- I don’t care what their stated intentions are, or how innocent the people involved. To call this tasteless would be like calling the Titanic’s iceberg encounter “a scratch.”
- I’m no particular Rand Paul fan. But the flap over his “racism” is nothing but a nonsensical refusal by the media to recognize that public issues are subject to nuance. What kind of world is it in which “yes” or “no” are the only possible answers to every question? It’s good to see David Weigel of the Washington Post defend Paul on exactly the right grounds.
- Let me get this straight. Priests who molest children are entitled to years of defense (and even given new pastoral ministries) before the Church will even think about thinking about defrocking them. And church officials never even entertain a ghost of a notion of excommunicating even the worst serial offenders. But a nun who allows an abortion to save a mother’s life …?
- You and I already know we’re chronic lawbreakers. Some other folks are just waking up to the fact.
- From A.G. comes this creepy speculation about a military coup against Obama. What’s scary is that the writer mentions the Constitution as a partial excuse for booting the Big O — then goes on to detail a grotesquely unconstitutional military-intelligence-security state far worse than anything the dreadful Obama is likely to come up with. And he (wink-wink-nod-nod) approves! Urk. And what’s with that line about Obama “waging war” on the “intelligence community”? And when in all hell did that “community” ever perform “rigorous and independent functions”? Um … aren’t those the folks who lied us into Vietnam and Iraq? The folks who totally missed 9/11? The folks who haven’t found Osama bin Laden after a decade of looking? And yet who’ve recently been given the power to blast anybody into oblivion with their unmanned drones? From A.G. also comes a brilliant and well-researched, if kinda boring, 1992 analysis (pdf) of just what a military coup in the U.S. might look like.
- Oh yes, Obama is horrified, simply horrified that big oil might have a cozy relationship with government. (Cartoon. Hat tip to Wendy McElroy.)
- Bucharest: 1987. We can be glad we’re not quite that bad yet.
- Politicians as children. Yep, you nailed that one, Ruth Marcus.
- From P.T. — and from the man who gave us Arizona’s new we-really-won’t-racially-profile-those-brown-people law (aka the we-really-won’t-ever-ask-you-white-folks-for-your-papers-please-only-those-other-folks–for-now law) — a proposal to eliminate citizenship-by-birth. I hate to say it, but I sort of agree. And on the other hand don’t. Part of me thinks the whole notion of citizenship is absurd — all that should ever count when it comes to our place of residence is personal choice and merit, neither of which can be conferred by any government. But given that we have the institution of citizenship, accident of birth seems a poor grounds for granting it. I expect I’ll get in trouble for this one. Ah well.
I also weighed in on Rand Paul: link
I can’t say that I am “glad” I am a chronic lawbreaker, but I’m not sorry either. When “laws” are contrary to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness/property then I’ll not feel bad about breaking them when I need to. It’s one of those things that makes the “illegal immigrants” issue so silly. So they broke a “law”. Who hasn’t?
We may not have suffered a military coup throughout our history. We have had a coup. It was called a Constitutional Convention.
Also I have to ask, “No comment on the Woody Allen Dictator desires?”
David Weigel said, “This debate [re Rand Paul’s “racist” comments] is more interesting and honest than the usual slippery debate we have about race, law, and regulation.”
I agree — and for that reason, welcomed Paul’s comments when I first read them. It’s time the Civil Rights law was challenged on the basis of natural and private property rights, as well as common sense and fair play (read “equality in action”). The law should have been challenged a long time ago — long before it became embedded (and thus, defined by everyone) over the past several generations.
Claire: [quote]I hate to say it, but I sort of agree. And on the other hand don’t. Part of me thinks the whole notion of citizenship is absurd — all that should ever count when it comes to our place of residence is personal choice and merit, neither of which can be conferred by any government. But given that we have the institution of citizenship, accident of birth seems a poor grounds for granting it.[unquote]
Am not sure what you’re saying here, Claire. Somehow I miss your point.
As I see it, if ANYONE has the natural right to live where he’s born, then “citizenship” is a given; if he doesn’t have that right, then “citizenship” is a farce. While government doesn’t “own” us because we happen to be born here, we do “own” the space we reside in, because we have no other space to claim.
The idea of citizenship is based on the right [of government] to “own” others, and a child’s citizenship is based on “ownership” by his parents. But if political “citizenship” is valid, and “illegal” immigration is not, then the child that’s born here has more “right” to live here than his parent(s).
So are we “owned” by our government in a given geographical area, or are we not? Are children “owned” by their parents or not? Who or what has legal sway here?
