Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rod Dreher and the Conservative/Conservationist Conflation

Rod Dreher, author of the book Crunchy Con, has a habit of referring to what I call "grounded human behavior" as "conservative." Here's his most recent example. However, I think Rod is conflating "conservatism" with "conservationism." The irony here is that when most people think of the notion of conservation, most people think of liberal environmentalists -- those individuals who believe that husbanding and caring for the natural resources of the world in a responsible way with the well-being of future generations in mind. The tree-huggers, the recylcers, the bicyclists, the alternative energy proponents, etc. The notion of "crunchy" behavior -- although it may have some connection to an ideological conservatism in the mind of Rod Dreher -- comes squarely out of an ideologically liberal tradition -- really out of a communitarian tradition. And ideological conservatism (as opposed to conservationism) is decidedly not what Rod Dreher must think it is. I think Friedrich Hayek's explanation of ideological conservatism, which he wrote in his famous treatise The Road to Serfdom, is much more accurate:

Conservatism, though a necessary element in any stable society, is not a social program; in its paternalistic, nationalistic, and power-adoring tendencies it is often closer to socialism than true liberalism; and with its traditionalistic, anti-intellectual, and often mystical propensities it will never, except in short periods of disillusionment, appeal to the young and all those others who believe that some changes are desirable if this world is to become a better place. A conservative movement, by its very nature, is bound to be a defender of established privilege and to lean on the power of the government for the protection of privilege.
So, when Rod Dreher writes of "The conservatism of parenting," he's really not talking about conservatism at all, but of a kind of social conservationism. And this social conservationism is very much in line with how I understand ideological liberalism.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

80s Pop Culture Music Video Throwback

I have to say, this song had a prominent and important place in my heady adolescent puppy love days of the 1980s:

Dreher on Sullivan's "Christianist" Concept

Crunchy Con Rod Dreher has put up a posting today in which he grumps about Andrew Sullivan's use of the term "Christianist" to describe a particular comment from a Christian pastor on the subject of homosexuality. Reading the comments on Dreher's blog posting is also a treat in and of itself. I disagree with Dreher's reaction, which I think is mostly rooted in a deep-seated hostility to any harsh criticism of theocratic proclamations on "God's law" as it relates to secular law as it relates to homosexuality. I don't think Andrew Sullivan at all uses the term Christianist as freely and as indiscriminately as Dreher claims. I just think Dreher gets all wobbly and cranky when that term is used in reference to the subject of homosexuality. Anyway, read the posting and the comments and make up your mind for yourself. But most importantly, treat yourself to Dreher's blog. Make it a regular read.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Capoeira In My Class

I'll be showing this clip in one of my classes tomorrow. We're going to get a brief introduction to the "game" of capoeira:

Prayers for a Friend

A good friend of mine was shot in the head in an apparent robbery/carjacking. I have known this person for three years. He had become a good friend in that time. He is a good man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He survived the shooting, but has apparently lost his sight and will live with a bullet lodged in his head. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Coconut Cinnamon Walnut Pralines

One of my favorite sweet treats. Here's the recipe:


2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cups Refined White Sugar
2 Cups Evaporated milk
2 Cups Chopped Walnuts
1 Cup Shredded Coconut Flakes
1 Tblsp Butter or Margarine
1 Teasp Vanilla Extract
1 Teasp Cinnamon Extract
1 Pinch Salt

Cooking Instructions:

Mix brown sugar, refined white sugar, and evaporated milk into an appropriately sized sauce pan (I'd say 4 quarts or larger). Cook over medium heat until the firm ball stage (240 degrees on a candy thermometer), stirring often. Once the mixture reaches the firm ball stage, turn off the heat, let sit for 2-3 minutes to cool some, then add the pinch of salt, the tablespoon of butter/margarine, and the teaspoons of Vanilla and Cinnamon extract. Stir for about a minute until the salt, extracts, and the butter/margarine are smoothly blended into what should be a creamy mixture. Then add the walnuts and coconut flakes and stir until evenly mixed (about another minute). Then, scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture onto a pre-arranged wax sheet in 3-4 inch (somewhat circular) patties. Let harden and cool for about 10-15 minutes. Then eat! WARNING: Do not undercook the sugar mixture, or else you'll just get a gloopy, sticky mess. Makes about 18 decent sized, thick pralines the way I spoon the mixture out. Yum! The Squirrelly Girlies loved them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

