are you suggesting, then Eric, that those who were uncivil towards Bush were wrong but you're correct to be uncivil towards Obama? Or are you saying, "You were uncivil first, so nyaa, we can be too!"

Is civility called for or not?

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 8:52 AM  

I have to wonder, Eric, what you even mean, "What about all the talk of assassination during his term?"

WHAT talk? Who advocated Bush's assassination? The only thing I can think of is that (I believe British) movie called "Death of a President," which portrayed such a thing.

But I don't recall anyone who seriously said anything positive about it.

Here's Hillary Clinton on the movie:

“I think it’s despicable,” Clinton said of “Death of a President,” a fictional film that features a staged assassination of the president in 2007. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous. That anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario makes me sick.”

Someone makes a movie about the assassination of Bush and that uber-liberal (according to you) Clinton responds by calling it "despicable," "outrageous," and saying "it makes me sick..." Yep. That's liberals supporting calls for assassination, all right.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

Dan, I don't want to make too much of this one thing, but it's worth noting that you praise Obama for "attending progressive churches."

You see this as evidence of his work for supposed "justice," you wrote that his attending Wright's church (for instance) is something that is a positive "to me and, I would hope, most reasonable people."

It's very important to you that Obama attended a church that advances your political agenda: whether that church advances Christ's gospel wasn't mentioned as important -- unless you think the two are interchangeable, which may imply the sort of secular religion that many of us find so troubling.


You say, "In truth, I have no God but God, Jesus my Lord."

But when Christians -- your brothers in Christ, from whom you frequently demand civility -- give the Bible the sort of reverence that conforms to Christ's own teachings and example, you frequently invoke the sin of idolatry.

And when progressives praise Obama, and when you yourself quote a song about how a mere politician ran "so that all our children could fly," you dismiss as foolish (and even hateful) concerns about idolatry and a personality cult.

You seem eager to jealously guard Christ's Lordship against the text that HE HIMSELF affirmed to the smallest penstroke, frequently quoted as authoritative, and even implicitly upheld as divinely authored.

But you don't seem so eager to defend against a mere politician whose progressive policies you support, even when the man ran primarily on his personality and when his supporters (yourself included) frequently lift to him paeans that are frankly unbecoming to free citizens in a constitutionally limited republic.

All this, when the actual worship of the Bible is a possibility that is miniscule if not a complete fantasy, and when the last century has documented the perils of personality cults with the loss of innumerable liberties and mountains of literally hundreds of millions of corpses.

This behavior is odd for someone who truly follows Christ, but entirely predictable for a man who feigns devotion to Christ but whose faith is ultimately in his progressivism.

Maybe you're just a very eccentric Christian, but I have my doubts.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 11:16 AM  

Dan, you seem eager to justify outrage at Bush (if not outright rage) while discrediting outrage at Obama.

Regarding the latter you write, "we merely have matters of disagreement on how much money to spend where and general policy questions."

You also say that it's not "matters of life and death."

That's not necessarily true, when Obama quickly reversed Bush's policies and has increased our government's funding of the destruction of innocent human life, in the cases of both abortion and medical research.

In foreign policy, inaction and appeasement can lead to mass death just as surely as war can.

And if the government has any role in providing medical care for people, and if costs are to be controlled, rationing will be inevitable.

It has been well summarized thusly, "when unlimited want meets a finite supply, some sort of rationing must take place. It cannot be avoided regardless of the system."

The NY Times reported that Obama himself is aware of the necessity of rationing even if he can't bring himself to call it what it is. Why else would we need a difficult conversation "guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists," if not that health care is to be rationed? Why would we need "some independent group that can give you guidance" if every procedure can be provided?

It's absurd to think that this rationing wouldn't touch life-or-death issues -- though needing a hip replacement for years on end is hardly nothing -- when that's where the money is. Most health care costs are spent at the end of a person's life, especially if that person is elderly.


But, even ignoring all this, it's no small thing if the discussion focuses on "how much money to spend where."

Whose money? Government doesn't produce wealth: it can only spend wealth by confiscating ours.

Suppose we were to ignore "general policy questions" whose outcome can directly jeopardize liberty: things such as nationalizing banks and the auto industry, actions that are much more in line with Chavez or (historically) Benito Mussolini than with the free market principles of this country.

Even massive increases in spending by themselves are a threat to liberty in allowing the state to grow to an ever more unmanageable size, and in requiring more and more tribute from the common man, in the form of increasingly confiscatory taxation.


Is outrage only appropriate when discussing matters of life and death, and not liberty and slavery?

Absolutely not. Any American who suggests otherwise has cut himself off from his country's philosophical foundations, and he has opened the door to the soft tyranny of a state who micromanages the lives of a people who are foolish enough to give up being a citizen, in order to be provided for as a literal ward of the state.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

It's very important to you that Obama attended a church that advances your political agenda...

No, it's significant to me that Obama attends a church that is more in line with what I think GOD's will is, that he's not at a church that has a socially "conservative" agenda. I'd actually prefer probably that he were at a church with a less overtly politicized liberal agenda, but, if he's going to be at one or the other, I'd prefer one that is closer to what I believe the actual Gospel teaches.

From what I've seen, his church in Chicago was that.

No matter how many times you try to tie my faith to my "political agenda," I will always have to remind you that my political opinions are what they are because of my faith, and not the other way around.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 11:24 AM  

That's not necessarily true, when Obama quickly reversed Bush's policies and has increased our government's funding of the destruction of innocent human life, in the cases of both abortion and medical research.

I am sympathetic to the pro-life/anti-abortion side of things - from our opinion, there IS a matter of life and death involved and so, some sense of urgency is not unreasonable.

The difference, then, is that with our gov't going in and using our military to do these actions, it's the US taking steps in my name that lead to what I fear may be war crimes.

On the other hand, by saying abortion is a legal medical procedure and leaving the morality up to individuals, gov't is NOT doing any killing in my name and for my sake (against my will). No one has ever had an abortion in the US because the gov't forced them to and I would oppose that as vigorously as I opposed Bush's war in Iraq.

So, it is a matter of taking action IN OUR NAME where I think the difference lies. With an invading army and possible war crimes, these are actions done by our gov't in our name. With abortion, the gov't is merely saying that it is not a clear issue and that the responsibility lies with individuals rather than the gov't.

It may seem like a small difference to you, but it's a HUGE difference to me. It's the difference between allowing people to use the medical procedure of abortion and REQUIRING an abortion.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

Finally, to jog Dan's memory about the peaceful and rational outrage against George W. Bush, an excerpt of an article by NR's Jay Nordlinger.

---

They say that “hate” is rearing its head, and that President Obama and the Democrats are the victims of it. Let me make a couple of predictions: I predict that the chairman of the Republican National Committee will never say, “I hate the Democrats and everything they stand for. This [politics, basically] is a struggle of good and evil. And we’re the good.”

Howard Dean said that about the GOP: “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for. . . .”

I predict that an editor of a conservative magazine will never write a piece called “The Case for Obama Hatred,” beginning, “I hate President Barack Obama.”

A New Republic editor did this, about Bush.

And there is increasing worry about assassination: that someone will take a shot, not just at the president, but at the first black president, which would be extra-catastrophic for the country. A few protesters have carried signs urging violence against Obama, or smacking of violence. Let me make some more predictions:

I predict that a network talk-show host will not show a video of President Obama giving a speech and put the following words on the screen: “SNIPERS WANTED.”

Craig Kilborn of CBS did that to George W. Bush.

I predict that U.S. senators will not joke about killing Obama.

In 2006, Bill Maher had a conversation with John Kerry. He asked Kerry what he’d gotten his wife for her birthday. Kerry said he had treated her to a vacation in Vermont. Maher said, “You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.” Kerry replied, “Or I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.”

This is the same Kerry who, in 1988, said, “Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they’re to shoot Quayle.” Then he said, “There isn’t any press here, is there?”

I predict that a New York official will not tell a graduating class about assassinating President Obama.

Also in 2006, comptroller Alan Hevesi said to students at Queens College that Sen. Charles Schumer, his fellow Democrat, would “put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.”

I predict that no columnist for a leading European newspaper, and leading world newspaper, will write, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?”

Charlie Brooker of the Guardian did that to George W. Bush.

I predict that no major writer will write a novel debating the morality of killing President Obama.

Nicholson Baker did that to Bush, with Checkpoint.

I predict that no filmmaker will make a “fictional documentary” that fantasizes — and I’m afraid that is the word — about murdering President Obama.

Some Brits did that to President Bush with Death of a President.

Dear readers, I have made very, very safe predictions. If a CBS talk-show host pictured President Obama and said “SNIPERS WANTED,” he would lose his job, of course. He would never work in the media again. I wonder what else would happen to him.

I could go on, but you’ve heard enough.

---

To reiterate, this list isn't limited to media outlets that no one's ever heard of. It includes death wishes and overt hatred from a talk-show host on CBS, a columnist from the (UK) Guardian, and an editor of the New Republic.

This list isn't limited to some council member in a podunk city hall. It was the chairman of the DNC who told us that Republicans are evil, and that he hates them.

And, in a combination of a high-profile politician and a high-profile platform, the previous Democratic nominee for president went on HBO and joked with Bill Maher that he "could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone."

But, no, the Left wasn't unhinged, at least as far as Dan remembers.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 11:32 AM  

Is outrage only appropriate when discussing matters of life and death, and not liberty and slavery?

Yes, IF there were assaults on our liberty, people ought to be outraged. But in the real world, that is not happening.

The problem is, there are no affronts to liberty nor inclination towards slavery. That you all see it in your rage is what is troubling to many of us.

By your measure of what ought to induce outrage, the people of our nation would stay in a constant pique of outrage.

Just for clarification, then, are you saying that the Left was correct for being outraged, if they feared war crimes were being committed during the Bush years?

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

But, no, the Left wasn't unhinged, at least as far as Dan remembers.

Well, I'm sorry to say that I don't know those people or had not heard those comments. To the extent that they're true, they're deplorable comments, mostly jokes, and not in the mainstream of serious Progressive thinking.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

Of course: I would expect nothing more from you than a pro forma denunciation of those deeds "to the extent that they're true."

And I'll have to remember that, to find the "mainstream of serious Progressive thinking," I should ignore the New Republic, the (UK) Guardian, the DNC, and even Democratic presidential nominees.

The mainstream must be at that lovely and tranquil blog formerly called a Payne Hollow Visit.


Dan, you seem to suggest that, if the government doesn't force abortions on people, it doesn't support abortions "in your name."

This is nonsense: the government not only permits abortion as legal, it now (thanks to Obama) has resumed funding abortion overseas. If it's using our money -- and it is -- it's doing so our in name.

If the government has an even larger role in health care, it's almost certain that it will fund abortions to an even greater degree.

Replace everything you said about "abortion" with "lynch mobs," and I doubt that you would hold to this artificial distinction that you use to justify your opposition to the invasion of Iraq while staying mum about abortion: if the government permitted lynch mobs but did not directly organize them, why, the government wouldn't be lynching in our name, so everything's cool, right?



Dan, it's not a mere "opinion" that abortion involves the destruction of human life: it's a scientific fact.

And my point wasn't just about abortion but also cloning, ostensibly for research, that results in the creation and destruction of human life.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

the government not only permits abortion as legal, it now (thanks to Obama) has resumed funding abortion overseas. If it's using our money -- and it is -- it's doing so our in name.

1. I am opposed to the funding of abortions with our tax dollars. Which is not the same as being opposed to providing money to family planning agencies (although, I'd prefer it be kept distinct - "this money is for administrative purposes," which I believe to be the case).

2. The US has never forced abortions on anyone. It has forced death on people, via our military adventurism. That is a huge difference.

3. The very first time that anyone suggests gov't-FORCED abortions, I will be every bit as opposed as I am to other gov't-forced killing. Not only I, but the largest part of those on the so-called Left, I would imagine.

There's a chasm of difference between the two situations.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

I would expect nothing more from you than a pro forma denunciation of those deeds "to the extent that they're true."

Your source (National Review) is not an especially reliable one, in my opinion, so yes, to the extent that his citations are true, that behavior is wrong.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

To answer your question about outrage, if the Left's most serious charges against Bush were true or even plausible, the outrage would have been appropriate.

But I think that the cart was frequently put before the horse: rather than be motivated by the situation as it really is (or at least is perceived), the Left's hatred frequently motivates its most vicious charges.


And about whether the government under Obama is threatening liberty, there can be no real doubt. He's nationalizing banks and the auto industry and doubling (and then tripling) the national debt, all while attempting a massive increase of government control over the crucial sectors of health care and energy.

"The problem is, there are no affronts to liberty nor inclination towards slavery."

No, the problem is your a statist who cannot be trusted to sound the alarm against tyranny, because you like what you see.

Someone who was once honest enough to admit to "hav[ing] communist leanings" cannot be trusted to identify threats to individual liberty.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

Brother Bubba, in your ignorance, you confuse communism with fascism.

