Santorum’s philosophy of government

Michael Gerson on Rick Santorum’s brand of conservatism:

Perhaps the most surprising result of the Iowa caucuses was the return of compassionate conservatism from the margins of the Republican stage to its center. Rick Santorum is not just an outspoken social conservative; he is the Republican candidate who addresses the struggles of blue-collar workers and the need for greater economic mobility. He talks not only of the rights of the individual but also of the health of social institutions, particularly the family. He draws out the public consequences of a belief in human dignity — a pro-life view applied to the unborn and to victims of AIDS in Africa.

Electability Republicans can live with Santorum’s populism and moralism. Anti-government activists cannot and have begun their assault. Santorum is referred to as a “pro-life statist.” David Boaz of the Cato Institute cites evidence implicating him in shocking ideological crimes, such as “promotion of prison ministries” and wanting to “expand colon cancer screenings for Medicare beneficiaries.”

But Santorum is not engaged in heresy; he represents an alternative tradition of conservative political philosophy. Libertarians may wish to claim exclusive marketing rights, but there are two healthy, intellectual movements in American conservatism: libertarianism and religious (particularly Catholic) social thought.

Libertarianism is an extreme form of individualism, in which personal rights trump every other social goal and institution. It is actually a species of classical liberalism, not conservatism — more directly traceable to John Stuart Mill than Edmund Burke or Alexis de Tocqueville. The Catholic (and increasingly Protestant) approach to social ethics asserts that liberty is made possible by strong social institutions — families, communities, congregations — that prepare human beings for the exercise of liberty by teaching self-restraint, compassion and concern for the public good. Oppressive, overreaching government undermines these value-shaping institutions. Responsible government can empower them — say, with a child tax credit or a deduction for charitable giving — as well as defend them against the aggressions of extreme poverty or against “free markets” in drugs or obscenity.

This is not statism; it is called subsidiarity. In this view, needs are best served by institutions closest to individuals. But when those institutions require help or protection, higher-order institutions should intervene. So when state governments imposed Jim Crow laws, the federal government had a duty to overturn them. When a community is caught in endless economic depression and drained of social capital, government should find creative ways to empower individuals and charities — maybe even prison ministries that change lives from the inside out.

via Rick Santorum and the return of compassionate conservatism – The Washington Post.

Santorum has been dismissed in some of our comments as a “big government conservative.”  But isn’t his political philosophy, if Gerson is right, more Burkean in its attention to other social institutions?  (For example, he blames poverty in part on the breakup of the family.)

Do you see anything distinctly Roman Catholic about this version–”subsidiarity”–or can it fit just as well with Protestant theologies?  Does it assume the church’s earthly authority (which both Catholics and some Reformed could agree with)?  Does it work with the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • James Sarver

    “This is not statism; it is called subsidiarity. In this view, needs are best served by institutions closest to individuals. But when those institutions require help or protection, higher-order institutions should intervene.”

    A very Lutheran idea, expressed nicely by Luther in the explanation of the Fourth Commandment in the Large Catechism.
    A few excerpts:

    “In this commandment belongs a further statement regarding all kinds of obedience to persons in authority who have to command and to govern. For all authority flows and is propagated from the authority of parents.”

    “For God has assigned this estate the highest place, yea, has set it up in His own stead, upon earth.”

    “For where a father is unable alone to educate his [rebellious and irritable] child, he employs a schoolmaster to instruct him; if he be too weak, he enlists the aid of his friends and neighbors; if he departs this life, he delegates and confers his authority and government upon others who are appointed for the purpose.”

    It seems both libertarians and statists may have forgotten (or never knew) where government authority originates.

  • James Sarver

    “This is not statism; it is called subsidiarity. In this view, needs are best served by institutions closest to individuals. But when those institutions require help or protection, higher-order institutions should intervene.”

    A very Lutheran idea, expressed nicely by Luther in the explanation of the Fourth Commandment in the Large Catechism.
    A few excerpts:

    “In this commandment belongs a further statement regarding all kinds of obedience to persons in authority who have to command and to govern. For all authority flows and is propagated from the authority of parents.”

    “For God has assigned this estate the highest place, yea, has set it up in His own stead, upon earth.”

    “For where a father is unable alone to educate his [rebellious and irritable] child, he employs a schoolmaster to instruct him; if he be too weak, he enlists the aid of his friends and neighbors; if he departs this life, he delegates and confers his authority and government upon others who are appointed for the purpose.”

    It seems both libertarians and statists may have forgotten (or never knew) where government authority originates.

  • SKPeterson

    For a good overview on small-government “libertarian” Roman Catholic social thought, please check out the Acton Institute at acton.org. They’ve got some good resources on subsidiarity and a long history of working with the Protestants and Lutherans who are social conservatives but also anti-big government.

  • SKPeterson

    For a good overview on small-government “libertarian” Roman Catholic social thought, please check out the Acton Institute at acton.org. They’ve got some good resources on subsidiarity and a long history of working with the Protestants and Lutherans who are social conservatives but also anti-big government.