MBH Pottery at the Palmer Park Arts Market Today

Well, it's once again that time of the month when my lovely bride will again be out at the Palmer Park Arts Market setting up her booth to sell her pottery. The market will be running today, Saturday, from 10am-4pm, and the weather forecast looks perfect. It promises to be a beautiful day and ideal for a visit to the Arts Market. My B-2/3 has been hard at work all month and has added significantly to her inventory of pieces. So, if you want to support a great cause and pick up some wonderful pieces of handmade, high quality pottery as wedding gifts, birthday presents, early Christmas or Hannukah gifts, or any other kind of gift, please do come out to the Arts Market today at Palmer Park on the corner of Claiborne and Carrollton Avenues and look her up. Of course, as usual, Michele will also be doing live demonstrations at her pottery wheel, so please come out, enjoy the market, and stop by to visit Michele to see how pots are thrown (and hopefully not at you!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Santorum's Disrespect of a Soldier

 Just imagine if a soldier were to ask a question at a Democratic presidential primary debate and the coterie of Democratic presidential hopefuls didn't even acknowledge and thank the soldier for his service. What do you think the outcry would be like? Oh, we know what it would be like. Santorum's cravenness here -- and worse, the fact that not a single other person on that stage thanked this soldier -- reveals the real hostility that these clowns have for someone putting his life on the line in defense of our country's freedom. The irony here is that Santorum, in his answer, said that military service and DADT are not about sex, and yet it is precisely sex (i.e. this soldier's sexual orientation) that conditions this kind of dismissive response. My question for Santorum is why he hates American soldiers so much that he can't even bring himself to thank one for his service? I mean, surely Santorum, when he saw that American soldier on screen, didn't see sex, did he? Surely he saw a person risking his life for his country, right? If he didn't see a soldier (as his dismissive answer seems to say as much), but instead saw a "homo," then his whole mantra collapses, doesn't it? I think it's pathetic. And it's an indictment on all of the candidates on the stage that not one of them gave the soldier the proper thanks he deserves.

The PRI Presidential Comeback in Mexico

A young, handsome, and traditional project-promise candidate is poised to help the PRI, Mexico's former long-standing ruling party, win back the Presidency. Will he succeed? Well, it looks pretty likely when one of the chants regarding this man is:

"Peña Nieto, bombón, te quiero en mi colchón." -- "Peña Nieto, sweetie, I want you in my bed."
In a society where the "guapo macho" still holds some sway, how can anyone compete with that? For better or worse, the PRI is back!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I wish it hadn't come to this. But Obama, to my mind, has successfully demonstrated he has been willing to compromise, and the GOP has successfully demonstrated they cannot. I think most Americans get that. I think they get that if there has been a sap in all this, it isn't David Brooks for hoping for bipartisan reform, but Obama for hoping for sanity from today's GOP." Andrew Sullivan

Headline of the Day

Republicans turned off by the size of Obama's package.


They Just Don't Get It About "Class Warfare"

This is actually quite incredible. That this Louisiana politician can seem to imply with a straight face that having $400,000 in disposable income after feeding his family is somehow a hardship is just bizarre. Of course, he goes on to say that he needs this $400,000 to create jobs. But in an economy with a higher than 9% unemployment rate, and with an average income before feeding one's family of around $40,000 -- one-tenth of what Fleming has after he pays his bills and feeds his family -- Fleming's whine just sounds tone-deaf. The wealthy think that class warfare is always and everyone one-directional. But what folks like Fleming just don't ever get is that, when people are out of work, staring poverty in the face, on the cusp of losing their homes or their health insurance, through no fault of their own, his cavalier attitude towards the tough times average people are facing coupled with a kind of gross notion that almost a half-million dollars a year in disposable "fun" money is bordering on the "hard life" for him is a kind of "class warfare" of the worst kind. It's a "let them eat cake" kind of class warfare. It won't play well in a context where these very wealthy people are calling for average folks to endure more austerity and belt-tightening in the name of "fiscal" responsibility, all the while resisting such austerity and belt-tightening for themselves.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Disenfranchisement That the Electoral College Has Wrought

The disenfranchisement of high-population, urban "blue" America by the electoral college, is poised to become a Republican strategy at the state level, too.

