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Journal: A statement to ponder 15

Journal by smitty_one_each

Emphasis mine:

A hundred years ago, the first group of progressives concluded that this country needed to change in a big way. They argued explicitly for a refounding of the United States on the grounds that the only absolute in political life is that absolutes are material and economic rather than moral in nature.

That's one of those statements that leaves one rubbing the chin. It seems plausible on the face of matters. However, having taken one's eyes off the Almighty, much is possible. As someone wicked once said:

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Journal: Marx sure does spew him some drivel 33

Journal by smitty_one_each
What hooey:

When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge.

Yeah, the Hindus and Buddhists are all, "Wut?"
"When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas" is a hoot because at least a good chunk of the Enlightenment thinkers considered themselves Christian.
"...feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie." Yeah, there was that extended Bourgeoisgeddon, to roughly the extent the ancient world had "death throes". Charlemagne thought he was just reforming Latin, and would have balked at the idea of these "death throes" that Marx is making up. It sounds as though Marx may have bought off on Edward Gibbon's biases, directly or not.
This is to say nothing of my contempt for Marx's view of private property. What a used car salesman. The Communist vanguard inevitably, invariably, with enough irony to float an Iowa-class battleship, becomes the aristocracy standing in the ashes of the bourgeoisie. The only thing to be done with this foolishness is to reject it, and haul it out with the kids for a cautionary tale about liars.

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Journal: "Learn" 29

Journal by smitty_one_each
So I pulled a pile of dreck (The Communist Hooeyfesto) into the Kindle app on my 'Droid phone.
This is supposed to be some classic of political thought? Really? For 33% through this noise, I have to say that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a better read. I mean, if you're going to smear someone falsely, Jews or burgerboise, one recommends a more diabolical approach to lying.

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

No, it is not. The mental effort of binning individuals into abstract chess pieces, so that he could move them around some imaginary chessboard, happened mostly in the mind of Marx.
It's an appealing fable, and many have swallowed it whole, to their detriment. As Alinsky would later codify the central axis of the Commie Hooeyfesto:

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

There will be no improvement until people recognize tawdry plays and gently rebuff them. I hope God had mercy on Marx. While I reject his ideas, I don't want to play his game.

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Journal: Let's snort the Drano, shall we? 9

Journal by smitty_one_each

Obama has extended the conservative values of regressive taxation


build-up of the military and military-industrial complex

I'll give half credit here. Conservative do believe in national defense, but the Wilsonian craving for Team America: World Police is a Progressive notion.

support of the largest and most profitable of industries

Oh, I keep forgetting that 'profit' is the new 'bestiality'. Got me there. Can I say 50 "I H8 capitalisms" on my condom rosary for penance?

suppression of individual economic mobility

When people support "equality of opportunity", not the Socialist "equality of condition", how do you even construct this statement? Is that from the widely discredited Piketty?

suppression of workers' rights

Let's expand that. Doesn't this really mean "suppression of worker's rights to pay dues to a union, so that corrupt union bosses can buy politicians to further jack things through the roof"?
What workers really need is fewer regulations, so that they can go start their own businesses.
That said, it's understood that Socialism is truly anti-individual, and it's deemed better that worker's souls be warmed by a few more thousand pages of regulations there on the plantation, as opposed to enjoying the liberty to succeed or fail on their own merit.

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Journal: Labeling Obama "conservative" is a "no true Scotsman" play 72

Journal by smitty_one_each
One of my favorite /. rivers of effluent enjoys contending that Pres'ent Obama, in spite of every straight-line Progressive/Democrat/Socialist play in the feckless rodeo clown's book, is a "conservative".
This /.er seems to contend that, as the owner of the definition of Socialism, (s)he can refute the empirical truth that Obama's collapse into authoritarianism is the inevitable end-state of sucking all power into the State.
An example of the kind of derangement of which I speak (to paraphrase) is: "Obama must be a conservative, because if John McCain had won in 2008, McCain would have signed the Affordable Care Act with gusto."
Conversely, the empirical reality that Obama's magical thinking (e.g. that the mere repetition of the word "jobs" would beget employment) which would work if Obama were actually a Socialist, has failed, so Obama must no be a Socialist.
I guess my /. buddy, by demonstrating such intellectual clutter, underscores h(er|is) personal Socialist purity.
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Journal: Maybe Pres'ent Obama is less than forthright 18

Journal by smitty_one_each

Inequality in the U.S. today is near its historical highs, largely because the Federal Reserve's policies have succeeded in achieving their aim: namely, higher asset prices (especially the prices of stocks, bonds and high-end real estate), which are generally owned by taxpayers in the upper-income brackets. The Fed is doing all the work, because the President's policies are growth-suppressive. In the absence of the Fed's moneyprinting and ZIRP, the economy would either be softer or actually in a new recession.
The greatest irony is that the President is railing against inequality as one of the most important problems of the day, despite the fact that his policies are squeezing the middle class and causing the Fed--with the President's encouragement--to engage in the radical monetary policy, which is exacerbating inequality. This simple truth cannot be repeated often enough.