  • SKPeterson

    I should have added that libertarianism does not deny the value and importance of communities and institutions. Or, rather, not all libertarianism is atomistic libertinism. Some of it is. However, there is a definite strand that recognizes that communities and institutions are made up of individuals who come together to address each others needs. This is the basis of the notion of subsidiarity and the recognition that the Second Kingdom does not equate to the government and that government needs to know its place in the social order. Government is part of the Second Kingdom; it is not the be all and end all, and I’m pretty much convinced that it is one of the least important. Within the Second Kingdom, government may be necessary, but it is far from sufficient.

  • SKPeterson

    I should have added that libertarianism does not deny the value and importance of communities and institutions. Or, rather, not all libertarianism is atomistic libertinism. Some of it is. However, there is a definite strand that recognizes that communities and institutions are made up of individuals who come together to address each others needs. This is the basis of the notion of subsidiarity and the recognition that the Second Kingdom does not equate to the government and that government needs to know its place in the social order. Government is part of the Second Kingdom; it is not the be all and end all, and I’m pretty much convinced that it is one of the least important. Within the Second Kingdom, government may be necessary, but it is far from sufficient.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    SKPeterson @3, well said!

    I’ve yet to see a government ever use appropriate self-restraint once it begins to broaden its scope of influence. Like a virus, it spreads and infects, killing the body.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    SKPeterson @3, well said!

    I’ve yet to see a government ever use appropriate self-restraint once it begins to broaden its scope of influence. Like a virus, it spreads and infects, killing the body.

  • Tom Hering

    Luther, Fourth Commandment, Large Catechism:

    (142) … their princes and overlords were called patres patriae, that is, fathers of the whole country, to the great shame of us would-be Christians who do not speak of our rulers in the same way, or at least do not treat and honor them as such.

    (150) Through civil rulers, as through our own parents, God gives us food, house and home, protection and security, and he preserves us through them. Therefore, because they bear this name and title with all honor as their chief distinction, it is also our duty to honor and respect them as the most precious treasure and most priceless jewel on earth.

    Clearly, a Lutheran must conclude that government is essentially a bad thing, and that a government which governs the least, governs the best. Just as parents who parent the least, parent the best. They get out of their little children’s way, so their little children can decide how to best provide bread – for themselves. Surely, this is the parental model Luther had in mind.

  • Tom Hering

    Luther, Fourth Commandment, Large Catechism:

    (142) … their princes and overlords were called patres patriae, that is, fathers of the whole country, to the great shame of us would-be Christians who do not speak of our rulers in the same way, or at least do not treat and honor them as such.

    (150) Through civil rulers, as through our own parents, God gives us food, house and home, protection and security, and he preserves us through them. Therefore, because they bear this name and title with all honor as their chief distinction, it is also our duty to honor and respect them as the most precious treasure and most priceless jewel on earth.

    Clearly, a Lutheran must conclude that government is essentially a bad thing, and that a government which governs the least, governs the best. Just as parents who parent the least, parent the best. They get out of their little children’s way, so their little children can decide how to best provide bread – for themselves. Surely, this is the parental model Luther had in mind.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – I’ve mentioned before that equating today’s modern welfare state with the the government Luther mentions is anachronistic and inaccurate. Note the use of the word “princes.” Also, there is nothing in most libertarian or conservative political or social theory that indicates that civil rulers or government is of necessity a bad thing. But, you have to recognize that the local or county government which has the most direct (i.e. subsidiary) impact on our “food, house and home, protection and security” is of a wholly different character than that of the modern, imperial state we now live under. As I’ve also said, if I advocated that we should go back to a government of the scale and scope of the of 1550 Electoral Saxony or 1550 Marburg that Luther was referencing, I’d be declared a radical, atomistic, uber-individualistic, hyper-libertarian.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom – I’ve mentioned before that equating today’s modern welfare state with the the government Luther mentions is anachronistic and inaccurate. Note the use of the word “princes.” Also, there is nothing in most libertarian or conservative political or social theory that indicates that civil rulers or government is of necessity a bad thing. But, you have to recognize that the local or county government which has the most direct (i.e. subsidiary) impact on our “food, house and home, protection and security” is of a wholly different character than that of the modern, imperial state we now live under. As I’ve also said, if I advocated that we should go back to a government of the scale and scope of the of 1550 Electoral Saxony or 1550 Marburg that Luther was referencing, I’d be declared a radical, atomistic, uber-individualistic, hyper-libertarian.

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 6, I’m not suggesting that the BoC provides a blueprint for American government. That would be ridiculous. What I’m suggesting is that the BoC is the standard for a Lutheran view of government – for a very basic philosophy of government.

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 6, I’m not suggesting that the BoC provides a blueprint for American government. That would be ridiculous. What I’m suggesting is that the BoC is the standard for a Lutheran view of government – for a very basic philosophy of government.