As many of us liberals who actually value popular sovereignty have noted, and which I recently wrote about on The Huck Upchuck, conservatives are outright hostile to affording all Americans the opportunity to participate equally in our democracy. At heart, conservatives despise the idea of one-person, one-vote and, instead of actually encouraging American citizens to be participants in how they are governed, would seek to disenfranchise as many American liberals as possible from the political process.

This takes place at the national level through the electoral college, where small population conservative states and the residents of these states wield disproportionate influence in the presidential election by virtue of the way our electoral college is designed (which, despite state population levels, gives each state two electoral college votes for each of the two federal senators from the state).

Now, it appears that Republicans in Pennsylvania want to make the allocation of that state's electoral college votes dependent on a kind of state-level electoral college where each electoral college vote accrues to each federal Congressional electoral district in the state, irrespective of the population of each of these electoral districts.

As Nick Baumann in the Mother Jones piece linked above notes:

Some of the early [Pennsylvania federal Congressional redistricting] maps have leaked to the press, and Democrats expect that the Pennsylvania congressional map for the 2012 elections will have 12 safe GOP seats compared to just 6 safe Democratic seats.

Under the Republican plan, if the GOP presidential nominee carries the GOP-leaning districts but Obama carries the state, the GOP nominee would get 12 electoral votes out of Pennsylvania, but Obama would only get eight—six for winning the blue districts, and two (representing the state's two senators) for winning the state.
It's interesting that ALL of the talk concerning disenfranchising Americans and preventing Americans from having a truly equal stake in our government comes from conservatives. You never hear liberals talking about voter suppression strategies in liberal enclaves, or discovering other creative ways to effectively disenfranchise citizens outright (literacy/property ownership laws) or make an individual citizen's vote disproportionately more or less valuable than another citizen's vote simply by where one lives, etc. It's ALWAYS conservatives who want to find ways to keep the unwashed masses, and anyone even remotely likely to have liberal views, away from the polls. And yet it's conservatives who speak of liberals as the elitists! How ironic is that?

Lonesome Dove Character Profile of the Day: Pea Eye

Dumb as an ox; but self-aware enough to know this about himself and not be overly defensive about it. On the other hand, one of the hardest-working characters, very skilled at what he does, and essentially good-hearted and pure of spirit. There's not an unkind bone in his body. Pea Eye's 15 minutes of fame in the book came with his epic journey from the Indian attack on him and Gus back to the Hat Creek crew (and, therefore, to Gus's rescue). Pea Eye's essential goodness as a character, I would argue, made the story of his being led to safety by the spirit of a dead Deets both palatable and believable. I'd argue further that only Pea Eye's character could have carried this off in the novel. It just wouldn't have passed muster otherwise.

I'd also like to take this moment to compare Pea Eye to a modern political narrative: the dumb-as-an-ox redneck stereotype. When Sarah Palin gins up populist outrage over the elite's condescension towards what she would say is the heartland American, Pea Eye is the character that she probably means. However, what Sarah Palin doesn't really get is that the elitist condescension she often references is not one that is directed against the "Pea Eyes" of America, but rather against the self-absorbed cynics like herself who claim to be a "Pea Eye" equivalent, but who are really nothing of the sort. It's the abuse of the "Pea Eyes" of America by televangelists and Palin-esque politicians that earns elite contempt.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Is Jon Huntsman Electable?

Andrew Sullivan thinks so. In fact, Sullivan says explicitly of Huntsman that he's "so easily the most electable" among the GOP field.

What do I think? I think that Andrew Sullivan, who is so desperate for a sane and credible candidate in the conservative orbit, has lost his marbles. There is absolutely no way ever that Huntsman is electable, not even should he make it to the general election as the GOP nominee. Why do I think this? Simple: Huntsman agreed to serve in the Obama administration. Even if Huntsman starts spouting out the most red-meat anti-Obama rhetoric, he simply cannot wipe away the fact that he said "yes" to Obama. When the entire strategy of the GOP with regard to Obama is to be always and everywhere a "no," Huntsman's undeniable and irreversible "yes" to Obama makes him patently un-electable.