Jim B. — LOL, Woody Allen. I give his political thought about as much as I give Alec Baldwin’s.
Pat, I think we’re saying the same thing. When I spoke of “personal choice and merit” I just meant that we should be able to live where we want and where our talents, hard work, etc. can lead us (e.g. if we want to live on a cliff overlooking an ocean or in a penthouse apartment, we have to get there by earning it). Children, of course, are where they are by their parents’ choices — until they’re mature enough to make their own. I don’t think that was my most brilliant piece of writing. But I definitely didn’t mean that any government should grant us anything. (On the contrary.) And sure as hell no government should stop us from going where we want to go and where we can earn our way.
OTOH, since governments do grant citizenship, like it or not, I think it’s perfectly fair to examine the grounds on which they grant it. Should someone become a citizen merely by virtue of being born in the U.S.? Some nations don’t automatically grant citizenship to the children of non-citizens. I know the Constitution decrees that anyone born here is a citizen. But that provision could be amended if there was enough support for doing so. Again — not saying any of this would be my choice. Just looking around at government-as-it-is.
I do differ with you on one thing. I wouldn’t say that citizenship is a given, since to me citizenship implies some form of membership in a state — and in Libertopia, I’d rather see that concept gone forever.
Ideal vs. reality. Made sense to me Claire.
“I do differ with you on one thing. I wouldn’t say that citizenship is a given, since to me citizenship implies some form of membership in a state — and in Libertopia, I’d rather see that concept gone forever.”
Right… we agree here; that’s why I put “citizenship” in quotes. Government may call it “citizenship”, but geography calls it “birthright”, if one chooses to live in that given area.
“OTOH, since governments do grant citizenship, …. Just looking around at government-as-it-is.”
Thanks for that paragraph — that’s what I didn’t understand about what you were saying.
Can’t we file the notion of a military coup against Obama under “D” for Disinformation?
What’s he done to displease the most bloodthirsty militarist? He ran a campaign promising More War, notwithstanding his promise to pull US troops from Iraq. Which of course just turned out to be a lie, anyway. The “more war” part he’s keeping – including expanding US killing operations in Africa and the Americas. All aboard the War Train, next stop, Iran!
His first military budget demand was bigger than what Dumbya was going to ask for. He’s expanding and upgrading the US nuclear arsenal (the world’s most expensively painful form of mass suicide.) His Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech took the theme, “War R00lz – Peace Dr00lz!”
(Satire is dead, people. Let’s move on.)
Perhaps we also shouldn’t forget the O-Bomber got more money from the “defense” establishment than any other candidate – including Hillary Clinton, who ran farthest to the right on foreign affairs of any major candidate (even the appalling Sarah Palin.) Though I suspect that was because the war profiteers knew the fix was in, and wanted to get in good with the oligarchs’ anointed new CEO.
In the end, the President and the Generals work for the same people – who, need I even say, aren’t us?
Damn good points, Victor — with good research behind them.
IF military leaders were actually concerned about the Constitution (as the writer of that piece mentions in passing), I can imagine O or any other president being in danger from them. But that’s an IF that’s about the size of the Bush-Obama bailouts. No, bigger. That’s an IF about the size of the entire known and unknown universe.
It’s fascinating, though, how a certain group of “leftists” will always shriek and tear their hair about “slashing government” when an R is in power — even when he’s growing social services budgets and programs like mad. And a certain group of “rightists” will always shriek and rend their garments about “decreasing support for Our Troops” when a D is in power — even when he’s growing the military and increasing their beloved security state at an unprecedented rate.
When I was a kid my parents would always tell me when crossing back into US territory from Mexico that I was not to mess around with the border agents or be a smart ass – that I should just state that I was a US citizen and to not get ‘creative’.
So – several decades later I find myself having to go through a US border patrol checkpoint (25 miles north of the actual line on the ground) to get home whenever I go to the nearest ‘big city’ for shopping. Often they just wave me through though I doubt they recognise me as a local due to my infrequent visits. Sometimes they ask me to declare citizenship. I just say “united states” and leave then to work out the ‘where’ of the matter. They’ve yet to fail to wave me through almost before the words are out of my mouth.
The answer I would prefer to give would be “sovereign” – how do you think that would play?
My citizenship is based on location of birth – and I’d be in a hell of a fix if some oath of fealty were required to get past these border checkpoints.
(as a matter of disclosure – it probably doesn’t hurt that I’m a freckled ‘cracker’ with red hair – in terms of going through border checkpoints in these southern latitudes!)