Read up on the difference.

Communism: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed (not unlike, say, Christianity as evidenced by the Kingdom of God and the Early Church)

Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition...

"The difference between the right word and the ALMOST right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."

~Mark Twain

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

To answer your question about outrage, if the Left's most serious charges against Bush were true or even plausible, the outrage would have been appropriate...

And about whether the government under Obama is threatening liberty, there can be no real doubt.


Well, what we have here are questions about plausibility. I think most rational adults in our nation can see that Obama poses no threat to liberty and most reasonable adults in our nation had serious questions about the legality and advisability of invading Iraq and with torture.

I suspect you're in an incredible minority if you all think Obama is a fascist, a socialist, a nazi, or any kind of serious threat to liberty in our nation. You sound, in short, a bit loopy and sometimes ("bastard! Nazi! baby-killer!") deranged.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 12:17 PM  

Dan, was the Soviet Union communist?

And how many sectors of the economy must be nationalized or socialized (same difference) before one can suspect that liberty might not be wholly preserved?

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

The USSR was a socialist state, ran for many years by fascists.

As to your other question, I would suppose a good part of enterprise would need to be socialized before you called it a socialist state, but there's not much concern about that happening because, you see, Obama is not a socialist, nor is our Congress.

So, once again, I suggest you all would be much better off to take a DEEP breath, take up a hobby and relax a little bit. No one is coming for your house or to make you have an abortion. (and if someone WERE coming to take your house, these days, the odds are it would be WalMart, not The State...)

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

So... what's all this have to do with whether or not this is a real video and, if so, what is the import of the video?

I still maintain that you ought to consider the lilies of the field, how they neither reap nor sow, and yet even Solomon, in all his glory was not clothed as one of these. And Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Relax, brethren...

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 3:35 PM  

Dan, those are the same sort of non-answers that you always give, where you only respond to my questions without actually answering them.

I agree the Soviet Union was socialist, and I agree that it was run by fascists. ("For many years"? For what period was that not true?)

But I didn't ask that.

I asked, was the Soviet Union COMMUNIST? An answer would be appreciated.


And, responding to my other question, you write, "I would suppose a good part of enterprise would need to be socialized before you called it a socialist state."

But I didn't ask at what point a state could be rightly described as socialist.

I asked, at what point is liberty jeopardized?


Answer the questions I asked rather than the questions I didn't ask.

Or, if you genuinely cannot see that your comment doesn't answer my questions, then I don't want to hear any more about I misunderstand you, ever ever again, because your ability to read for comprehension would be entirely suspect.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

And, Dan, about your claim that you "still maintain" that we should consider the lilies of the field...

For one thing, I don't know where you've said this before, so I'm not sure how the comment qualifies as a reiteration.

But beyond that, I certainly submit to Christ's reassurance of the providence of God, but I don't think that means we should never be concerned about the world around us, e.g., when it appears that a politician is attracting (and almost certainly encouraging) the sort of personality cult that has always proven disastrous even when it doesn't technically qualify as blasphemous.

And I'm not sure how sincere you are in telling us to relax, when you've never seemed less than indignant about Bush's supposed war crimes. When you don't even pretend to live by what you enjoin others to do, you make your recommendations seem like ploys to get your political opposition to unilaterally surrender.

ELAshley September 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM  

"3. The very first time that anyone suggests gov't-FORCED abortions, I will be every bit as opposed as I am to other gov't-forced killing. Not only I, but the largest part of those on the so-called Left, I would imagine."

Really? What about gov't-FORCED healthcare? That's what the Leftists in Congress propose. They want to demand that every citizen buy health insurance whether they want it or not, and for those who refuse, gov't will "fine" (read, "TAX") to the tune of upwards to 20% of a family's income.

You okay with government FORCING people to buy insurance they don't want or need?

And let's not drag out the tired trope of Automobile Insurance as an example... two different animals. No one is forcing me to buy a car. And as a car owner no one is forcing me to drive it. I can park that car and never drive it at all. The only time I need buy auto insurance is if I choose to drive on PUBLIC roads and highways.

Medical Insurance, as described by what the Liberals in Congress and that one at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is a different animal altogether. You guys would force EVERYONE to buy insurance whether they needed it or not, then deny coverage to the elderly who use it the most. And in the process dangerously/criminally over-burden a medical system that is ALREADY over-burdened, resulting in rationing of services, resulting in the elderly taking the brunt of said rationing.

And why does it have to be passed now, today, when it won't even be implemented until 2013... AFTER Obama's hoped-for second term?

I'll tell you why, because if it were immediately implemented there would be such a backlash against him and Democrats that it would be impossible to get reelected... no second term for America's first HALF-black president. The House returned to the Republicans, possibly the Senate.

Obama may be ignorant about what America IS, but he's not stupid. THAT's why the post 2012 election implementation.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 3:54 PM  

I asked, was the Soviet Union COMMUNIST? An answer would be appreciated.

I'm sorry, I thought my answer was quite clear. They were a socialist nation and, therefore, they were not a communist nation. One is not simultaneously communist and socialist, by definition.

They were also a nation run by fascists often, which was their real problem. There have been socialist nations that have not been fascist, so the two terms are not interchangeable, which is what most people object to when they refer to socialism or communism.

I suppose part of the problem is that there are multiple definitions floating around and people tend to define it differently. The earlier definition I gave was from Merriam Webster, which also includes this one...

: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably

If I'm not mistaken, this is more properly the ideal of what a communist society would be - classless and stateless - so, in that regard, no nation would be communist because a communist nation is a contradiction in terms, as I understand it.

From wikipedia...

Communism in the Marxist sense refers to a classless, stateless, and oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made directly and democratically, allowing every member of society to participate in the decision-making process in both the political and economic spheres of life.

Or, from the Thinking Catholic website (which I believe leans conservatively)...

Pure Communism, the end goal of Marxist Socialism, would be the theoretical state of "statelessness" in which an un-governed, classless society lives in perfect order, and all history has stopped...

Communism, as such, does not exist, has never existed, and cannot exist...

Throughout history all nations that ever called themselves Communist were in fact Socialist, and Socialism is the antithesis of representative government and a free citizenry.

Dan Trabue September 29, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

To answer Eric's question: I am opposed to requirements for health care.

That's not the same as forced abortion or war-making, where people are being killed in my name, but I am opposed to it.

Bubba September 29, 2009 at 8:57 PM  

I see, Dan: basically, you think that nothing less than the pure utopia of Marx's eschatological vision counts as truly communist.

Fine, you're not the first person on earth to argue that the Soviets weren't communist, nor will you be the last.

I still maintain that anyone who professes to have communist leanings is not to be trusted on whether liberty is at risk: any efforts to apply these leanings to contemporary politics will necessarily imperil liberty.

Attempts to immanentize the eschaton -- a Marxist eschaton rather than a Christian one -- have consistently resulted and must always result in the loss of the rights of living, breathing human beings, and has frequently led to some form of fascism.

Mark September 29, 2009 at 10:37 PM  

Dan Trabue:

Liberal truth Number 2.

'Nuff said.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 7:14 AM  

I see, Dan: basically, you think that nothing less than the pure utopia of Marx's eschatological vision counts as truly communist.

You asked me if they were communist. By definition, no, they weren't.

If you don't want me to answer with words by definition, what system would you like me to use?

I'm flexible, I just need to know the ground rules.

And, for what it's worth (perhaps nothing in this crowd), when I say, "I lean communist," I mean it by the basic definition - a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed, and when I am talking this way, I am thinking very specifically of the description of the early church. We anabaptists have been a movement that is about returning to something more closely resembling the early church, being people of the Bible.

You recall, I suppose, where the Bible says...

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need...

...There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.


Do you find it troubling that I aspire to this biblical ideal? I could consider changing my biblically-based ideals to conform to your ideals, if you wish. I could consider it, but I probably wouldn't do it.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

Now, I know that those last answers were snarky, but they were GOOD snark, right?

I mean, come on, fellas, give a brother some props. Those were some comments that were funny, insightful, apt to the conversation, rich in irony and meaning, yes?

How 'bout giving up a little what-what? A little touche...?

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 8:23 AM  

If you don't want me to answer with words by definition, what system would you like me to use?

heh. I at least amused myself...

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

Hey, I've even got the next funny snark-back to me...

Um, Dan, you misspelled "douche..."

ELAshley September 30, 2009 at 8:26 AM  

That last one was actually funny, Dan.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

Just the last one??

Wow, tough crowd...

Mark September 30, 2009 at 8:57 AM  

Dan quotes the Holy Bible, thusly:

"All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need...

Yes, Dan, but you leave out one very important point. The early church did these thoings voluntarily.

Look that definition up.

That means no one told them they must give to the "community" whether they want to or not.

They gave out of their excess and their Christian charity. Not because their President urged their Congress to pass a law making voluntary service mandatory, or simply taking their hard earned money from them against their will.

I don't understand why you don't understand this concept. it's really quite simple.

Voluntary giving: good. Being forced to give, which is Communism: Bad.

ELAshley September 30, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

Dan, do you contend that the Church at Jerusalem, specifically with their communal practices as described in Acts 2:44-46, & 4:32-35 was the rule for every church in Judea, Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, and beyond? Do you contend that every church outside of Jerusalem followed this ideal? If so, you are terribly mistaken.

Now, I don't disagree with you that this is the ideal, but it is not humanly realistic as illustrated by Acts 5:1-11. Were Ananias and Sapphira saved? I believed they were, but that didn't keep the Holy Spirit from making examples of them both.

Step forward to Paul, living in Athens, and writing to the church at Corinth. These folk did not hold everything in common, but they were of the Church nonetheless. And they had problems... lots of problems... primarily because they were brought out of idolatry and had no formal training in the Old Testament-- they had approximately 18 months of training by Paul himself, but that was in Christ, and not a full-bodied training of the entire Old Testament. And I only bring up the Old Testament because to fully understand why Christ came, lived as he did (sinlessly), suffered and died the way he did and rose from the dead, one must also have a grasp on the Old Testament and its prophets.

Take a look at what Paul said to the Corinthians in chapter 12 verse 2 of 1 Corinthians:

"Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led."

Compare that to chapter 3 verse's 1-3:

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"

The church at Corinth did not hold all things in common. So while I applaud you in your effort to be more like the early Church, albeit the Church at Jerusalem alone, I must remind you that it was not the rule. The Ideal, yes; but not the Rule. The reason for this is demonstrated by the story of Ananias and Sapphira, and every atrocity committed upon man, BY MAN, throughout the centuries since-- specifically, the Roman Catholic Church, and the men philosophers like Engle and Marx inspired.

Until the heart of Man is transformed that Ideal to which you cling-- and it is a very noble Ideal --can never be fully or honestly realized. That will not come until Christ returns and establishes His kingdom upon THIS earth.

ELAshley September 30, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

Tangentially, your clinging to THIS relatively small portion of scripture, while discounting other equally small portions of scripture-- like, say, those scriptures dealing with homosexuality --can easily lead one (and indeed there have been many such led, here and elsewhere) to believe that you cherry-pick doctrines to suit your own interpretation of scripture. And as Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:20

"...no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."

And not just prophecy, but rather, the whole of scripture. Because that is the problem with Biblical faith today... there are too many "Private" interpretations; from Mormonism, to Jehovah's Witnesses, to Calvanism, to Armenianism, to Catholicism. I say, let the Bible say what it says, where it says it, keeping in mind what it says throughout... everything, that is, in context.


Of course, all this goes far afield of this post's subject, but hey! we are where we are. Suffice it to say, Obama is not Christ, and teachers/pundits/whomever, however well meaning, should not be teaching children in public schools to adore the man in place of Christ, i.e.,

Children Made to sing OF Obama:

"He said red, yellow, black or white, all are equal in his sight."

Yet in Church they are instructed to sing:

"Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They're all precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world."


Do you not see how this could be confusing to small children who go to Sunday School?

On top of this the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"-- or for those with a more esoteric knowledge of folk music, John Brown's "Body" tune --is changed to reflect praise of Obama, rather than God.

Who do we praise? We ought to praise God, although we do praise one another for his or her accomplishments, and there's nothing wrong with this. But I believe tunes like "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" are better suited to praise of individuals than is a tune which is near universally understood to be a hymn praising God.

Who should we worship? This one's easier... God, and no other. And yet too many on YOUR side of the political divide come very close (if not already crossed the line) to worship of a mortal man. Sounds like Idolatry to me. Sounds like the Church at Corinth to me.

I'm just sayin' ...

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

So while I applaud you in your effort to be more like the early Church, albeit the Church at Jerusalem alone, I must remind you that it was not the rule. The Ideal, yes; but not the Rule...

Until the heart of Man is transformed that Ideal to which you cling-- and it is a very noble Ideal --can never be fully or honestly realized.