The hatred for Obama among a small, but decisive group of conservatives is so virulent and so irrationally profound that anyone even tainted by any positive association of any kind with Obama will keep this group of conservatives on the couch come election day.

What My Kids Are Listening To: Selena Gomez & The Scene - Who Says

This one is one that Squirrelly Girlie the Younger likes. Not so much Squirrelly Girlie the Elder. I'm lukewarm about it.

Come To Think Of It: I AM a Homeschooler

You know, I have been pondering the whole homeschooling topic once again because it has recently been the subject of a number of postings on Rod Dreher's blog.

A good while ago, I wrote a blog posting entitled: "Why I Don't Home School My Kids." And I stick to that blog posting.

However, I began to wonder what it was about the homeschooling movement that kept (and keeps) nagging at me. Then I had a bit of an "A-HA!" moment about this that made sense to me. What bothers me about homeschoolers is that their appropriation of the term "homeschooler" is a kind of judgment on what goes on in the homes of us parents who send our children to "regular" school for a part of their day. I know that this differentiation is probably not intentional, but it does nevertheless set parents like me and my wife, who send our kids to regular public school, apart from the parents who keep their kids out of institutional school environments and call what they do as homeschooling. That differentiation implies that my wife and I are somehow not homeschoolers. But I would beg to differ. In many ways, we are just as much "homeschoolers" as they are, and so I find the differentiation between us to be a cultivated falsehood.

Let me try to explain it this way: what most often vexes me about the homeschooling movement is why it is often thought of, by those who claim the label as its practitioners, exclusively as a temporal and spatial alternative to “regular” schooling.

But here's my problem with that view... Yes, my children attend a regular public school from 8am-3pm. But it is also a fact that they are home with my wife until 5pm and with me and my wife from 5pm until bedtime. We are always together on the weekends. And when we are together, we are constantly “homeschooling” our children. Whether it's helping out with homework, discussing current events, or going to the Zoo on the weekend, we are constantly in the process of participating actively in the learning process of our children. What's more, we are actively involved to the extent we feel is appropriate in their 8am-3pm experience, too. And my children definitely bring the "homeschooling" they get that outside of the 8am-3pm time slot of their day with them to their “regular” school. It's not like my wife and I are completely divorced from their 8am-3pm life. Nor is it the case that their life outside of the regular school day doesn't inform what they do during their 8am-3pm regular school day experience. But what my children get that pure 100% "homeschooled" children don't get is the good that comes from having a "regular" school experience. Let me delve into this a bit more.

As I understand it, a huge part of the homeschooler movement views the “regular” school always with suspicion and often with dread. The refrain I often hear about not sending kids to “regular” school is less about the positives of homeschooling and more about the negatives of regular schooling. Homeschooling is always the alternative to the “bad” in regular schooling; and the “good” of homeschooling is always preferable to the "good" of "regular" schooling [at least to the extent that pure homeschoolers think there actually IS anything good to be gotten from "regular" school.]

But the good of both kinds of school experiences (homeschooling and "regular" schooling) are different kinds of good. And it’s my belief that sacrificing the good of the regular school experience in order to avoid the bad of the regular school experience actually cheats kids. Why do I believe this? Well, because I reject the notion that I and my wife are not homeschooling our kids just because our engagement with their intellectual, spiritual, and moral lives takes place outside of the 8am-3pm, M-F, 9 months out of the year “regular” school schedule.

My wife and I DO homeschooling our kids, and for much more time than they spend in “regular” school. So they get the benefits of homeschooling without sacrificing the good of attending regular school.

When folks self-identify as homeschoolers and think of that movement in its neat, conventional box (and make no mistake: the homeschooling movement IS a conventional movement), I know they wouldn’t include me in that number because my kids happen to go to “regular” school.

But why is that? It’s kind of offensive to me to think that somehow I’m not a homeschooling parent, too. It makes me wonder what homeschoolers think us “regular” school parents do with our children outside of the 8am-3pm day. It also makes me wonder if they think we abdicate responsibility and have no engagement with the 8am-3pm environment in which our children pass these hours of the day. In fact, I’d argue that sending my children to be in a structured learning environment that my wife and I sanction and monitor IS part of our “homeschool” strategy. By not "hovering" over them during a part of their day, and by letting our children have their own experiences of learning with peers away from the comforting gaze of a protective parent always nearby, we actually ARE pursuing a kind of homeschooling pedagogy. It's as much a choice on our part as parents concerned about and involved in our children's education as is a "homeschooling" parent's choice about what curricular or extracurricular experiences their children will have.