Once one grasps that #OccupyResoluteDesk is, was, and shall remained totally phoned-in, these seemingly counter-intuitive results become obvious.
Not that the GOP effort to don anything different will rise above shag-all.

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Journal: Guess I'm an Evil League of Evil sympathizer 30

Journal by smitty_one_each

On the one hand, you have a faction that is broadly left-wing in its politics and believes it has a mission to purge SF of authors who are reactionary, racist, sexist et weary cetera. This faction now includes the editors at every major SF publishing imprint except Baen and all of the magazines except Analog and controls the Science Fiction Writers of America (as demonstrated by their recent political purging of Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day). This group is generally frightened of and hostile to indie publishing. Notable figures include Patrick & Theresa Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi. I'll call this faction the Rabbits, after Scalzi's "Gamma Rabbit" T-shirt and Vox Day's extended metaphor about rabbits and rabbit warrens.

On the other hand, you have a faction that is broadly conservative or libertarian in its politics. Its members deny, mostly truthfully, being the bad things the Rabbits accuse them of. It counteraccuses the Rabbits of being Gramscian-damaged cod-Marxists who are throwing away SF's future by churning out politically-correct message fiction that, judging by Amazon rankings and other sales measures, fans don't actually want to read. This group tends to either fort up around Baen Books or be gung-ho for indie- and self-publishing. Notable figures include Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Tom Kratman, John C. Wright, and Vox Day. I'll call this group the Evil League of Evil, because Correia suggested it and other leading figures have adopted the label with snarky glee.

I'm mostly an ESR fan; he at least can argue rationally, and calls it like he sees it. This is a respectable style.
The only problem I have with the "Rabbit" characterization is that actual rabbits tend to reproduce, whereas these degenerate statist creeps tend toward confusion about the genitals in particular, beside life in general. When these intellectual dead heads have gone on, we can look back on the rubble of this day and (hopefully) communicate the Rabbit fallacies to the young, minimizing their idiotic impact.

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Journal: Admiring the Administration's efforts to play drums and guitar simultaneously 8

Journal by smitty_one_each

. . ."Getting the Facts Straight on Health Care Reform," was written by Gruber for The New England Journal of Medicine in December 2009.
Breitbart has since learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) used this same article to defend itself in the case filed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the lawsuit, the Commonwealth argued that Congress has exceeded its Article 1 powers in enacting Obamacare. Page six of HHSâ(TM)s October 4, 2010, Reply Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment states:

The "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" reforms are regulations of insurance policies placed into Interstate commerce, and those reforms depend directly on the minimum coverage provision to work. See, e,g., Jonathan Gruber, Getting the Facts Straight on Health Care Reform, 361 NEW ENGL.J. OF MED. 2497, 2498 (2009).

HHSâ(TM)s use of the Gruber article raises a key question: Why would the Obama administration and Obamacare supporters claim that the presidentâ(TM)s health care law contained a "typo" stating only state exchanges are eligible for subsidies if the Obama administration itself used an article by Obamacare architect Gruber stating the exact opposite?

My question is: Given the thorough, systemic, nonstop falsehood involved in all stages of ObamaCare, from wee intellectual tumor through full bureaucratic metastasis, how does anyone expect any good to come of this? How does it begin to be possible to trust these clowns to do anything whatsoever, including delivering any aspect of health care? When they are done, and give it all a "My bad", and then peddle their real goal, Single Payer, by what miracle shall they have become trustworthy?

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Journal: So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party 58

Journal by smitty_one_each

The arguments by which the Obama administration is countering lawsuits that seek to limit Obamacare subsidies to participants in "exchanges" established by states--a limit that is specified in the Obamacare law itself--have raised the outcome's stakes. Administration officials argue that the plain, unmistakable, uncontested language of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is less important than what they want the law to mean, and that hewing to its words would deprive millions of people of the subsidies that the administration had granted them regardless of those words. Therefore the courts should enforce what the administration wants rather than what the law says.
The Democratic Party, the bulk of its appointees in the judiciary, and the mainstream media echo these arguments.
America has moved away from the rule of law in recent decades, as more and more of the decisions by which we must live are made by administrative agencies in consultation with their favorite constituencies and judges rather than by the people's elected representatives. More and more, statutes passed by Congress are lengthy grants of power to administrative agencies, the content of which is determined by complex interactions between bureaucrats, special interests, and judges aligned with either. Hence House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's famous statement--that the ACA's meaning would be determined only after its passage--was true of it and most other modern legislation as well. This is the rule of men, not of law.

Obama is arguably more audacious about it, but look at the TSA.
Sarah Palin is arguing for impeachment, though that's really all about making damn_registrars foam at the mouth and driving subscriptions. We can impeach our way through the whole federal government, but if we are discussing systemic changes, then we're pissing in the wind, say I.

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred. -- Superchicken