Yes, you are correct. Not every church in the early church story engaged in what I call Kingdom Living. You are also correct, I believe, that it is the ideal.

As anabaptist Art Gish says (paraphrased) in his book, Living in Christian Community, "If we are longing for the day when there are no poor, no wars, no one alone; if we are longing for the day where we freely share all we have with all who need... if this is our ideal 'One Day,' then why would we not start living thusly now?"

Amen.

Until the heart of man has been transformed? Well, in my community, that is now. Our hearts HAVE been and ARE BEING transformed now. So, as Gish asks, why would we NOT starting living thusly now?

I will note for those who may not get it clearly, that I have not said anything about wanting community forced upon anyone. It's why I remain, in this world, a believer in a regulated capitalist economy rather than any attempt at actual communism from a gov't point of view. I don't want a bunch of politicians telling me how to implement community. That just won't work.

But it does not mean I can't freely try to embrace communal living in my own life and community. Or at least something approaching it.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

Suffice it to say, Obama is not Christ, and teachers/pundits/whomever, however well meaning, should not be teaching children in public schools to adore the man in place of Christ, i.e.,

No one is disagreeing with you there, brother Eric. I'd be willing to place a rather large bet that not even the teacher/adults involved in this song you're referencing (if it is indeed a real thing that actually happened, which remains to be seen as far as I can tell) would think such a thing. I'd be willing to bet yet another large bet that they would be shocked and outraged to hear anyone suggest that they were suggesting that.

ELAshley September 30, 2009 at 9:26 AM  

And Mark makes an excellent point.

Voluntary as opposed to Confiscatory. Which is more Biblical?

While you view the early Church at Jerusalem as the ideal, let's not get carried away and insist the state take over the function of the Church. When states take such control it has always been tyrannical. And the Roman Catholic Church itself beautifully personifies (or at least, it once did) tyranny. The United States of America is creeping ever closer to Tyranny. Is that really where you want America to go?

ELAshley September 30, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

"if it is indeed a real thing that actually happened, which remains to be seen as far as I can tell"

What? Do you think your eyes deceive you? Were there not children? Did they not sing? Were the words not recognizable? Was John Brown's Body tune not recognizable? Were there not adults present? Did a child hold the camera? Was it wholly a class of kindergarten students who wrote, produced, and filmed this video?

You can't be serious.


Do you refuse to believe it because you don't get that analysis from CNN or MSNBC? Can FOX NEVER get a story right? Are you that partisanly blind?

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

Eric said...

What? Do you think your eyes deceive you? Were there not children? Did they not sing?

No, obviously the singing happened in the real world. What I'm wondering is if it were actually a school involved with actual teachers involved or if this were a "set up" - some conservative group who created this and made it look like a liberal teacher was making children sing Obama praises.

I rather imagine that it IS a real thing that happened in a school somewhere, but I've not found any significant evidence to support that position. Or, if it happened at a school, was it an afterschool thing or during school, what was the context? Was it child-directed or teacher-directed?

Those sorts of questions are what remain unanswered.

Lacking any authoritative documentation, does this not seem a reasonable position to take?

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

Eric asked...

Voluntary as opposed to Confiscatory. Which is more Biblical?

I assume you posted that before you read my clarification? And I repeat:

I will note for those who may not get it clearly, that I have not said anything about wanting community forced upon anyone. It's why I remain, in this world, a believer in a regulated capitalist economy rather than any attempt at actual communism from a gov't point of view. I don't want a bunch of politicians telling me how to implement community. That just won't work.

But it does not mean I can't freely try to embrace communal living in my own life and community. Or at least something approaching it.

Mark September 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

Dan lies,

"I don't want a bunch of politicians telling me how to implement community."

You lie!

That's exactly what you want and it's demonstrated by your tacit approval of Obama and all he stands for.

Mark September 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

"Do you refuse to believe it because you don't get that analysis from CNN or MSNBC? Can FOX NEVER get a story right? Are you that partisanly blind?"

Of course Dan refuses to believe it. See Liberal truth number 2 above.

Bubba September 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM  

Dan, after explaining that by "communism" you mean nothing more than the shared resources of the early church in Jerusalem, you ask, idiotically, "Do you find it troubling that I aspire to this biblical ideal?"

No, I find it troubling that Progressives who invoke Christ's name tend to politicize this ideal.

Aspire to it all you want. Knock yourself out; just don't try to use political institutions to drag others with you.

I frankly don't trust your apparent reverence for individual autonomy...

"I don't want a bunch of politicians telling me how to implement community."

...when you say that you still support "regulated capitalism."

As I've pointed out before, you oscillate on what you mean by "capitalism." You use the minimalist definition of the private ownership of property (but not the private control) in order to argue that Obama is a capitalist and therefore harmless, but this was after you frequently denounced capitalism as oppressive and totalitarian.

And you've never been clear on what specific regulations you support.


You still haven't answered when precisely increased spending, regulation, and the nationalization of industry poses a threat to liberty.

Perhaps that's because your vague support for "regulated capitalism" entails precisely those sorts of regulations that make the individual less free.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

And you've never been clear on what specific regulations you support.

Reasonable ones.

Don't drink and drive.

Don't drive above the speed limit.

If you drive faster than 25mph (the speed limit) in a school or neighborhood zone, you WILL get a heavy fine. If you get more than one (or some number) ticket, you WILL lose your license for at least a time.

For repeat offenders who keep losing their license for speeding or drunk driving, you lose your license permanently.

You don't have the liberty to put other people's lives at risk for your pleasure of convenience.

With me so far?

How about, you can't pollute our drinking water? Reasonable enough, yes?

How about, you are responsible for the pollutants that come off your car or out your chimney or from your waste?

If we can't environmentally afford to have EVERYONE driving a car putting x tons of carbons in the air, then taxes or fines of some sort ought to be implemented to encourage less driving and driving more responsibly-built cars.

I'm talking about personal responsibility. I'm talking about your right to swing your fist ends before it reaches someone else's nose. Basic conservative beliefs.

I don't think we get to rape some one simply as an expression of our liberty and I don't think we get to pollute willy nilly as an expression of our liberty. There need to be responsible limits.

Many limits are in place and just need to be more vigorously enforced. IF speeding in a school zone resulted in $1000 fine and a temporary loss of your driving license, I just about guarantee you that such speeding would drop drastically, if enforced.

Want more?

How about regulations that require employers fully explain the hazards of the chemicals they expect their workers to work around and some basic regulations about how they are used and disposed of?

How about regulations that require pilots, doctors and truck drivers not to work over a certain number of hours in a row?

Again, just basic personally responsible expectations where ignoring them threatens the lives and health of others.

Do you disagree with these examples?

Bubba September 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

Dan, I less interested in the more mundane examples of the regulations you support than I am the boundaries of what you would support.

Do you support price controls in any circumstances? Controls for, say, the price of labor, e.g., minimum wage laws?

Even your examples may not be as uncontroversial as they would appear at first glance -- does pollution include carbon dioxide, which we breathe out every minute of every day? -- but what I want to know is whether you have any philosophical objections to regulating the fundamental economic right to set prices for the goods and services that one offers.


And you STILL haven't answered when precisely (or even whether) increased spending, regulation, and the nationalization of industry poses a threat to liberty.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM  

And you STILL haven't answered when precisely (or even whether) increased spending, regulation, and the nationalization of industry poses a threat to liberty.

Yes, I would reckon it does. At some point.

Unfortunately, I don't know what that point is, if that's what you're asking.

Do you know what the point is where spending becomes TOO much spending, where "nationalization" becomes too much?

On a smaller level, I would expect that when one is spending on one's military almost as much as the rest of the world, you're spending too much.

Ten percent taxation is probably too much if you're a family of four making less than $15,000 a year. Forty percent taxation is probably not too much if you're making $1,000,000 a year.

Seventy-five percent is probably too much no matter how much you make.

I don't believe that there are any hard and fast rules on this.

Do you know of any?

As to nationalization, I believe that Ben Franklin supported the "nationalization" of a postal system (or at least, he was our first Postmaster general). Thomas Jefferson supported a nationalization of public education (paid for by the wealthy).

Was that too much? I don't think so. Do you?

I don't want the US to become our car manufacturers. I don't know if it's an infringement upon liberty, I just think it's a bad idea.

Obama has said as much, too. No one is wanting to nationalize the auto industry.

Again, I think it's all a moot point since there's not anyone out there who is itchin' to nationalize everything since, for the most part, our current leaders are Democrats and Republicans, not socialists.

The more you suggest that the Dems (or Bush, since he's the one who started this) are socialists, the less likely you are to be taken seriously, seems to me.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

what I want to know is whether you have any philosophical objections to regulating the fundamental economic right to set prices for the goods and services that one offers.

I have no great opinion on that notion, one way or the other. I'd probably be generally against it, but it might depend upon the details.

My general rule is that we ought to pay actual expenses for things and if someone is able to sell a widget significantly cheaper because they are dumping wastes into a stream behind the widget factory, then they're not selling the widgets at actual costs. They're selling it at a greatly reduced cost because they figured out a way to make others (everyone in the community, the wildlife in the area, the sick and infirmed, God's good creation) pay part of the cost.

I am opposed to that. If you create a product, you ought to charge the actual cost of the product and it ought to be built responsibly - hence regulations to stop them from dumping in the stream, for instance.

If companies are charging actual costs, I have no great desire to see the gov't get into the business of tampering with that cost, but I DO think it is gov't's responsibility to make sure the company is not being irresponsible in the manufacturing process.

Bubba September 30, 2009 at 3:43 PM  

Dan, you act as if the nationalization of American automobile manufacturers hasn't already taken place.


I don't find it reassuring that you have no strong opinion on price controls, and that you think there's some line across which government spending finally begins to imperil liberty.

I'd be happy to agree that Bush was a statist -- National Review has been griping about his "compassionate conservatism" since before he won the nomination in 2000 -- but if the government drifted toward statism under his watch (and it did) it's now been pushed there as quickly as possible.

"Yes, IF there were assaults on our liberty, people ought to be outraged. But in the real world, that is not happening."

You have shown no keen eye for being able to discern that, Dan. You can't tell us when government spending does threaten liberty, so don't pretend to know with any certainty that we haven't already reached that point.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

Then illuminate me, O Bubba, at what point DOES gov't spending threaten liberty?

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM  

Bubba said...

And you've never been clear on what specific regulations you support....

And I gave a list of examples. Bubba then said...

I am less interested in the more mundane examples of the regulations you support than I am the boundaries of what you would support...

And I gave him an idea of what limits I have (not too unlike his, perhaps??). Bubba then said...

I don't find it reassuring that you have no strong opinion on price controls, and that you think there's some line across which government spending finally begins to imperil liberty.

When you asked for examples, I gave you some. When you said that wasn't what you wanted to know but rather, you wanted to know if I thought there were some point where spending was too much. I said there were.

You don't find that reassuring when I agree with you on that point. It appears you just want to disagree with me, no matter how reasonable I am being, how many answers to your questions I give or how much I agree with you.

It does not seem that I can win here at all, you'll always find me a disappointment to humanity. Alas.

Go figure...

Bubba September 30, 2009 at 4:54 PM  

You're right, Dan, I'm so unreasonable.

I ask if you support price controls, and I really am irrational for daring to find your answer -- "I'd probably be generally against it, but it might depend upon the details." -- vague and unsatisfying.

I'm just such a jerk for not accepting the fact that you don't know when government spending threatens liberty, and yet you somehow know that we're nowhere near that point...

"Yes, IF there were assaults on our liberty, people ought to be outraged. But in the real world, that is not happening."

...even though the national debt under Obama will likely DOUBLE to become nearly 100 percent of current GDP and may skyrocket further as interest payment obligations balloon.

I just ought to take your vague, soothing cooing as gospel, and I'm an asshole for not being so easily calmed by your appeals to Matthew 6.

Marshall Art September 30, 2009 at 4:56 PM  

Wow, Dan. The "regulations you support" offer much fodder for discussion. You don't really stick your neck out with such things as don't speed, don't pollute, don't rape, etc. The real meat is in the details of each of these. It is in those details where we find out what's what with each of us. And again, later, you once again play games with words such as "Democrat" rather than "socialist". Obama's a socialist for sure. That he's only gone so far does not yet prove otherwise. Even with all he's tried to rush and force upon us, he's still doing things in bits and by degrees. All lefties are socialists. Some are more left than others is all.

But what still concerns me is your devotion to a guy who I've shown is truly NOT a man of character. With what I've listed about him, from his time as an Ill state senator, can you still stand by your choice? Unlike federal reps, who sometimes must vote against bills for good things because of bad ideas attached to them, this isn't as common in state gov't and his votes show a guy with a very bad sense of right and wrong, and a disturbingly distorted sense of justice.