So, for this reason, I am taking back the term from folks who would deny it to me: I AM a Homeschooler, too!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

3436: A Father Remembers

Though I do think publicly remembering 9/11 is important, I hesitate to overhype such things. I worry about memory movements becoming cultish and what can emerge from the overhype. But I think this StoryCorps memorial hits just the right tone for this sort of thing:

Thoughts on Healing a Divided Church

I have had over the past few weeks some thoughtful conversations with different people whose opinions I respect about the current situation at St. Charles Ave. Baptist Church. Others in the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church have approached my B-2/3 in an effort to re-engage her in some way. Understandable. The victors attempting to assuage and coopt the vanquished.

But there is one family among the vanquished where no such attempts are being made to extend the healing and helping hand of the church: the pastor and his family.

A good man, his lovely wife, and his wonderful children have been excised from the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church community as if they were a cancer. That may sound harsh, but I find the analogy to be quite relevant and appropriate. Who wants to see a cancer return to a damaged and healing body?

And yet these good people are part of my family's spiritual life. They have been an instrumental part of our faith community. They are also dear friends who we believe have been grossly mistreated. Why would we ever want to associate with a congregation whose current leadership not only has behaved so abominably in my eyes, but which has not even made an effort as far as I can tell to extend any compassion and love to the pastor and his family?

There is no home for the Hucks in such a community where our friends have been told in no uncertain terms how "unworthy" they are to be members of this community. And to the folks who may protest that this is not true, I would ask such folks to tell me how often they have reached out to the pastor and his family to try to tell them how welcome they are in their church community. I would ask such folks: How many of them have said a single kind word publicly about the pastor and his family recently? From what I can tell, the prevailing attitude is more of the "good riddance" and "don't let the door hit you on the way out" variety.

But I will say this: I will meet with any person from SCABC who wants to tell me his or her side of the story. I will listen. And then you will listen to me. And I promise civility. But don't expect me to be smiley and play friendly or nice. This won't be any "reconciliation" meeting. I ain't feelin' that way and I won't pretend otherwise.

Good Con-Blogging

If you are a regular Upchuck reader, you will know how much I admire and respect Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan considers himself a conservative, though the rightwing in the U.S. considers him a rabid leftist. I think any person who understands the intellectual principles and foundations of conservatism would see quite clearly that Sullivan's conservative credentials are real. So, reading Sullivan has given me a sense of what good conservative blogging can be. Along those lines, I feel the need to mention another good conservative blogger: Rod Dreher, who used to write and blog for the National Review, and has moved through a variety of other writing gigs only to land up blogging now at The American Conservative. I've always liked Dreher, not least of which because he hails from my home state of Louisiana, though he hasn't lived in the Sportsman's Paradise for a while now. He blogs much more from a faith-informed perspective; but he's not a religion blogger. And I am intrigued by his "Crunchy Con" legacy. In any event, he will be a regular read of mine, and I encourage any who want to get a glimpse into rational and respectable conservative thinking, to read him.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Blue Jay Victory

The Jesuit Blue Jays blanked the Holy Cross Tigers this evening, 37-0. That's a great way to start the regular season! Congrats to my nephew, Big Jake, for his first game as a starting offensive tackle for the Jays.

Poem of the Day

by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

THOU art not lovelier than lilacs,—no,
Nor honeysuckle; thou art not more fair
Than small white single poppies,—I can bear
Thy beauty; though I bend before thee, though
From left to right, not knowing where to go,
I turn my troubled eyes, nor here nor there
Find any refuge from thee, yet I swear
So has it been with mist,—with moonlight so.

Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink—and live—what has destroyed some men.

Obama's Jobs Bill Speech

This is the Obama many of us elected in 2008. I hope this is the Obama we continue to get over the next 5 years. This was a strong, eminently reasonable and common-sensical, and challenging clarion call for action. This is why I love this President and, in spite of some of my disappointment with him, will proudly vote for him again in 2012.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

How The Huck Upchuck Blogs

Bold and Free.