  • George

    Conservatism is more of an approach than an actual political philosophy. The approach essentially believes in the innate reasonableness and utility of traditions, prejudices, and organically forming institutions such as families and churches. It asserts that people are essentially, and best, governed by those institutions that inform their own being, such as families, local communities and religious houses. People feel naturally most tied and most strongly about these things, and therefore are best “kept” by them. The government, therefore, is only there to do what these institutions, due to their decentralized natures, can not do; things such as organizing courts, building large scale projects such as roads, or waging wars. Insofar as the greater government does these things, it, to, is a “natural and organic” human institution, healthy to human happiness. The problem is when any single institution attempts to be the ONLY institution. This results in a shallowing of the human individual and a weakening of his society. If the family attempts to replace the state, we are left with barbaric tribalism. If the church attempts the same, we have theocracy which does more to corrupt the church than sanctify the government. If the government attempts to claim for itself the rights of religion, then people are robbed of their spiritual life and become dumb unthinking animals, obsessed with nothing but personal pleasures. The strength of the conservative approach is that it embraces the fullness and complexity of human existence. It claims “families, yes; country, yes; God, yes;” All these things are essential to man, and man is debased if any part of his experience is debased. This falls in contrast to most 19th century “liberal” mindsets which sought to simplify mankind and his political experience into something simple, whether it was Mills’ “man seeks for pleasure” or Marx’s class struggle. Man is extremely complex, and organic society exists to serve and encourage this natural complexity. Any philosophy which seeks to simplify mans experience, seeks to destroy “humanity.” I would claim that socialism, fascism, and certain utilitarian strains of libertarianism all suffer from this; the first and the last by arguing that “mankind is driven by a desire for maximum pleasure and minimum pain,” and the middle by stating that “there is no individual, only a people.” Most people are driven by a desire for pleasure, and a fear of pain to a point, but also driven by honor, values, love, hate etc. which drive people to pursue suffering and throw off pleasure. Also, man experiences himself generally as part of a “people” but also as an “individual.” The flaw of all these mindsets is to simplify humanity much too much.

    Now, assuming the vital importance of “institutions” broadly speaking, there are two conservative trains of thought:

    1.) Human social institutions are natural and robust, and therefore, in order for them to thrive, all that is necessary is that they be unimpeded. As long as the government does not actively attack civil society (religion, family, community etc), it will thrive like weeds in a garden. Conservatives of this ilk, in accordance with this conviction, will have “libertarian” policies.

    2.)Human institutions are the result of thousands of years of cultural evolution. That being said, they are very fragile. Therefore, it is necessary that a state “formalize” the traditions inherited by a culture into law, to protect them from the madness of human ambition, which would quickly annihilate all restraints for personal gain. From this point of view, a “state” is but a part of a greater culture, and a culture is a spiritual tie between the past, the present, and the future. It would be an annulement of the society one lives in to deny its traditions by having a law code that does not actually represent the beliefs of the people. Conservatives of this stripe tend to believe that laws and government are merely extensions of the culture, and so should represent the culture, and not only so, but to defend it against deviants who would destroy a wall without having ever known why it was built in the first place. They believe in an “active” social policy, as contrasted with the “passive” policy of the Conservatives described previously.

    In the end, both believe in the essential nature of affirming the complexity of humanity and human experience; however, both have different views as how to best do this “affirming.”

    Anyway, just a thought.

  • George

    Conservatism is more of an approach than an actual political philosophy. The approach essentially believes in the innate reasonableness and utility of traditions, prejudices, and organically forming institutions such as families and churches. It asserts that people are essentially, and best, governed by those institutions that inform their own being, such as families, local communities and religious houses. People feel naturally most tied and most strongly about these things, and therefore are best “kept” by them. The government, therefore, is only there to do what these institutions, due to their decentralized natures, can not do; things such as organizing courts, building large scale projects such as roads, or waging wars. Insofar as the greater government does these things, it, to, is a “natural and organic” human institution, healthy to human happiness. The problem is when any single institution attempts to be the ONLY institution. This results in a shallowing of the human individual and a weakening of his society. If the family attempts to replace the state, we are left with barbaric tribalism. If the church attempts the same, we have theocracy which does more to corrupt the church than sanctify the government. If the government attempts to claim for itself the rights of religion, then people are robbed of their spiritual life and become dumb unthinking animals, obsessed with nothing but personal pleasures. The strength of the conservative approach is that it embraces the fullness and complexity of human existence. It claims “families, yes; country, yes; God, yes;” All these things are essential to man, and man is debased if any part of his experience is debased. This falls in contrast to most 19th century “liberal” mindsets which sought to simplify mankind and his political experience into something simple, whether it was Mills’ “man seeks for pleasure” or Marx’s class struggle. Man is extremely complex, and organic society exists to serve and encourage this natural complexity. Any philosophy which seeks to simplify mans experience, seeks to destroy “humanity.” I would claim that socialism, fascism, and certain utilitarian strains of libertarianism all suffer from this; the first and the last by arguing that “mankind is driven by a desire for maximum pleasure and minimum pain,” and the middle by stating that “there is no individual, only a people.” Most people are driven by a desire for pleasure, and a fear of pain to a point, but also driven by honor, values, love, hate etc. which drive people to pursue suffering and throw off pleasure. Also, man experiences himself generally as part of a “people” but also as an “individual.” The flaw of all these mindsets is to simplify humanity much too much.

    Now, assuming the vital importance of “institutions” broadly speaking, there are two conservative trains of thought:

    1.) Human social institutions are natural and robust, and therefore, in order for them to thrive, all that is necessary is that they be unimpeded. As long as the government does not actively attack civil society (religion, family, community etc), it will thrive like weeds in a garden. Conservatives of this ilk, in accordance with this conviction, will have “libertarian” policies.