So your "research" on this guy was lacking to say the least, OR, your own sense of justice and right/wrong is equally suspect. It is one thing to say that, for example, I would vote for McCain over Obama even though he supported Comprehensive Immigration reform, or the stupid campaign finance reform, but if I were to say that I'd vote for him even though he supports killing the unborn or helping criminals while obstructing the rights of the law-abiding, well, that's a definite character issue. That is, not only is McCain's character then suspect, but so is mine. No one should sing my praises either. But hey, you keep your own opinions.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 4:58 PM  

I'm just such a jerk for not accepting the fact that you don't know when government spending threatens liberty, and yet you somehow know that we're nowhere near that point...

Aaaaaand we STILL have no answer from Bubba on what amount of spending and "socialization" is a threat to liberty? Could it be that Bubba is as big an idiot as Dan and simply does not know? Could it be that NO ONE knows?

Well, we sure can't tell yet from Bubba's non-answers.

So, yes, it is rather jerk-y of you to denigrate me for something to which you have provided no answer. I have never claimed to be an economic genius with answers to questions such as "At what point is taxation too much?"

Are you one, Bubba? Then, by all means, educate us all and we can be as enlightened as you are.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 5:00 PM  

And again, later, you once again play games with words such as "Democrat" rather than "socialist".

You call it games, I call it English.

It's a language, used a lot around here (by "here," I mean the US, of course - perhaps less so here). Look it up. Read a book.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

Come on fellas, this is Grade A snark here, on my part. How about at least a little chortle?

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 5:03 PM  

I ask if you support price controls, and I really am irrational for daring to find your answer -- "I'd probably be generally against it, but it might depend upon the details." -- vague and unsatisfying.

You think "It depends upon the details" is a poor way to decide if something is good or bad? I think the details on almost any topic matter.

Feel free to disagree.

Bubba September 30, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

Dan, I will not tolerate being scolded for being slow to answer your questions.

Over the course of at least literally 18 months, I have repeatedly asked you an extremely simple question about a fundamental doctrine of our faith.

Yes or no, do you believe that Christ's death caused our forgiveness?

You still have not provided an answer of a clear yes or a clear no, and you get snippy that I haven't answered a question you raise just a few hours ago?

To hell with that.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 6:16 PM  

Brother Bubba, I have answered that question probably dozens of times. That you don't understand the answer or don't like the answer does not mean I have not answered.

I have answered quite abundantly clearly that I think God's GRACE causes our forgiveness, God's desire to forgive us causes our forgiveness. And Jesus' death on the cross is a sign of that grace and the depth of God's willingness to forgive us.

THAT is my answer to that question, it HAS been my answer and it will REMAIN my answer. So no need to fuss about my not answering a question that has been answered multiple times.

AND you still have not answered your own question to me. Is it a tough question to answer? I understand, I agree, it IS a tough question to answer. Maybe impossible because there is NO ONE answer.

"Yes, ahem, the um, answer to the question is 17. Thank you very much."

No, nothing like that.

And I will not be scolded for "not answering" a question that has been answered multiple times.

Ah, what the heck, go ahead and scold me if you want. I'm easy.

[my verification word is Poly Zing! Any significance to that?]

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 6:58 PM  

Marshall said...

The "regulations you support" offer much fodder for discussion. You don't really stick your neck out with such things as don't speed, don't pollute, don't rape, etc. The real meat is in the details of each of these.

Well, this IS off topic and this IS just a comment on a blog, not a master's thesis. I was trying to give a general idea of the common sense regulation I'm talking about when I say a "well-regulated capitalism." Reasonable regulations.

However, if you'd like to look at something more specific, consider the Clean Water Act and its impact upon the mountaintop removal form of coal mining.

I don't know what you all know about the process, but what happens with MTR is that the coal company blows up the top of a mountain, in order to reach the seams of coal that lie below.

As they blow up the top of the mountain, reducing it to rubble, they "push" the rubble off the side of the mountain into the valley (and streams) below.

As you can imagine, this impacts the quality of life in those streams (ie, it kills the life in those streams) sending not just rock and dirt, but heavy metals into the stream and water and valley.

People who live around MTR sometimes report their water from the their taps coming out orange or even black. So, it impacts not just the "natural" biodiversity below the mountain, it affects the people living below it, as well.

As you can imagine, such actions are a violation of the Clean Water Act, which was "established [with] the goals of eliminating releases to water of high amounts of toxic substances, eliminating additional water pollution by 1985, and ensuring that surface waters would meet standards necessary for human sports and recreation by 1983."

~Wikipedia

The three primary goals of the CWA, according to the IDEM

* Enhanced protection from public health threats posed by water pollution.
* More effective control of polluted runoff (from agriculture, urban streets, public lands, etc).
* Promotion of water quality on a watershed basis (cooperation between federal, states & local governments).

More good info can be found at the fact sheet above.

The EPA and the USACE are the ones generally responsible for implementing many of its provisions. The EPA says...

The CWA gives EPA the authority to set effluent limits on an industry-wide (technology-based) basis and on a water-quality basis that ensure protection of the receiving water. The CWA requires anyone who wants to discharge pollutants to first obtain an NPDES permit, or else that discharge will be considered illegal.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

With me so far? That's some of the preliminary information you would need to know in order to discuss these specific regulations about MTR.

So, SINCE the evidence is clear (according to the scientists at the EPA and USACE - I have not really got into that at all, but it's all there with those agencies, you'll have to look it up) that dumping those mountaintops into the valleys and streams below, I support reasonable regulations that say, "you can't do that," or "find a responsible way to do that, or don't do it at all..."

And they CAN do it responsibly, it just COSTS MORE. And that's the issue.

Again, I come back to actual costs. If coal companies can just get an exemption from the laws (which they have done largely through the Bush years), then they are acquiring the coal BELOW the actual costs of obtaining it. It actually costs:

Whatever it costs them to do MTR

PLUS

What it costs to do it responsibly, without destroying lives, ecosystems and the drinking water below the mountains.

They have been getting cheaper coal these last years by bypassing paying ACTUAL costs, pushing the costs off on all of us.

I am strongly opposed to that sort of damaging welfare for companies and that damaging approach to capitalism. For capitalism to work at all, people have to pay actual costs for running a business, not push it off on someone else. That is irresponsible.

To simplify the issue, if a company were able to produce cars at $5000/car, but the way they did it was by stealing parts from other car companies, well, then, they haven't REALLY produced a $5000 car, have they? That's not the actual costs, they just stole from someone else to reduce the selling cost. But that's not a good way to run an economy or nation.

Hence, a well/reasonably-regulated capitalism.

And that is why I didn't try to get any more specific than just offering you a light scanning of the type of regulations that ought to be implemented. To discuss this in detail is rather difficult in the parameters of blog commentary.

Again, reading books is good (not suggesting you all don't).

Bubba September 30, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

Dan, the answer you give strongly suggests -- but still doesn't explicitly say -- that, no, you don't believe Christ's death causes our forgiveness.

"No, it doesn't" is apparently something that you refuse to write, for whatever reason.


I asked you at what point government spending imperils liberty because you're quite certain we're not at that point.

"Yes, IF there were assaults on our liberty, people ought to be outraged. But in the real world, that is not happening."

How do you know, if you don't know when government spending does imperil liberty? What justifies your being so dismissive of those who disagree with you? Your statement here implies an understanding of liberty that you don't actually admit to possessing.


The answer to that question I posed is actually quite simple.

When does government spending imperil liberty? Always.

It always imperils liberty because the government is spending someone else's money, which the government confiscated.

(The only possible and very rare exception I can think of is a government project using wholly voluntary funds, such as issuing gov't bonds to build a bridge and then charging a toll to pay back those bonds.)

Some instances are more perilous than others: uneven taxes, where say 49% of the people pay all the taxes, imperils liberty because the other 51% could raise tax rates on the political minority.

And, certainly, there are benefits that may outweigh the risks. Spending money to hire cops and judges, and to build courthouses and prisons, may be worth the risks to liberty if that apparatus of criminal justice is used to enforce the laws that also protect liberty -- such as laws against theft, assault, and murder.

The benefits in providing, say, another perpetual entitlement program that doesn't eliminate the problems it purports to solve, that quickly spirals out of its original cost estimates, and amounts to a transfer of wealth from one group to another? They're probably not quite so great, to put it mildly.


The risks to liberty always exist when the government is spending money. Considering how quickly spending is increasing -- all in efforts to nationalize banks and the auto industry, and to increase government's reach into other sectors like healthcare and energy -- it's quite true that, as a matter of course, the peril is increasing.

You don't mind, because you like the policies, and you like the policies because you probably have (at the least) more statist tendencies than those who truly believe in the morality and efficiency of a truly free market.

But just because you don't mind the imperiling of liberty, it doesn't mean that it's not being imperiled.


But discussing both of these topics is probably all a moot point, because any rational adult who knows your writing at all would disregard your proclamations about both the contents of the Bible and the threats to liberty.

Dan Trabue September 30, 2009 at 9:08 PM  

It always imperils liberty because the government is spending someone else's money, which the government confiscated.

This demonstrates a poor understanding of how our Republic works. It's an agreement, not a confiscation.

There is no confiscation of money. There is taxation - an agreement between people living in a place.

If you don't want to abide by the agreement (you get to live here and you pay taxes for our common needs), then you are free to leave. But no one has ever had their money confiscated, not here in the US.

Perhaps you really DO need to read a book or two, if you really think so lowly of our great Republic. Gov't by robbing thugs, that's NOT the US.

And taxation does not imperil liberty. Excessive taxation would imperil it at some point, but taxation itself is not a threat to liberty.

Bubba September 30, 2009 at 11:41 PM  

Dan, a tax is, by its very nature, confiscatory, unless it happens to apply ONLY to those who supported it. If Alan and Bob are able, by simple majority rule, to impose taxes that apply to Charles, then those taxes imperil his liberty even if all three of them agree in principle to the framework of majority rule.

This is quite elementary: even a representative government that seizes property from its people through coercion imperils their liberty by doing so. In some cases the risk may be small, and in some cases the risk is certainly worth the reward, but the risk always exists.

This is but one reason why government is, at best, a necessary evil: any taxes it levies imperils the liberty it is supposed to protect.


I'm quite sure that my view on taxation is far closer to the Founding Fathers' view than yours is, and I have no time to be lectured about a lack of respect for "our great Republic" from someone like you.

You don't understand the founding document of our republic. You apparently think that the Constitution's "welfare clause" gives Congress the unlimited power to do anything that can be justified as providing for our welfare, and you not only do so in the teeth of repeated declarations to the contrary by Founding Fathers like Madison, you mistakenly cite articles that prove the exact opposite of what you think they do.

And you don't think much about preserving our republic: you'd much rather remake it. Or what other conclusion should we draw from the fact that you look to a politician for "a new beginning", and you quote a song that says "we're creating a new nation" just by electing the mere mortal?

You're an ignoramus and a radical, and dishonest platitudes from you about the greatness of our Republic frankly make me want to puke.


You might as well tell people you love the Bible and deeply respect its teachings, if you're going to go this far in playing a role that your stated beliefs simply do not support.

Mark October 1, 2009 at 12:06 AM  

"How about at least a little chortle?"

Chortle: A word coined by Charles Dodgson meaning ,in context, a joyous sort of chuckle, or even a gusty guffaw.

Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, author of the Alice in Wonderland books, invented the word, "Chortled" for use in his nonsense poem, "Jabberwocky" contained in his second volume, "Alice Through the Looking Glass". It is in the second to last stanza.

"And hast thous slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms my beamish boy!
Oh Frabjous day! Callou, Callay!" He chortled in his joy.

Mark October 1, 2009 at 12:12 AM  

Arguimg with Dan Trabue is fruitless.

As a Liberal, he has no interest in truth or logic. He has only his beliefs, which have no process of logical thought behind them. He feels while intelligent people think. He will not be convinced despite the mounds of evidence that contradict his arguments.

No liberal better exemplifies the 13 truths of liberals better than Dan Trabue. If a Conservative said the sky was blue, he would insist it is green, just to be contrary.

If a Liberal said the sky was green, not only would he agree, but he would go to great lengths to try to convince Conservatives that he is right and they are wrong. And he would claim the concept to be his own revelation.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 1:04 AM  

Now, now, Mark. Dan wouldn't necessarily claim "the sky is green" is his own discovery.

He could tell us that he reached that conclusion after a season of careful and prayerful Bible study, never mind that he could never explain what passage convinced him the sky is green, and you're mean for daring to question whether he's being honest.

Marshall Art October 1, 2009 at 1:29 AM  

Dan,

I wasn't asking for a thesis of any level regarding regulations. I was only acknowledging that without delving into specifics, your use of those regs you listed were just a device to minimize the point Bubba was trying to make. Very informative, however. But, at the risk of inciting more off topic dissertation, I would say that I'm sure we disagree on what is considered too much profit, who gets to make that call, and the true frequency of unethical practice within the free market.