Luke 19:39-40

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Know this, and be forewarned. A lack of transparency and a culture of secrecy is the hallmark of cowardice. The Huck WILL Upchuck!!!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The "Modesty Paradox" in Larry McMurtry's novel "Lonesome Dove"

At least that's what I like to call it -- the "modesty paradox." I think it's actually a rather clever convention of McMurtry. We can see it in just about every male character with, perhaps, the singular exception of Gus McCrae. It is this: all the men in this novel have very cavalier attitudes towards casual sex, especially with prostitutes; but these men also are very shy and modest when it comes to actual intimacy, even to the point of being mortified with shame at seeing women's undergarments hung to dry on laundry lines. I think this tells us how free morals were when it came to sex, especially in how normal prostitution seemed, but also how behavior in the wild west was nonetheless colored by convention. As "wild" as the west was in the 19th Century, it was still heavily influenced by the mores of East Coast Victorian propriety. It makes for an almost incomprehensible paradox of life and morality in the American west.

Three New Orleans Jazz Vocalists

Give us a lesson in scat singing.

Poem of the Day: The Emperor of Ice Cream

by Wallace Stevens

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Conservative Antipathy to Democracy

It's hard to believe that in the supposedly modern, enlightened era we live in, where exclusion of the individual citizen in determining the government authority to which he must submit himself, irrespective of socioeconomic status is considered barbaric elitism, we still have many conservatives who believe in earnest that some folks aren't worthy of participating in the process of selecting their government. For instance, read this piece by Matthew Vadum, titled "Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American." Vadum starts off his piece accordingly:

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country -- which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.
I started to think this guy was a fringe lunatic elitist of the rightwing reactionary conservative movement, but then I read some of the comments left by others on the article. Imagine my shock to see commenters writing in earnest such nonsense as this:
Commenter "LuciusSeverusPertinax" writes: "For many years I have held that persons should give up their right to vote as a price for accepting the public dole.
Allowing such individuals to vote necessarily corrupts the entire political system; as such persons will always be depended upon to cast their ballots for whoever promises them the most largesse from the public purse.
In such circumstances, elections become auctions."

Commenter "pavan" writes: "From when the Constitution was written until about 1850, only white male property owners could vote. After 1870, former slaves could vote. Then in 1920 we had woman suffrage. In the 1960s, it became illegal to require voters to be literate. The motor voter law was passed in 1995. In 2008 it became de facto legal for Black Panthers to intimidate voters at the polls. Is anyone noticing a trend here? When the country started, voting was restricted to citizens who had a financial stake in small government. Now anyone with a pulse can vote. Eventually, you might have to fight your way into the polling place through a gauntlet of government dependents who will decide if you look like someone who will support big government candidates."

Commenter "Questioning" writes: "I've yet to hear a reasoned, factually based argument against property (or at least taxpaying) rights to vote. Simple, you don't work and pay taxes, you have no right to vote. As far as I can reason, this is the ONLY way for a representative republic to withstand the depredations of the poor citizen."

Commenter "Wayward Son" writes: "Great article, thanks for posting it, AT! I've said all along we need LESS people voting. The conservatives should push for poll taxes (if you're not willing or able to pay, then you probably are not willing or able to be informed enough to vote), increase the voting age to 21, no voting for anyone who has received government assistance in the past year, and no sufferage for anyone who cannot read. One person one vote is a recipe for political suicide and the Communist's dream."
And it goes on and on and on in this vein. Does it really need to be said that what these people are advocating is to implement a system that benefits them at the expense of their fellow citizens? Don't these nimrods understand that they are advocating less freedom for more people? I just frankly can't believe that such people even exist in our country, much less that they fashion themselves to be the true harbingers and preservers of American ideas of liberty and government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

"Tell the Rabble to be Quiet"

From the Andrew Lloyd Weber Rock Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar:

(at the 4:08 mark):
Tell the rabble to be quiet, we anticipate a riot.
This common crowd, is much too loud.
Tell the mob who sing your song that they are fools and they are wrong.
They are a curse. They should disperse.


Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd?
Nothing can be done to stop the shouting.
If every tongue were stilled
The noise would still continue.
The rocks and stone themselves would start to sing...