    2.)Human institutions are the result of thousands of years of cultural evolution. That being said, they are very fragile. Therefore, it is necessary that a state “formalize” the traditions inherited by a culture into law, to protect them from the madness of human ambition, which would quickly annihilate all restraints for personal gain. From this point of view, a “state” is but a part of a greater culture, and a culture is a spiritual tie between the past, the present, and the future. It would be an annulement of the society one lives in to deny its traditions by having a law code that does not actually represent the beliefs of the people. Conservatives of this stripe tend to believe that laws and government are merely extensions of the culture, and so should represent the culture, and not only so, but to defend it against deviants who would destroy a wall without having ever known why it was built in the first place. They believe in an “active” social policy, as contrasted with the “passive” policy of the Conservatives described previously.

    In the end, both believe in the essential nature of affirming the complexity of humanity and human experience; however, both have different views as how to best do this “affirming.”

    Anyway, just a thought.

  • Lou G.

    “This is not statism; it is called subsidiarity. In this view, needs are best served by institutions closest to individuals. But when those institutions require help or protection, higher-order institutions should intervene. So when state governments imposed Jim Crow laws, the federal government had a duty to overturn them. When a community is caught in endless economic depression and drained of social capital, government should find creative ways to empower individuals and charities — maybe even prison ministries that change lives from the inside out.”
    I agree with the moral requirement to overturn Jim Crow laws, absolutely. We have to retain this care and protection, if we are to value and preserve workable states rights. However, the question of empowering individuals and charities to improve economic power and even social captital is touchy at the federal level. For example, well intended tax credits and subsidies help initially to encourage certain behaviors, but once they settle in, people start to view them as rights and then want more carrots to continue on or to keep going forward. In additon, often, what helps empower one entity also hurts another different one, so then you have collateral damage.
    The whole business of social engineering and economic meddling should not be the modus operandi for conservatives. That’s the liberal schtick. I’m not sure which candidate has the best plan for fencing the policy of “subisdiarity”, but the right formula lies somewhere in between Ron Paul and George W Bush.

    Furthermore, I really do like Santorum, but he seems pretty far out of his league. He hits the mark with blue collar conservatives though and that is a key demographic that none of the other candidates seem to be able to connect with.

  • Lou G.

    “This is not statism; it is called subsidiarity. In this view, needs are best served by institutions closest to individuals. But when those institutions require help or protection, higher-order institutions should intervene. So when state governments imposed Jim Crow laws, the federal government had a duty to overturn them. When a community is caught in endless economic depression and drained of social capital, government should find creative ways to empower individuals and charities — maybe even prison ministries that change lives from the inside out.”
    I agree with the moral requirement to overturn Jim Crow laws, absolutely. We have to retain this care and protection, if we are to value and preserve workable states rights. However, the question of empowering individuals and charities to improve economic power and even social captital is touchy at the federal level. For example, well intended tax credits and subsidies help initially to encourage certain behaviors, but once they settle in, people start to view them as rights and then want more carrots to continue on or to keep going forward. In additon, often, what helps empower one entity also hurts another different one, so then you have collateral damage.
    The whole business of social engineering and economic meddling should not be the modus operandi for conservatives. That’s the liberal schtick. I’m not sure which candidate has the best plan for fencing the policy of “subisdiarity”, but the right formula lies somewhere in between Ron Paul and George W Bush.

    Furthermore, I really do like Santorum, but he seems pretty far out of his league. He hits the mark with blue collar conservatives though and that is a key demographic that none of the other candidates seem to be able to connect with.

  • Cincinnatus

    Subsidiarity is the (rather nifty) idea that all issues should be managed by the smallest, most decentralized, and most localized institutions competent to the task. Apparently, Santorum does not believe state and local governments are competent for many tasks, as his legislative record demonstrates a willingness to consolidate most governing functions in all areas of life in the national government, regardless of what the Constitution has to say about it. Federal morality regulations, big government “compassionate conservative” programs, etc.

    Subsidiarity, by the way, is not the idea, as Santorum wrongly claims, that higher authorities exist to “bolster” more local authorities. They exist solely to carry out responsibilities that absolutely cannot be fulfilled by “lower” authorities; foreign policy is a classic example in the realm of nation-states. But hypocrisy with regards to subsidiarity is common in today’s world: the European Union claims subsidiarity as one of its central, guiding philosophies. What a crock.

  • Cincinnatus

    Subsidiarity is the (rather nifty) idea that all issues should be managed by the smallest, most decentralized, and most localized institutions competent to the task. Apparently, Santorum does not believe state and local governments are competent for many tasks, as his legislative record demonstrates a willingness to consolidate most governing functions in all areas of life in the national government, regardless of what the Constitution has to say about it. Federal morality regulations, big government “compassionate conservative” programs, etc.

    Subsidiarity, by the way, is not the idea, as Santorum wrongly claims, that higher authorities exist to “bolster” more local authorities. They exist solely to carry out responsibilities that absolutely cannot be fulfilled by “lower” authorities; foreign policy is a classic example in the realm of nation-states. But hypocrisy with regards to subsidiarity is common in today’s world: the European Union claims subsidiarity as one of its central, guiding philosophies. What a crock.