With two comment posts, however, you failed to respond to my true question, which was your current opinion of the character of Obama considering the additional background I provided, as well as the reminder of what has already been shown to be true about his associations. If you find any of that to be insignificant, then your own character is in question.

Also, regarding snark, it is not always the case that each incidence of mockery will yield notice. For example, Feodor often thinks he is being clever but fails with incredible frequency. His "cleverness" is so lame as to result in comment to mock his pathetic attempts. That is, he gets response because of the extreme lameness of his remarks. In kind, snark of real genius cannot help but procure positive critique. Thus far, yours has been somewhere in between and, frankly, not always obvious as this medium does not lend itself well to the subtle. We simply take our chances and hope we've struck a comic chord once in awhile.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 6:03 AM  

Just tryin' to lighten things up a bit around this dismal place.

By all means, wear some sackcloth and ashes if you wish. The world IS coming to an end. Obama DOES want to destroy the US.

Up is down. Love is hate.

Whatever.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 7:39 AM  

Clearly, Barack Obama and his supporters are interested only in continuing, preserving, and extending those principles that have made the United States exceptional.

They see a great continuity from the founding fathers to Obama, and from the founding documents to his policies.

Which is why they talk about him and his election as a "new beginning" for "remaking" this nation.


We need look no further than Obama's recent UN speech to see that continuity.

"For those who question the character and cause of my nation, I ask you to look at the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months."

Judge us not by a bloody civil war to end the brutal institution of slavery; or our willingness to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, not to conquer but to liberate Europe and the Pacific; or our decades of standing against the spread of Communi--I mean, Soviet ideology that was inaccurately advertised as Communism; or our efforts to liberate 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

No, judge us by Obama's actions in office.


Dan, it's absolutely clear that Obama and his supporters see his presidency as transformative: it's clear that YOU PERSONALLY see his presidency as transformative.

Those of us who happen to prefer our old institutions and values rightly see this goal as a threat to our nation -- that his radical statism is destructive, not in the sense that the United States will very soon cease to exist, but that it may soon cease to be recognizable.

Even those who don't mind making this country something that it isn't can understand this concern even if they don't share it. I suspect you deny this concern altogether because it's easier for Obama to do what he wants (and what you want) if the masses just trust the benevolence of his plans and intentions.


And, for the record, it's not absurd -- "up is down, love is hate" -- to question the good intentions toward our country of a man who has chosen to spend his entire adult life surrounded by radicals who hate this country, such as unrepentant domestic terrorists who bombed the Pentagon, and supposed Christian preachers who preach that the U.S. government invented AIDS as an act of attempted genocide.

When even his wife states that she has never been proud of this country in her adult life until her husband was nominated to high office, it's not concluding that "love is hate" to question whether his stated love for this country is entirely genuine.


The idea that Obama loves this country and its institutions is as plausible as the idea that you love "our great Republic" and its institutions.

Or the idea that you love the Bible and deeply respect its teachings.

Or, for the matter, the idea that you just can't make out what those schoolchildren are singing in their paean to the One, just like you can't discern from the congregation's reactions that Jeremiah Wright's hate-mongering wasn't exactly a one-time digression.

You're full of shit, Dan.

We all know it, so quit wasting our fucking time.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 8:07 AM  

it's absolutely clear that Obama and his supporters see his presidency as transformative: it's clear that YOU PERSONALLY see his presidency as transformative.

You seem to be a bit snitty this morning, Bubba. Again, I urge you to take a breath and relax a bit.

Yes, I DO hope that Obama's presidency is transformative. Transforming AWAY from the direction of the previous eight years which took the US way too far afield from her ideals.

Transforming AWAY from the greed and degradation and hyperconsumptive model of the last 50 or so years.

AWAY from torture and military adventurism.

Transforming back to ideals of personal responsibility, of mutual cooperation, mutual respect and our best ideals.

I hope that's okay with you. I hope you might even agree a little.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 8:08 AM  

In the meantime, lighten up, Frances.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM  

The KIND of transforming Dan feels we should all be able to agree upon:


1) Transforming AWAY from the direction of the previous eight years which took the US way too far afield from her ideals.

2) Transforming AWAY from the greed and degradation and hyperconsumptive model of the last 50 or so years.

3) AWAY from torture and military adventurism.

4) Transforming back to ideals of personal responsibility, of mutual cooperation, mutual respect and our best ideals.

These ideals are one-sided. You've set the table as you please, without regard to anyone else.

Away from the direction of the previous 8 years which took us too far afield of our ideals? How so? What was the defining character of the last 8 years? Don't answer, I know we won't agree. But from where I sit, the defining character of the previous administration's 8 years was 9/11. The transition that took place and continued through Bush's remaining 7 and a half years was to REVERSE the damage done by the PREVIOUS 8 years... transitioning from a PRE 9/11 mentality to a POST 9/11 mentality. The object was to avoid another such 9/11 disaster; to tear down the Clinton/Gorelick "Wall of Separation"; to eschew the complacency of 9/10 and replace it with the vigilance of 9/12.

Iraq, for all it was not the focus of American revenge for 9/11 was, it can be argued, a necessary evil to help provide democratic structure to the middle east. Was what the U.S. did in Iraq equal or worse than what Saddam did to Iraq? That one's simple... no.

But now, we have his Oneness Barack Hussein Obama who, by ALL objective standards has more sympathy for the Muslim world than for Israel... or his own country, for that matter. After all, he apologizes for America everywhere he goes. He talks about how horrible the U.S. is, but never asks the nations to whom he apologizes to remember all the aid we deliver in times of disaster and uncertainty: Relief to the victims and governments struck by Tsunami, Earthquake, Cyclone, and Pestilence.

Barack Obama is transforming the nation BACKWARD, nor forward, to a PRE 9/11 posture... the 9/10 complacency. He's made nice with dictators, preferred wannabe dictators of constitutionally installed presidents. He's refused to rein in Eric Holder whose mission in office appears to be a witch hunt directed at the CIA, Presidential Legal advisers (read: BUSH advisers), which will what? absolve America of the crimes OBAMA perceives America is guilty of? But what is he really doing? Putting the CIA and FBI and other such agencies BACK on a 9/10 footing. RE-ERECTING the Clinton/Gorelick wall.

And this is something you think we should be able to agree upon?

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 10:07 AM  

I would think that we should be able to agree that military adventurism is not a good way to manage foreign policy.

I think we should be able to agree that propping up strongman thugs (Saddam Hussein, Pinochet, Osama bin Laden, the Somozas, etc, etc, etc) or providing them with weaponry is not a good way to manage foreign policy.

I think we should be able to agree that we need to be more energy independent.

I think we should be able to agree that torture is not something Americans endorse or use.

I think we should be able to agree that bombing places where civilians are located is not something Americans endorse or do.

I think we should be able to agree that we ought to live responsibly and within our means and that hyperconsumption is not good for our environment, our economy or our souls.

I think we should be able to agree that we need to live within a balanced budget.

I think we should be able to agree that pollution is a bad thing and that we would be healthier and wiser to live with less.

I think we should be able to agree that one way or another, we have a responsibility to the least of these.

I think we should be able to agree that taxation is not theft, but the price of living in a community. I think we should be able to agree that if someone can afford to and yet does not want to pay taxes, then they ought not share the benefit of our roads, police, fire departments, schools, trash pick up, clean water or clean air.

I hardly think these are unreasonable ideals.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 10:12 AM  

Continuing...

Transforming AWAY from the greed and degradation, and hyperconsumptive model of the last 50 years?

By Destroying the American Dream? Can you assure any of us that it is NOT Barack Obama's desire to "spread the wealth around"? Take from one group via confiscatory taxes on the wealthy to support those who, for the most part, do not care to do the best they can to support themselves?

The poor will be with us always, but there are plenty among the ranks of the "poor" who CHOOSE to be poor. But your faith and ideal insists it is right for government to TAKE unfairly from one and give to another.

MY bible says,

"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12.

And yet Obama, and you it appears, desire to take from the rich and give it to the poor. Poor... as in Flat Screen TV's, Playstations, Fancy Cars, when others, like myself, drive around in clunkers (which "clunkers," oddly, didn't qualify for "Cash for Clunkers")

And then there's EBT...

Conversation overheard at WalMart:

Cashier: "That'll be 350 dollars ma'am."

Mother of 6 attending children: "Here my EBT card"

Cashier: Are all these children yours?

EBT Mom: Yes.

Cashier: Are you able to work?

EBT Mom: Yes. But if I did I wouldn't get as much EBT.

Cashier: Goodness! There's 1800 dollars left on this card!

EBT Mom: My kids get me that!

Cashier: What would you do if you didn't have EBT?

EBT Mom: I'd take what I needed.

Cashier: Really? You'd just steal whatever you needed?

EBT Mom: Sure. I've got kids. People should WANT to help me. Do you want my kids to go hungry?

Cashier: The bible says if you won't work you shouldn't eat?

EBT Mom: Well what about my kids? You want my kids to go hungry?

Cashier: I didn't give birth to them. My taxes just paid for your groceries... You don't even PAY taxes. So, if you ever think you need to break in to a house on [1234 Anystreet Lane] don't expect to leave alive, cause I'll shoot you.

EBT Mom: You'd do that? I got kids! You'd want my kids to go hungry? You should want to help my kids! But you know what cool about this card? I can use this to get money. All I got to do is get something someone wants and sell it to them. This card puts money in hand. Money I can do ANYTHING I want with.

---

This is what Barack Obama want to advance... FURTHER advancement of the diseased entitlement mentality.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

Continuing...


AWAY from torture and military adventurism? Do you not realize that torture has NEVER been condoned by the United States of America? You do realize that stress positions and sleep deprivation are not violations of the Geneva Conventions? You do realize that wherever torture was discovered to have actually taken place it was reprimanded? punished even?

The United States does NOT torture. Waterboarding is NOT torture.

Good grief, Barack Obama wants America to be as ineffective an agent of prevention of terrorism on American soil as is possible... as were the Clinton and Carter administrations.

This is not something we can agree upon, Dan.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

Dan, you claim Obama will return us to the "ideals of personal responsibility, of mutual cooperation, mutual respect and our best ideals."

Let's set aside the question of whether his policy and personnel reflect personal responsibility, the laughable notion that Obama's spending is consistent with a balanced budgets except in the make-believe world of his own rhetoric, and the twisted notion that our concern for "the least of these" is compatible with support for a politician who opposed laws protecting infant survivors of botched abortions.

Let's set that aside: I notice that you omit the defining American principle of freedom.

So did Obama at the U.N., at least insofar as he says he's determined only "to act boldly and collectively on behalf of justice and prosperity" -- not liberty -- "at home and abroad."

I'm sure you could correct that oversight with genuflections toward liberty, but I'm also sure that you would do so glibly and insincerely.


Obama has occasionally made positive passing references to the founding fathers -- which is at least a step up from the overt contempt that Woodrow Wilson had for the Constitution -- but it's simply not true that he has presented himself, and that his most vocal supporters have presented him, as merely a restorative president.

He is a radical and you celebrate his radicalism except when it becomes convenient to portray him (and yourself) as within the mainstream of American political philosophy.


I'm not snitty, Dan. I've simply had it with your ridiculous lying.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 10:29 AM  

And yet, you still cannot point to the first lie I have ever told, brother.

Keep in mind, fellas, having a difference of opinion is not lying. It's an expression of our liberty.

Believe it or not, some people in this wide world and in this great nation of ours might have different ideas from you about how best to live up to our ideals.

That we have a different idea (for instance, that we believe waterboarding DOES meet the legal and commonsense definition of torture) is not to say that we're lying or that we hate our nation or that we wish to hand the keys of the White House to terrorists.

What it means is: We have a difference of opinion.

Lighten up, boys, lighten up. We're on the same side.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

Continuing...

And this final one is laughable:

"Transforming back to ideals of personal responsibility, of mutual cooperation, mutual respect and our best ideals."

Ideals of personal responsibility, i.e., by government decree via confiscatory taxation, or fines against those who would not buy into government run healthcare. By enabling bad lifestyle choices at the expense of the rich, and otherwise healthy?

PERSONAL responsibility... as mandated by government. No thanks.

Mutual Cooperation, i.e., government taxing more exorbitantly those who've done well by the American Dream to provided for those who, primarily, couldn't be bothered to even EXERCISE the American dream, let alone prosper from it? No Thanks, Dan.

Mutual Respect? When the government, and specifically Barack Obama and Democrat Leaders in Washington, respect ME, then and ONLY then can MUTUAL respect take a seat at the table. Until then... thanks, but no thanks.

Our Best Ideals? Again-- returning to the beginning --who sets the table? Are these ideals based upon MUTUAL respect? Today, they aren't. And until they are, I won't argue from your position. I would be a very poor student of Sun Tzu if I did.

The surest way to lose any argument is to accept the premise of ones opponent as inviolate truth, and your own as suspect. This easily becomes a character flaw for a number of reasons, but suffice it to say, it is not one I or any other free thinking individual should ascribe. If I know my opponent is wrong, I should not argue from their level; it gives unwarranted authority to their position, and sets me up for a loss.



This argument is becoming profitless.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

"Keep in mind, fellas, having a difference of opinion is not lying. It's an expression of our liberty."

And yet Team Obama has repeatedly tried to squelch the differences of opinion... the LIBERTY... of his opponents.

No. We are not on the same side.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..."

--James Madison, Founding Father


!!!

Mark October 1, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

Hey Dan, if you insist on borrowing catch phrases from anti-armed forces comedies, get the spelling right.

The guy from "Stripes" didn't say "lighten up Frances." He said "lighten up, Francis"

Frances is the feminine form of the name. Francis is the masculine, but, since you are a little gender confused yourself, it's easy to see how you would make such a mistake.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

Then let's try to make it profitable. Let's take just one of your complaints. You said...

PERSONAL responsibility... as mandated by government. No thanks.

I don't think you actually mean this, do you?

IF "the gov't" (keeping in mind that that's you and me, in a representative gov't such as ours) mandates that you drive in a personally responsible way and they mandate that you drive only 25 mph in a school zone, you don't really object to that mandate of personal responsibility, do you?

If the gov't mandates that you don't drink and drive - even to the point that they'll measure the alcohol in your system if our representatives (police force, in that case) have reason to suspect you've been drinking - do you object to that "gov't intrusion?"

I mean, admittedly, DEMANDING that you only drive 25 mph around schools is an intrusion on your liberty. Demanding that you not drink and drive is an intrusion upon your liberty. These ARE limits that we place on individual liberty.

But I rather doubt that you object to them, am I right?

So, if I am right, you and I agree that gov't (we the people - Eric and Dan) has a right and an obligation to limit our freedoms at times. We agree on the theory, at least, is this not true?

Perhaps if we begin with where we agree, we may see that we're not that far apart.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

You can't even complete that comment without lying, Dan.

"We're on the same side."

No, we're not.

And you lie quite frequently. Obama is not a centrist, and neither are you. Your concern for civility (or, currently, unity and agreement) is belied by the fact that you denigrate Obama's critics as "rageaholics" and accuse inerrantists of idolatry.

And much of what you believe -- your position that Christ didn't die for our sins, your apparent belief that the Bible doesn't teach the virgin birth and that a physical resurrection is an optional doctrine, your belief that Old-Testament history is really allegory, and your belief that God blesses the oxymoronic "gay marriage" -- all puts the lie to your claim that you love the Bible and deeply respect its teachings.


Dan, I think people should live with integrity, being honest about who and what they are, and being honest about what they believe.

I hardly think this is an unreasonable ideal...



But, of course, your passive-aggressive lists of platitudes about which "we should all agree" is just another way for you to stifle or smear those who disagree with you -- who object, not necessarily to vague paeans about living responsibly, but to your diagnosis of the current state of our society and your recommended cures.

For all you whine and bitch and moan about people putting words in your mouth, you sure don't mind trying to put words in our mouths by crafting often question-begging lists of good things about which (you say) we should all agree.

That's another reason I don't believe you're an honest person. No honest and reasonable adult would so consistently act as you do.

Marshall Art October 1, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

Dan,

It's not a question of what you're on, but of what your opinions, if acted upon, would do for our country. You'll speak in general terms in order to sound as if you are being rational, as with your words regarding pollution, but will stray when it comes to the details. For example, in your previous coal mining dissertation, everything sounds reasonable on the surface, but where is that point where you've interfered with profits, productivity and the benefits to our country in terms of energy production in order to maintain whatever satisfies your goals regarding pollution? You would decline all benefits of coal mining absolutely without reasonable efforts to satisfy both sides of the equation. You would penalize the producers over what now is known of the detrimental effects of their business without regard to how regulatory interference impacts the users of that energy produced through the efforts of the coal mining companies. Anyone would agree that business should adjust when their procedures prove detrimental. Even the businesses themselves respond to such concerns. But you can't just say "STOP!" without doing equally great harm of another sort. And as there is responsibility for the people drinking the poisoned water, there is equal responsibility for those who can no longer feed their families because you've put a stop to their livelihood. When the costs of doing business your way affect profits, as they cannot help but do, you and yours complain about the costs being passed on to the consumers as if the producers are morally required to work without pay.

But this really digresses from what I had intended to say....

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 10:57 AM  

Dan, you continue to act dishonestly when you bring up speed limits as an example of the government inducing responsible behavior.

Our concerns and objects aren't against issues as uncontroversial as speed limits, but about the EXTREMES to which Progressives like you are willing to take the principle that the government should "sometimes" mandate personal responsibility.

You affirm a vague platitude about personal responsibility, and you bring up the uncontroversial as an example of what you support, but YOU ARE NEVER CLEAR, AND YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN CLEAR about how far you want to take this idea.

Do you support price controls, the idea that the government should DICTATE HOW MUCH I CHARGE FOR THE GOODS AND SERVICES I PROVIDE IN OTHERWISE FREELY NEGOTIATED EXCHANGES?

You might, maybe, depending on the details.

Under what details would you support price controls? AGAIN you don't say EXCEPT for mundane examples: it's wrong to underprice if your resources were stolen, which isn't a question about price controls at all, but the criminalization of theft, a matter that's been addressed for literally millennia.


There were speed limits before Bush entered office.

Bush never supported removing speed limits.

And Obama didn't run on introducing speed limits that ALREADY EXIST or restoring speed limit laws THAT WERE NEVER EVEN QUESTIONED.

So quit obscuring those controversial policies you support by discussing speed limits, you deceptive little prick.

Mark October 1, 2009 at 11:05 AM  

Dan, you are a liar. For instance, you claimed you couldn't understand the words to the song/chant. That is a lie. Everybody in the world can understand the words. Why can't you?

I'll answer that. You can. But you lied.

Another lie is the ridiculous claim that Obama advocates for personal responsibility.

There is no way in hell you really believe that to be true unless you are lower on the intelligence scale than a moron. So you lied then, too.

If Obama is so into personal responsibility, why does he continue to blame Bush for the bad economy that he created with his totally illogical and stupid economic policies?

I am horrible at managing money. I've stated that many times, but even I know, if you are up to your ears in debt, the solution isn't spending even more money you don't have. Yet, that's what Obama is doing in his wrongheaded attempt to "save" the economy.

It's OK if he fails, though. He can always blame Bush.

And he will.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

Marshall said...

For example, in your previous coal mining dissertation, everything sounds reasonable on the surface, but where is that point where you've interfered with profits, productivity and the benefits to our country in terms of energy production in order to maintain whatever satisfies your goals regarding pollution?

Are you suggesting that doing the right thing is secondary to profits? That is, if a company were making $5000 cars, but the only way they could do that was by stealing car parts from other companies, you wouldn't say, "Well, if you INSIST that they abide by those 'stealing' rules, then how can they make a profit??!!"

No, of course you wouldn't say that. Because stealing parts is wrong. So, first off, we all have a right to expect the car company to abide by the rules. If they can't make a profit without abiding by the rules, well, that's not our fault, is it? I am certain you don't want to set aside the "no stealing" laws.

Are you suggesting that the "no polluting" laws are not as concrete or important as the "no stealing" laws?

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 11:12 AM  

Bubba said...

You affirm a vague platitude about personal responsibility, and you bring up the uncontroversial as an example of what you support, but YOU ARE NEVER CLEAR, AND YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN CLEAR about how far you want to take this idea.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I've certainly tried explaining myself a good deal for you all. Right now, Marshall and I are talking about a very specific example. If that helps, you could offer your opinion on that very clear, very specific real world example and, in turn, see what my very specific, very clear position is.

Mark October 1, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

"...see what my very specific, very clear position is.

And, with that statement, Dan again lies.

Dan's positions are rarely, if ever, clear or specific.

But we all know what his positions are. He loves any Liberal politician that hates America, hates morality, and hates God.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 11:22 AM  

Any chance of y'all turning down his volume or throwing him a squeak toy to play with or somethin'?

Marshall Art October 1, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

"military adventurism"

This term assumes there is no other methods being employed. Where in the last couple of decades have we seen such behavior without prior attempts at diplomacy to resolve an issue? Certainly not Iraq. What example of "military adventurism" can you give?

"propping up strongman thugs"

This is said without context. Each "thug" listed is a separate and unique situation. Where one might be simply a bad idea, another might be a lesser of two evils condition that was viewed as unavoidable at the time. "propping up strongman thugs" is rhetoric that is not entirely intelletually honest.

"energy independent"

Then you would agree that we need to drill here and build more nuclear plants while we find a way to use alternatives in a way that actually works.

"torture"

First, it needs to be clearly defined. Reading some of your comments is torturous, but would Geneva prohibit forcing a prisoner to endure them?

Secondly, what is at stake if exteme methods are not used. I'm well aware that in your mind, no number of lives are too many to lose as long as we don't inflict any level of torturous techniques to save them. But I won't apologize or feel I'm in danger of losing salvation if I allow an evil person to suffer in order to procure actionable intel he's known to have in order to save lives. I'm just goofy that way.

"bombing places where civilians are located"

This is also rhetoric without context. This is not always avoidable in war, and with the enemy we now face, next to impossible if we wish to vanquish them once and for all, since they purposely hide amongst civilians. I will not apologize or feel I lose salvation for choosing my civilians over those behind whom our enemies hide. At some point, that choice might have to be made. Until then, I think we have shown an almost suicidal desire to avoid civilian casualties and you damn well should stop pretending that isn't the case. We do not start wars. Thus, civilian deaths are always the fault of those we fight.

"live responsibly and within our means"

A matter of personal opinion this. Those who engage in homosexual behavior aren't living responsibly but you support them. "Living simply" is irresponsible if by doing so you don't make enough to provide for the catastrophic should it befall you. I'm for expanding my means so as to make difficult the prospect of living outside it. And it's not what one consumes or how much, but how it is consumed and where that consumption stacks up in the priority list of one's life.

Individually, a balanced budget shows we aren't living outside our means. Nationally, talk to Barry. He's the one, through the efforts of your Democrat majority, that is overspending.

continued...

Marshall Art October 1, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

continuing...

"pollution is a bad thing and that we would be healthier and wiser to live with less."

Actually already covered this. That we can totally avoid pollution is doubtful if we expect to have any progress in this world. Hopefully someday we might be able to have progress without polluting, but until then, we must tolerate some and likely we can. Smoking, for example, won't kill you unless you do it too much.

"the least of these"

Your support of abortion belies your concern. And your "living simply" can only provide so much for the poor. That can only leave forcing others to do it for you through taxation.

"taxation is not theft, but the price of living in a community"

It is theft if it is used for programs not mandated for the feds by the constitution. Those things you listed are examples of what gov't is for. Those on this side of the aisle don't seek no taxation, just a reduction of unnecessary taxation.

Edwin Drood October 1, 2009 at 12:05 PM  

It is a dumb idea to praise the President (any President) at the beginning of his term. There is no telling what will happen in the next 3 years. What if he gets impeached? What if he does something to discrace himself? I know there is nothing Obama can do to make Dan and the like withdraw their support, but these kids will look back and wonder why there teachers were such a bunch of brainless tools.

It would be a better idea to wait until the end of his term and then have a partisan love fest.

Marshall Art October 1, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

"Are you suggesting that doing the right thing is secondary to profits?"

No, of course not. I'm suggesting that in the case of your example of the coal mining, doing the right thing without regard to the consequences might make it a worse thing. I'll ignore your car example because I agree with Bubba that it contains things criminal. The case of the coal mining doesn't as I don't believe with the beginning of the industry it was known what problems might be incurred by it's techniques. That knowledge came later and any legislation to regulate and reduce pollution did as well. To ignore the regs might be criminal, but that's not the point here.

You seem to simply concern yourself with the pollution without regard to the profits affected by subsequent anti-pollution regulations. If safety concerns can be proven to have been ignored at the start, that is, that they knew they'd be polluting but didn't care, that would be a different matter. I dont believe that was necessarily the case (though I have no way of knowing for sure).

So, assuming their intentions were honorable, to make money by providing energy through the mining and use of coal, they would naturally seek the best and most efficient manner of procuring that coal. Often, especially with new technologies, the negative ramifications aren't and usually can't be seen beforehand.

So now we know. What do we do? Shut down mining altogether? How would that affect everyone who works for the mining company and for all the businesses related to that company?

My position is that your side of the issue thinks less of the ramifications of your ecological evangelism than did the entrepreneurs consider the ramifications of creating an industry that employs people, serves the public by providing energy that leads to other life changing and improving industries. And when those negative ramifications of industry are made known, it is reasonable to see how the heads of those industries would balk at changes that would disrupt what had until then provided so much to them as well as to those they've served.