  • kerner

    Tom H. @5:

    You have to read the whole article:

    “167] In addition, it would be well to preach to the parents also, and such as bear their office, as to how they should deport themselves toward those who are committed to them for their government. For although this is not expressed in the Ten Commandments, it is nevertheless abundantly enjoined in many places in the Scripture. And God desires to have it embraced in this commandment when He speaks of father and mother. 168] For He does not wish to have in this office and government knaves and tyrants; nor does He assign to them this honor, that is, power and authority to govern, that they should have themselves worshiped; but they should consider that they are under obligations of obedience to God; and that, first of all, they should earnestly and faithfully discharge their office, not only to support and provide for the bodily necessities of their children, servants, subjects, etc., but, most of all, to train them to the honor and praise of God. 169] Therefore do not think that this is left to your pleasure and arbitrary will, but that it is a strict command and injunction of God, to whom also you must give account for it.

    170] But here again the sad plight arises that no one perceives or heeds this…”

    Luther’s Large Catachism 4th Commandment.

    The point being that, while the vocation of government may not be inherantly bad, it is, by virtue of the sinful people who pursue that vocation (which is all of them) clearly a field that can be and is abused.

    So, while we have a duty to our government, the government also has a duty to the citizens to first and foremost train the governed to honor and praise God, and that they not be knaves and tyrants who seek only their own aggrandizement.

    Yet Luther acknowledges that among those in power, in his own day, “no one perceives or heeds this”. Nobody heeds it now, either. Are you seriously arguing that we have a shortage of “knaves and [would be] tyrants” in 21st century America?

    So, let’s not read an unreserved endorsement of governmental authority into the Large Catachism, Tom. It’s not there.

  • kerner

    Tom H. @5:

    You have to read the whole article:

    “167] In addition, it would be well to preach to the parents also, and such as bear their office, as to how they should deport themselves toward those who are committed to them for their government. For although this is not expressed in the Ten Commandments, it is nevertheless abundantly enjoined in many places in the Scripture. And God desires to have it embraced in this commandment when He speaks of father and mother. 168] For He does not wish to have in this office and government knaves and tyrants; nor does He assign to them this honor, that is, power and authority to govern, that they should have themselves worshiped; but they should consider that they are under obligations of obedience to God; and that, first of all, they should earnestly and faithfully discharge their office, not only to support and provide for the bodily necessities of their children, servants, subjects, etc., but, most of all, to train them to the honor and praise of God. 169] Therefore do not think that this is left to your pleasure and arbitrary will, but that it is a strict command and injunction of God, to whom also you must give account for it.

    170] But here again the sad plight arises that no one perceives or heeds this…”

    Luther’s Large Catachism 4th Commandment.

    The point being that, while the vocation of government may not be inherantly bad, it is, by virtue of the sinful people who pursue that vocation (which is all of them) clearly a field that can be and is abused.

    So, while we have a duty to our government, the government also has a duty to the citizens to first and foremost train the governed to honor and praise God, and that they not be knaves and tyrants who seek only their own aggrandizement.

    Yet Luther acknowledges that among those in power, in his own day, “no one perceives or heeds this”. Nobody heeds it now, either. Are you seriously arguing that we have a shortage of “knaves and [would be] tyrants” in 21st century America?

    So, let’s not read an unreserved endorsement of governmental authority into the Large Catachism, Tom. It’s not there.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Can I just say that I absolutely abhor presidential election years?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Can I just say that I absolutely abhor presidential election years?

  • kerner

    Bryan:

    You should live in Wisconsin. It’s like living in one long election year since 2008.

  • kerner

    Bryan:

    You should live in Wisconsin. It’s like living in one long election year since 2008.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bryan@12: Amen, brother.

    And what kerner says. I moved here in 2009 and haven’t gone a day without being assaulted by various petitions, protests, recalls, electoral propositions, etc. I think there has been an election for something nearly every two months: mayors, aldermen, governors, state legislators, senators, congressmen, judges, and so on. And then after we elect them we are asked to recall them post-haste. Wisconsin suffers a surfeit of electoral politics and an apparently schizophrenic electorate.

    Anyway, Santorum: no thanks. I wish he actually understood subsidiarity as articulated by his own popes. On the other hand, his own popes don’t seem to get it, as Catholic bishops (including the Pope himself) have recently made a name for themselves calling for various one-world governments and the like. Some subsidiarity.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bryan@12: Amen, brother.

    And what kerner says. I moved here in 2009 and haven’t gone a day without being assaulted by various petitions, protests, recalls, electoral propositions, etc. I think there has been an election for something nearly every two months: mayors, aldermen, governors, state legislators, senators, congressmen, judges, and so on. And then after we elect them we are asked to recall them post-haste. Wisconsin suffers a surfeit of electoral politics and an apparently schizophrenic electorate.

    Anyway, Santorum: no thanks. I wish he actually understood subsidiarity as articulated by his own popes. On the other hand, his own popes don’t seem to get it, as Catholic bishops (including the Pope himself) have recently made a name for themselves calling for various one-world governments and the like. Some subsidiarity.