It seems that the initial complaint involves the idea that capitalists are, by nature, greedy and uncaring and need to be punished for the downside of their productivity. I reject that notion wholeheartedly even while accepting that there does exist the truly greedy among that crowd, just as there exists the greedy throughout the entire economic spectrum.

This is an area where we definitely part company while still being "for" the nation. Any regs I'd support would not be at the expense of those who helped to make our nation the powerhouse it is, while it seems your notion of "improving" the nation hurts it more than helps by virtue of unintended consequences that our side can usually clearly see beforehand.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM  

You mention the specific subject of blasting mountains for coal, Dan, but you go into detail only in describing things like the problem itself and the Clean Water Act's goals.

Your solutions -- your policy position on how to address the problem -- remains clear as the runoff you so dislike.

What do you support?

"So, SINCE the evidence is clear [that this activity is bad -- funny how this is clear but certain video clips are not --B], I support reasonable regulations that say, 'you can't do that,' or 'find a responsible way to do that, or don't do it at all...'"

What do you support? Regulations.

What kind of regulations? Reasonable ones.

What do these regulations do? They prohibit the activity or force a responsible approach to that activity.

Yeah, that's precision.


I wonder, if rubble from a mountain qualifies as pollution, does dirt -- that is -- mere topsoil?

I ask because, as a farmer writes for the AEI, "The biggest environmental harm I have done as a farmer is the topsoil (and nutrients) I used to send down the Missouri River to the Gulf of Mexico before we began to practice no-till farming, made possible only by the use of herbicides. The combination of herbicides and genetically modified seed has made my farm more sustainable, not less, and actually reduces the pollution I send down the river."

Is the herbicide pollution for which the farmer should pay the "actual costs", or is it the topsoil that the herbicide preserves?


Even on the subject of pollution, about which I'm sure we can all agree that pollution is bad, et cetera, ad nauseum, you don't say whether carbon dioxide -- the air we breathe out, which plants breathe in -- qualifies.

More broadly, you don't outline how far you're willing to go to make sure companies pay "actual costs."

You write, "hyperconsumption is not good for our environment, our economy or our souls."

Well, should individuals and businesses who (you think) are guilty of hyperconsumption pay for the costs not only on the environment, but ALSO the economic and spiritual costs?


Ultimately, there are no political solutions to any set of problems, only tradeoffs.

You haven't made clear where (or even whether) the principle of liberty trumps your desire for a society that meets your vague and likely expansive definition of responsible living.

So other than your worthless assurances that your positions do not threaten liberty, we have no guarantee that your progressive politics wouldn't result in freedom's death by a thousand bureaucratic paper cuts.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

know there is nothing Obama can do to make Dan and the like withdraw their support...

I would like to clarify that, for the most part, you all have not seen "praise" coming from me for Obama. What you mostly have seen is me rising to the defense of Obama against unjustified and a bit silly attacks.

Withdraw support from a president? I didn't do that even for Bush. I withdrew support for program after program and policy after policy.

This seems to be another problem with you all - you don't seem to be able to disconnect policy from the position. I said fairly frequently that I was sure Bush was a good, likable fella. Just that he was wrong on many many policy positions.

Now sometimes, Bush's positions were SO far wrong, I probably went overboard in mocking them and crossed into mocking him unfairly, but I maintained the notion that my main beef was with his policies, not him personally.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

Marshall, I'll have to own up to not really getting your argument about what coal companies did in the beginning without knowing what was wrong.

I'm speaking specifically of MTR. MTR was adopted as a mining method in the 1970s, I believe. We knew at the onset that dumping waste into streams/valleys below was damaging to our water and ecosystems.

Knowing this, the CWA and other regulations specified what could be dumped into valleys below MTR and how it could be dumped. In theory, MTR could be done with out poisoning our waterways with heavy metals.

However, in order to follow the regulations and laws, it would cost coal companies more - an amount they decided was "too much," - and so they stole the car parts. That is, they asked for permission to do it anyway (for exemptions). And, contrary to the established law of the land, the EPA under Bush (and some under previous presidents, too, I believe) have allowed these exemptions.

The thing is: The law is in place. We KNOW what the damage is by ignoring the laws. I can see no viable reason to ignore the laws.

I believe we have established that ignoring the laws merely in order to better insure a profit is not justification enough.

Marshall asked:

So now we know. What do we do? Shut down mining altogether? How would that affect everyone who works for the mining company and for all the businesses related to that company?

We obey the law. We don't pollute to the level that it poisons the waterways.

One problem, it seems to me, is that too many on the Right assume the environment is a subset of the economy - as if you could have a healthy economy without a healthy environment. We have to strive for both, but if one takes priority over the other, it needs to be the environment.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

Why?

1. Because it is our common responsibility - no one owns the air or water and no one gets a free pass on harming the air or water, that's just not ethically or morally or logically right.

2. Because if the environment is not healthy, the economy can't be healthy for long. Sure, you can pollute for a short time in order to make profit for a short time in times of emergency. But doing so is not a long term solution. It's not sustainable. It will eventually only serve to harm both the environment AND the economy.

For instance, if a logging company can go into a national forest and get "free" logs, well, of course they can make a great profit. If they buy land (or rights) and quickly clear cut it and move on to the next forest stand, once again, sure, they can make a profit. But neither of these approaches is healthy from an environmental or economical view.

What IS healthy is for logging companies to sustainably harvest trees, replanting as they go (and not only replanting monocultures - that's not healthy either), so that they make a profit today (smaller perhaps but sustainable) AND a profit tomorrow.

Wise regulation and planning by businesses and gov't. That's what I'm talking about.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

For what it's worth, quite a few libertarian economists would "surely agree" with Dan that pollution is a problem, but they would disagree that regulation of any kind is the solution, opting instead for a better formulation of property rights through things like tort reform. Pollution would be reduced through the legal process by private civil suits rather than the bureaucracy of government agencies.

Writing for the Mises Institute, Patrick Weinert explained how most of the reduction in air pollution preceded government regulation.

-- [quote]

Environmentalists frequently credit the Clean Air Act of 1970 with saving the United States from ecological catastrophe. It forced automakers to reduce car emissions, power plants to install smokestack "scrubbers," hospitals to stop incinerating medical wastes. This is a gross perversion of real history. Not only did the free market dramatically reduce pollution on its own, but the Clean Air Act was only successful at producing a cloud of regulatory red tape.

...[in recent history] air pollution was being reduced in the United States decades before any federal regulations were adopted. From 1950 until 1970, the amount of volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide in the nation's air fell by more than 20 percent, even though total vehicle-miles traveled in the country rose by 120 percent, from 458 billion to 1.1 trillion. The level of sulfur dioxide in the air began falling as far back as 1920, and the total amount of airborne particulate matter has been reduced by 79 percent since 1940.

Much of this was achieved through increased fuel efficiency in automobiles, consumer adoption of oil and natural gas for the heating of homes, and the introduction of new energy sources such as nuclear and solar power. Entrepreneurs, in their desire to attain the highest yield of energy per unit of resource, were voluntarily reducing air pollution at a dramatic rate.

Yet government economic planners were not pleased with society's progress. In another usurpation of property rights, government forced businesses and consumers to cut back even further on emissions, to reduce the use of specific energy resources, and to cease at numerous other activities. Even today, the left continues to profess the Clean Air Act as society's environmental savior. Yet after almost 30 years of regulating, the EPA is unable to produce evidence that its efforts have independently improved air quality.

The agency did not even make an attempt to justify its activities until Congress demanded it in 1990, but even then the data was incomplete and questionable. In an interesting way, this demonstrates Mises's argument on the futility of socialism, since without economic calculation there is no way to define an increase in total utility.

-- [end quote]

He argues that government regulation actually increases the exposure to air pollution by raising energy costs, limiting the use of air conditioners that filter out pollutants.

He concludes, "By attempting to control pollution with arbitrary standards, government prevents entrepreneurs from employing resources efficiently. If federal regulators really desire fresh air, then they need to take a fresh approach: repeal the Clean Air Act, permit pollution disputes to be settled through tort lawsuits, and allow entrepreneurs in the free market to continue seeking pollution reduction through efficient resource allocation."

[continued]

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

[continued]

That problem defining utility is similar to the problem defining "actual costs," which Murray Rothbard addressed in a lengthy essay outlining a framework for dealing with air pollution.

He writes, "Costs are purely subjective and not measurable in monetary terms." Building a legal framework on Dan's idea of "actual costs" is a perilous approach.

His conclusion is worth quoting.

-- [quote]

We have concluded that everyone should be able to do what he likes, except if he commits an overt act of aggression against the person and property of another. Only this act should be illegal, and it should be prosecutable only in the courts under tort law, with the victim or his heirs and assigns pressing the case against the alleged aggressor. Therefore, no statute or administrative ruling creating illegal actions should be permitted. And since any prosecution on behalf of "society" or the "state" is impermissible, the criminal law would be collapsed into a reconstituted tort law, incorporating punishment and part of the law of attempts.

The tortfeasor or criminal is to be strictly liable for his aggression, with no evasion of liability permissible on the basis of "negligence" or "reasonability" theories. However, the liability must be proven on the basis of strict causality of the defendant's action against the plaintiff, and it must be proven by the plaintiff beyond a reasonable doubt.

The aggressor and only the aggressor should be liable, and not the employer of an aggressor, provided, of course, that the tort was not committed at the direction of the employer. The current system of vicarious employer liability is a hangover from pre-capitalist master/serf relations and is basically an unjust method of finding deep pockets to plunder.

These principles should apply to all torts, including air pollution...

Finally, we must renounce the common practice of writers on environmental law of acting as special pleaders for air pollution plaintiffs, lamenting whenever plaintiffs are not allowed to ride roughshod over defendants. The overriding factor in air pollution law, as in other parts of the law, should be libertarian and property rights principles rather than the convenience or special interests of one set of contestants.

-- [end quote]

You will notice that neither economist is twirling his mustache at the thought of pollution.

"Pollution is bad" is tautological; if something in the air -- oxygen being the trivial chemical example -- isn't bad, we don't call it pollution.

"Pollution is bad and should therefore be regulated" -- with "reasonable" regulation, of course, however the hell that's defined -- presumes what it ought to be proving, namely that regulation is the most effective (and, more importantly, most MORAL) approach.

And it simply begs the question, what kind of regulation is reasonable?


If Dan's platitudes are mere tautologies -- when they're not begging questions and avoiding details -- then the discussion isn't furthered by them.

For all that Dan would surely write in denouncing runoff and air pollution, he has no problem with muddying the waters of political discussion, and he should practically be fined by the EPA for his dependence on smokescreens.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 12:52 PM  

Bubba said...

What do you support? Regulations.

What kind of regulations? Reasonable ones.


I guess you understand that, unlike stealing, pollution is a large and complicated problem? That the regulations are pages and pages long and understanding them takes pages and pages more?

Are you looking for one paragraph answers to complex problems? Then I probably can't help you.

But then, gov't and business policies have not been written for bumper sticker consumption.

But again, you tell me: How much pollution is acceptable? When a mountaintop is blown off - what is the cost to the region in terms of tourism? Who is paying that and how are they paying for it? When a mountaintop is blown off and impacts the streams below, what is the impact on fishing? On hunting? On wildlife? Who is counting that and how much does it cost and who is going to pay it?

Are we giving all these benefits to the coal company for free? Isn't that welfare? Why are citizens and taxpayers and our children and grandchildren supporting coal companies, who are making billions and billions of dollars? Are you suggesting that you're FORCING us to support the coal companies? Is that not an infringement upon our liberties? How much is that infringement costing us?

When a mountaintop is blown up - how MUCH of the resulting dirt is "safe dirt" that can be dumped into the valley below in a healthy manner and how much is polluted dirt with heavy metals? What percentage? What is the process for making sure that the heavy metals don't get into our water system? WHO is paying for that?

Various gov't agencies are monitoring this, WHO is paying for that? All of us? Who decided that the coal company gets to charge me to monitor their pollution? Should THEY not be the ones paying for it or do you not believe in paying actual costs?

I'm scratching the surface of all this dirt that you're talking about - do you see how complex the matter is and why there are no bumper sticker-sized answers?

If you're so wise, feel free to answer these questions in a way that your fellow Americans can grasp and get your point.

In the meantime, I believe that our CWA laws are relatively reasonable and ought to be obeyed and I will expect companies to do so and I will expect our gov't to enforce these laws. Why? Because without them, we lose our liberties.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

You're hilarious, Dan.

You write, "I believe that our CWA laws are relatively reasonable and ought to be obeyed and I will expect companies to do so and I will expect our gov't to enforce these laws. Why? Because without them, we lose our liberties."

You can't explain why they're reasonable because, as you admit, "the regulations are pages and pages long and understanding them takes pages and pages more."

But while you're quick to declare that we lose our liberties without these regulations -- that our liberties are LOST and not just threatened -- you're QUITE sure that, nowhere in those pages and pages of regulations, can we find anything that is even a threat to liberty.

As you wrote earlier in this thread, "Yes, IF there were assaults on our liberty, people ought to be outraged. But in the real world, that is not happening."


Our liberties are ensured, you say, by countless pages of regulations that you probably don't understand and certainly cannot justify in any detail: and you just assure us that they are "relatively reasonable."

But if we were to remove those regulations, THAT'S when liberty would be lost.

A stalwart defender of freedom, you are not, and the suggestion that regulation protects liberty and does not threaten it is as an Orwellian a statement as one could imagine.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

Funny.

I've spent all the time I can for now at this comedy club, fellas. Let me just conclude by saying that when we live in a large industrialized, computerized society, sprawled across thousands of miles, with folk from all sorts of backgrounds, getting resources from around the world and having an economy that is plugged into the world, how best to live together can be a complex thing.

Certainly, there are market solutions and, as I have repeated frequently, I support market solutions. Just as certainly, there is a place for gov't solutions and rules. No one disagrees with either of these statements thus far, correct?

Now, a problem with gov't solutions is that we are fallible humans coming up with these solutions and regulations trying to cover diverse sets of circumstances. We can easily make errors.

No one disputes that (look at my latest blog entry where I describe bad gov't intervention in babysitting situations). It happens.

Just as clearly, we are fallible human beings, greedy and fallen, who run our businesses, factories and corporations.

If we merely leave it up to the coal company, for instance, how best to go about mining for coal, what incentive is for them to NOT do MTR and, if they do that, to try to do it with a modicum of respect for the people and environment who will be impacted by it? Is it not in the businesses' best interest to do things as cheaply as possible, cutting corners where they can? And as long as someone else is paying for their corner cutting, they can sell their product more cheaply and make more profit.

So, what incentive is there for fallible human beings to conduct business in the most honorable, healthy way?

Clearly, relying upon gov't (ie, us) or relying upon businesses (ie, us) to always know and do the right thing is to guarantee problems. Thus is the world we live in. We will make mistakes. We will be greedy. We will long for power. We will cut corners. It's part of our condition.

But I think reasonable people can recognize that those who seek gov't solutions/regulations to some problems are not trying to destroy liberty and those who support more laissez faire solutions are not seeking to ruin the earth or destroy liberty.

We need to balance our opinions and ideas reasonably and be able to talk with one another without presuming they are nazis, socialists or otherwise boogeymen, and just look at the particular idea they are promoting.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

"If Dan's platitudes are mere tautologies -- when they're not begging questions and avoiding details -- then the discussion isn't furthered by them.

For all that Dan would surely write in denouncing runoff and air pollution, he has no problem with muddying the waters of political discussion, and he should practically be fined by the EPA for his dependence on smokescreens."


Touché!

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 2:22 PM  

"So, what incentive is there for fallible human beings to conduct business in the most honorable, healthy way?"

Government-- specifically America's CURRENT government --doesn't care about such tropes as human fallibility, or conducting "honorable" business. Those tropes are too close to organized religion for our government. Reverse the insanity of the 1963 Supreme Court ruling that erected the unconstitutional wall separating church and state, but more specifically, removing prayer and bible study from the classroom. Do that... begin raising generations of Jeremiahs, and Isaiahs, and Daniels, THEN we can discuss incentives to doing the right, honorable, and moral thing. Because, as things currently stand, very few people coming into adulthood understand ANYTHING about what is moral or right, let alone honorable. Hell, even Obama doesn't know the difference.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

You misspelled "douche," Eric.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

Because, as things currently stand, very few people coming into adulthood understand ANYTHING about what is moral or right, let alone honorable.

Do you include my children in that grouping, Eric? Do you include me? Do you include yourself?

Do you suspect that humanity has gotten noticeably worse since the days of Jim Crow and lynchings? Since the days of slavery and beatings?

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 3:02 PM  

Ha! Good one, Dan!

Here's a shout out to you at my other place on the evil's of Hyperconsumerism... on living responsibly and within our means. A lot of harm can be undone by becoming more responsible consumers.

ELAshley October 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

During the days of Jim Crow children could pray in school and even study the bible. So, yes, in some ways we are worse off. And that includes you and me, as well as your children.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 3:12 PM  

So, yes, in some ways we are worse off.

I agree. In some ways, we are worse off.

And in others, things have gotten better.

I'm not of the opinion that people are better or worse today than they were during slavery days, during roman gladiator days, during toss the christian to lions days, during killing the anabaptists days because they're not sufficiently catholic or protestant.

People are people, no matter when or where we are. Seems to me.

I see little evidence that we are, on the whole significantly worse than we have been in years past. Maybe in some ways, but in other ways, we are significantly better.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

Dan, you have a helluvan act when your supposedly serious thoughts are more laughable than your deliberate attempts at humor.

"We need to balance our opinions and ideas reasonably and be able to talk with one another without presuming they are nazis, socialists or otherwise boogeymen, and just look at the particular idea they are promoting."

This, from the guy who calls Obama's critics rageaholics, and who accuses biblical inerrantists of idolatry.

I'm all for out-there performance art, but I miss the good ol' days when somebody waited just offstage with that giant hook.

But if you are heading off the stage under your own cognizance, I applaud you for leaving on a high note.

Or maybe just for leaving.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

I am trying to leave, but I'm sick, I guess, and a glutton for punishment, so here I am again. Correcting another misunderstanding.

Bubba keeps saying...

This, from the guy who calls Obama's critics rageaholics, and who accuses biblical inerrantists of idolatry.

1. Obama's critics are his critics and God bless 'em. Those who rage and call him a socialist monster and talk of assassination and who are obviously running on venom and spit, THOSE are what I called "rageoholics." And rightly so.

I fully support criticism. Mindless rage just turns folks off. Mindless rage while toting guns catches people attention and causes reasonable people to be concerned.

2. I have not accused biblical inerrantists of idolatry. I have, instead, raised concerns about someone who would say "If I found out that the Creation story was not true, I would no longer believe in God."

I rightly pointed out, I'd say, that anyone who would lose their faith in God merely because they learned that their interpretation of a story in the Bible are POSSIBLY worshiping the wrong god.

I stand by that statement. Once again, IF you lose faith in God because you find out your interpretation of, for instance, Creation was wrong, WHERE was your faith in the first place? (I would point out that there faith was not falsely placed in the Bible, in that case, but falsely placed in their view of the Bible). It is a fair statement to raise that question.

But if it helps to demonize me to twist the facts and that makes you feel better, go for it. I may still choose to correct you with actual facts instead of made up ones, though.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 6:11 PM  

And here you're denouncing venom while accusing me of demonizing you. Nice. Not to mention consistent.

Fact is, the only ones here who've documented talk about assassination have been Eric and me, about Bush, and I cited a source that (surprise!) you don't trust that makes claims that you apparently have neither verified nor disproven. And, when you argue that not even the Soviets were Communists, you show that you use terms in ways that simply aren't common, no matter how well you THINK you can justify your definition; if Obama's policies are pushing this country toward socialism as the term is commonly used, and as we are using it here, and he's doing so as quickly as possible within our political framework, then what's dangerous is YOUR demagoguery of those who call a spade, a spade.


Now, you write, "I rightly pointed out, I'd say, that anyone who would lose their faith in God merely because they learned that their interpretation of a story in the Bible are POSSIBLY worshiping the wrong god."

But nothing you quoted suggested merely that the person learned his interpretation was wrong: the hypothetical wasn't that a particular interpretation was false, but that the Bible ITSELF is false or contains falsehood.

The Bible is the best and most authoritative revelation that we have about God. If that revelation were shown to be untrustworthy, one could certainly still believe in a Creator, but one could no longer have a confident and knowing faith in those attributes and claims about God that we cannot know with assurance from any other source: crucial attributes such as His holiness, faithfulness, and mercy, and crucial claims such as His sending His Son to die for our sins.

A person suggests that, if the Bible were shown not to be trustworthy, he would cease having faith in the God of the Bible? (That is, God as He is revealed in the Bible, which claims to be authored by Him?)

That's not idolatrous. That's an imminently sensible position.


But let's turn it around.

"I rightly pointed out, I'd say, that anyone who would lose their faith in God merely because they learned that their interpretation of a story in the Bible are POSSIBLY worshiping the wrong god."

Suppose you found out that your interpretation of NUMEROUS Old Testament passages are wrong, including, say, the account of that crucial event of Judaism, THE PASSOVER.

Suppose you found out that God really did -- historically and literally -- wiped out the firstborn of Egypt and commanded ancient Israel to wage the occasional war of annihilation.

Now, you apparently believe that treating the Passover as literal history ought to be an incredibly shameful position. About the belief, you ask, "can you say that out loud, preferably to another person, without laughing in embarrassment or crying in shame? Seriously, can you speak the above words out loud and not find them to be a radical and crazy position?"

Well, suppose you found out this embarrassing, shameful, radical, and crazy position IS THE TRUTH. I'm not asking if you would be able to tell others about the truth boldly.

I'm asking the more fundamental question, would your faith in God remain secure?

Given the outrage you've expressed at the belief -- not simply that it's implausible, but that it's monstrous -- I don't think you can honestly tell me that your faith in God would be unshaken.

And, by your own ridiculous argument, there would be very interesting implications about your worshiping an idol if my suspicion is correct.

Dan Trabue October 1, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

Bubba, when you relax a bit, maybe I'll start reading your writing again. Right now, you sound a bit crazed and I'll pass on reading that sort of stuff.

Let me know when you've calmed down some, brother.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 7:12 PM  

One thing's been sticking in my craw from earlier today.


Dan, you wrote:

"Certainly, there are market solutions and, as I have repeated frequently, I support market solutions. Just as certainly, there is a place for gov't solutions and rules. No one disagrees with either of these statements thus far, correct?"

The problem isn't that any of us disagrees with this: only literal anarchists and absolutist totalitarians would disagree.

The problem is the ease with which you look to government solutions, and not only look to them, but tell us that the "pages and pages" of existing regulations cannot possibly imperil liberty, and that we would lose liberty without them.

Embracing government solutions so quickly is fatal to freedom, not only because the government has a virtual monopoly on the use of violence, but also because -- as Mark Steyn points out in a very brief blog post -- the government itself IS a monopoly.

"There was an old joke in Britain: 'Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?' In fact, it's a profound observation about the nature of government. We wouldn't like it if there were only one automobile company or only one breakfast cereal, but by definition there can only be one federal government — which is why, 'when the Government's monopolizing', it should do so only in very limited areas.

"This isn't an abstract philosophical point, but a very practical one. Fans of big government take it for granted that Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner, Barney Frank, and a couple of other guys can 'run' the financial sector better than 8,000 U.S. banks all jostling for elbow room like bacteria in a petri dish. Same with the auto industry, and the insurance industry, and the property market, and health care, and 'the global environment.' The skill-set required to run a billion-dollar company is the province of very few individuals. The skill-set required to run a multi-trillion-dollar government is unknown to human history.
" [emphasis mine]

There are only a very few, limited areas where anyone on planet Earth is qualified to run a government solution to some particular problem, and there is very little recourse for those who find themselves victimized by those solutions.

If you work for Wal-Mart and the company mistreats you, you can quit. If you live near a coal mine and its activities causes harm to your property (including your person), you can bring the issue to a third party -- the government, and its system of civil justice -- and plead your case.

But if the state mistreats, you're choice isn't merely posting your resume on Monster: it's emigrating, and while fans of a mothering, smothering nanny state have quite a few options before them, those who desire a government with a small footprint have pretty much nowhere left to go.

And if the state assaults your property -- e.g., by seizing your land for non-public use -- you have no third-party arbitrator: as in Kelo, you have to go to the state, to plead your case against the state.


About your assurances that volumes of regulations ensure our liberty, I have two quotes from 1788 by James Madison, the father of the Constitution.

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow."

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

I know, I know: that's just crazy talk from a rageaholic whose friends had a habit of "toting guns" and even using them.

Bubba October 1, 2009 at 7:13 PM  

For good measure, one more bit of common-sense wisdom from the inestimable Mark Steyn.

"Thousand-page bills, unread and indeed unwritten at the time of passage, are the death of representative government. They also provide a clue as to why, in a country this large, national government should be minimal and constrained. Even if you doubled or trebled the size of the legislature, the Conyers conundrum would still hold: No individual can read these bills and understand what he's voting on. That's why the bulk of these responsibilities should be left to states and subsidiary jurisdictions, which can legislate on such matters at readable length and in comprehensible language.

"As for optimum bill size, the 1773 Tea Act, which provoked the Boston Tea Party, was 2,263 words. That sounds about right.
"

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Barry Obama : The Young Turk


Young Turk:
Date: 1908
Function: noun
Etymology: Young Turks, a 20th century revolutionary party in Turkey
:an insurgent or a member of an insurgent group especially in a political party : radical; broadly
:one advocating changes within a usually established group.





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