  • DonS

    SKP nailed it @ 3. Government is not the community, but only a part, with a specific and defined role. Just because you don’t think government’s proper role is to coerce charity, using the government bureaucracy as a highly inefficient middleman, doesn’t mean you are denying the importance of communities and institutions.

    Tom @ 5: Hmm. You seem to be reading a lot more into that one little passage than is there. Luther made a simple analogy — that the government, like your parents when you are small — has a role in ensuring your protection and security, and in securing the economic system and civil order which enables you to enjoy your home and to have food and provisions. I don’t think he was saying that the government IS your parent, or that it should direct and manage every aspect of your life, as your parent does when you are a minor dependent. Good grief.

  • DonS

    SKP nailed it @ 3. Government is not the community, but only a part, with a specific and defined role. Just because you don’t think government’s proper role is to coerce charity, using the government bureaucracy as a highly inefficient middleman, doesn’t mean you are denying the importance of communities and institutions.

    Tom @ 5: Hmm. You seem to be reading a lot more into that one little passage than is there. Luther made a simple analogy — that the government, like your parents when you are small — has a role in ensuring your protection and security, and in securing the economic system and civil order which enables you to enjoy your home and to have food and provisions. I don’t think he was saying that the government IS your parent, or that it should direct and manage every aspect of your life, as your parent does when you are a minor dependent. Good grief.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Santorum is wrong. He believes the government can and will do a better job than private citizens. It just ain’t so. Bureaucrats are not good stewards. The more bureaucracy you have the worse it is. Government is to set rules and enforce them, not to micromanage. Government now simply rewards failure. Not married but got kids? Gov’t has a reward for you. Researching for a cure but can’t find it? Gov’t has a reward for you. Private enterprise rewards success. Gov’t rewards failure.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Santorum is wrong. He believes the government can and will do a better job than private citizens. It just ain’t so. Bureaucrats are not good stewards. The more bureaucracy you have the worse it is. Government is to set rules and enforce them, not to micromanage. Government now simply rewards failure. Not married but got kids? Gov’t has a reward for you. Researching for a cure but can’t find it? Gov’t has a reward for you. Private enterprise rewards success. Gov’t rewards failure.

  • Tom Hering

    Uh, kerner @ 11, Luther is speaking, in that passage, of the office and government of parents (biological) in families (biological). Not the fatherhood of rulers.

    Don @ 15, good grief indeed. Where did I say that Luther was saying government should micromanage our lives? And where does Luther, in any of his comments on civil government, state that its activity should be limited to “securing the economic system and civil order”? Who’s reading what into Luther?

  • Tom Hering

    Uh, kerner @ 11, Luther is speaking, in that passage, of the office and government of parents (biological) in families (biological). Not the fatherhood of rulers.

    Don @ 15, good grief indeed. Where did I say that Luther was saying government should micromanage our lives? And where does Luther, in any of his comments on civil government, state that its activity should be limited to “securing the economic system and civil order”? Who’s reading what into Luther?

  • DonS

    Tom @ 15:

    Clearly, a Lutheran must conclude that government is essentially a bad thing, and that a government which governs the least, governs the best. Just as parents who parent the least, parent the best. They get out of their little children’s way, so their little children can decide how to best provide bread – for themselves. Surely, this is the parental model Luther had in mind.

    It’s not what I was reading into Luther, it’s what you yourself said. You took a perfectly appropriate Lutheran analogy and extrapolated from that some notion that government should “parent” us. That is not at all what Luther was saying.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 15:

    Clearly, a Lutheran must conclude that government is essentially a bad thing, and that a government which governs the least, governs the best. Just as parents who parent the least, parent the best. They get out of their little children’s way, so their little children can decide how to best provide bread – for themselves. Surely, this is the parental model Luther had in mind.

    It’s not what I was reading into Luther, it’s what you yourself said. You took a perfectly appropriate Lutheran analogy and extrapolated from that some notion that government should “parent” us. That is not at all what Luther was saying.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    “Libertarianism is an extreme form of individualism, in which personal rights trump every other social goal and institution.”

    Some have already touched on this above. But this is a terrible definition.

    Let’s take one institution: the church. Under a libertarian state, the church is free to excommunicate individuals. These individuals are free to join or leave churches as they see fit, but the institutions they might wish to join are not bound to accept them as members. I don’t see how this means that the individual rights “trumped” the institution. Unless we hold that the institution is powerless unless it can jail or physically punish them. But they cannot do this in the current regime, anyway.

    I would also be interested in knowing what a “social goal” is. If you must use force to achieve it, it sounds to me like it’s probably an anti-social goal.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    “Libertarianism is an extreme form of individualism, in which personal rights trump every other social goal and institution.”

    Some have already touched on this above. But this is a terrible definition.

    Let’s take one institution: the church. Under a libertarian state, the church is free to excommunicate individuals. These individuals are free to join or leave churches as they see fit, but the institutions they might wish to join are not bound to accept them as members. I don’t see how this means that the individual rights “trumped” the institution. Unless we hold that the institution is powerless unless it can jail or physically punish them. But they cannot do this in the current regime, anyway.

    I would also be interested in knowing what a “social goal” is. If you must use force to achieve it, it sounds to me like it’s probably an anti-social goal.

  • JH

    Seems strange to go back to Gerson after he was appropriately demolished 3 or 4 posts ago…

  • JH

    Seems strange to go back to Gerson after he was appropriately demolished 3 or 4 posts ago…

  • Tom Hering

    “You took a perfectly appropriate Lutheran analogy and extrapolated from that some notion that government should ‘parent’ us.”

    No such extrapolation was involved. I simply contrasted some silly notions about government with Luther’s words in the BoC, and in doing so, affirmed Luther’s argument that rulers are fathers. At a minimum, they punish us when we’re bad.

  • Tom Hering

    “You took a perfectly appropriate Lutheran analogy and extrapolated from that some notion that government should ‘parent’ us.”

    No such extrapolation was involved. I simply contrasted some silly notions about government with Luther’s words in the BoC, and in doing so, affirmed Luther’s argument that rulers are fathers. At a minimum, they punish us when we’re bad.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 17 – Luther is saying that securing the peace is the function of government, of the sword. This peace is to be secured from those who would seek to use robbery, theft, fraud or murder to take away the lives and property of members of the community. By securing this peace, everyone else is able to engage in their vocations peacefully and, by doing so, daily bread is provided for all. Thus, government “provides” bread to the people because it secures the peace by which daily life is made secure. Subsidiarity would then argue that this power is best effectuated at the level closest to where people live and work – primarily in the local communities that make up the civil realm, but also in conjunction with other local institutions.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 17 – Luther is saying that securing the peace is the function of government, of the sword. This peace is to be secured from those who would seek to use robbery, theft, fraud or murder to take away the lives and property of members of the community. By securing this peace, everyone else is able to engage in their vocations peacefully and, by doing so, daily bread is provided for all. Thus, government “provides” bread to the people because it secures the peace by which daily life is made secure. Subsidiarity would then argue that this power is best effectuated at the level closest to where people live and work – primarily in the local communities that make up the civil realm, but also in conjunction with other local institutions.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 21: Well, your last comment said it all. I expected at least a weak denial that government is your parent. But you doubled down. Which explains a lot.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 21: Well, your last comment said it all. I expected at least a weak denial that government is your parent. But you doubled down. Which explains a lot.

  • SKPeterson

    Don @ 23 – You won’t be able to use the phrase “doubled down” in the future. That is a gambling term and therefore verboten.

  • SKPeterson

    Don @ 23 – You won’t be able to use the phrase “doubled down” in the future. That is a gambling term and therefore verboten.

  • SKPeterson

    I must say, though, that this thread does confirm my contention on an earlier thread that Tom and Grace are two peas in a pod!

  • SKPeterson

    I must say, though, that this thread does confirm my contention on an earlier thread that Tom and Grace are two peas in a pod!

  • DonS

    SKP @ 24: My sincerest apologies :-(

    I’ve been bad, and deserve to be punished by Daddy Government.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 24: My sincerest apologies :-(

    I’ve been bad, and deserve to be punished by Daddy Government.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 25

    I must say, though, that this thread does confirm my contention on an earlier thread that Tom and Grace are two peas in a pod!”

    Please give a short DETAILED EXAMPLE, of Tom and myself being “two peas in a pod”

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 25

    I must say, though, that this thread does confirm my contention on an earlier thread that Tom and Grace are two peas in a pod!”

    Please give a short DETAILED EXAMPLE, of Tom and myself being “two peas in a pod”

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@27:

    1) Both of you are big believers in the authority and efficacy of the State in regulating individual behaviors and administering various social programs. In other words, you both are fans of Big Government.

    2) Both of you have a habit of derailing legitimate discussions and responding to critiques with various juvenile non sequiturs.

    To be fair, Tom is guilty of #2 more rarely than you, Grace.

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@27:

    1) Both of you are big believers in the authority and efficacy of the State in regulating individual behaviors and administering various social programs. In other words, you both are fans of Big Government.

    2) Both of you have a habit of derailing legitimate discussions and responding to critiques with various juvenile non sequiturs.

    To be fair, Tom is guilty of #2 more rarely than you, Grace.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 24

    “Don @ 23 – You won’t be able to use the phrase “doubled down” in the future. That is a gambling term and therefore verboten.”

    RE: “double down”

    DAILY FINANCE

    Bruce Watson 11/27/10

    See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/feVHFe

    “But “double down” appears to be hitting a high point. A popular boardroom buzzword for a couple of years, the term has spread its way through politics, corporate communications and the media. In early November, New York Congresswoman Yvette D. Clark (D-NY) invoked it, declaring that America needs to “double-down our efforts and bring the Haitian people some semblance of security.” A few days earlier, her colleague, Congressman Mark Schauer (D-MI), told an audience that America needs “to double down on education.” Late in October, Microsoft project manager Peter Orullian announced that “PC games is a place where we are doubling down,” while Kansas City Star reporter Derek Donovan’s warned, “Journalists need to double down not to propagate myths.”

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/11/27/buzzword-of-the-week-double-down/

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 24

    “Don @ 23 – You won’t be able to use the phrase “doubled down” in the future. That is a gambling term and therefore verboten.”

    RE: “double down”

    DAILY FINANCE

    Bruce Watson 11/27/10

    See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/feVHFe

    “But “double down” appears to be hitting a high point. A popular boardroom buzzword for a couple of years, the term has spread its way through politics, corporate communications and the media. In early November, New York Congresswoman Yvette D. Clark (D-NY) invoked it, declaring that America needs to “double-down our efforts and bring the Haitian people some semblance of security.” A few days earlier, her colleague, Congressman Mark Schauer (D-MI), told an audience that America needs “to double down on education.” Late in October, Microsoft project manager Peter Orullian announced that “PC games is a place where we are doubling down,” while Kansas City Star reporter Derek Donovan’s warned, “Journalists need to double down not to propagate myths.”

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/11/27/buzzword-of-the-week-double-down/

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 28

    “Grace@27: 1) Both of you are big believers in the authority and efficacy of the State in regulating individual behaviors and administering various social programs. In other words, you both are fans of Big Government.”

    I you are referring to Ron Paul – I do not advocate Ron Paul’s agenda, that would include drugs, and legalized prostitution. If that offends you or anyone else, then I would ask the question “what GOOD does legalizing the aforementioned serve this nation, it’s young people, health issues” –

    If that includes the law passed regarding the AMBER alert, which has saved the lives of 550 children, .. do you have a problem with this law?

    If that includes seat belts and helmets to ride bikes – we have gone over this on other blog posts.

    “2) Both of you have a habit of derailing legitimate discussions and responding to critiques with various juvenile non sequiturs.”

    The line above is nothing but a way in which to stir up another discussion, which includes Tom and myself. Cincinnatus, YOU are the one who is guilty of “derailing” this conversation by the very comment above!

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 28

    “Grace@27: 1) Both of you are big believers in the authority and efficacy of the State in regulating individual behaviors and administering various social programs. In other words, you both are fans of Big Government.”

    I you are referring to Ron Paul – I do not advocate Ron Paul’s agenda, that would include drugs, and legalized prostitution. If that offends you or anyone else, then I would ask the question “what GOOD does legalizing the aforementioned serve this nation, it’s young people, health issues” –

    If that includes the law passed regarding the AMBER alert, which has saved the lives of 550 children, .. do you have a problem with this law?

    If that includes seat belts and helmets to ride bikes – we have gone over this on other blog posts.

    “2) Both of you have a habit of derailing legitimate discussions and responding to critiques with various juvenile non sequiturs.”

    The line above is nothing but a way in which to stir up another discussion, which includes Tom and myself. Cincinnatus, YOU are the one who is guilty of “derailing” this conversation by the very comment above!

  • trotk

    Grace, you asked for the example, so the conversation must have been derailed already (by SK, perhaps, or you, in your response) by the time Cincinnatus jumped in.

    Why are you protesting your association with Tom?

    And why did you post #29? Did you think that the others didn’t know the term?

  • trotk

    Grace, you asked for the example, so the conversation must have been derailed already (by SK, perhaps, or you, in your response) by the time Cincinnatus jumped in.

    Why are you protesting your association with Tom?

    And why did you post #29? Did you think that the others didn’t know the term?

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @28

    Your answer @ 28 to my question @ 27 isn’t DETAILED, it’s another example of you being VAGUE, unable to give an DETAILED EXAMPLE of what you accuse.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @28

    Your answer @ 28 to my question @ 27 isn’t DETAILED, it’s another example of you being VAGUE, unable to give an DETAILED EXAMPLE of what you accuse.

  • Cincinnatus

    Detailed and specific? Fine: I refer you to comments #30 and #32 in this thread.

  • Cincinnatus

    Detailed and specific? Fine: I refer you to comments #30 and #32 in this thread.

  • Grace

    trokt @ 31

    “And why did you post #29? Did you think that the others didn’t know the term?”

    Obviously SKPeterson @24 didn’t have a clue, he believes it has only one definition/application – therefore, I showed that he was incorrect.

  • Grace

    trokt @ 31

    “And why did you post #29? Did you think that the others didn’t know the term?”

    Obviously SKPeterson @24 didn’t have a clue, he believes it has only one definition/application – therefore, I showed that he was incorrect.

  • SKPeterson

    I don’t believe I was insinuating that the term has only one meaning, but rather, noting that the term originated in the context of gambling, specifically blackjack. It is in this context that Don was using the term in relation to Tom’s post, but that under Santorum gambling (and, in jest, its terminology) would be legally in jeopardy.

    http://www.rpsoft2000.com/terms/blackjack/double-down.htm

    It also has an explicit sexual content usage as well. I don’t believe Don was using it in that manner. Why do I feel like I’m having to explain a rather obvious joke?

  • SKPeterson

    I don’t believe I was insinuating that the term has only one meaning, but rather, noting that the term originated in the context of gambling, specifically blackjack. It is in this context that Don was using the term in relation to Tom’s post, but that under Santorum gambling (and, in jest, its terminology) would be legally in jeopardy.

    http://www.rpsoft2000.com/terms/blackjack/double-down.htm

    It also has an explicit sexual content usage as well. I don’t believe Don was using it in that manner. Why do I feel like I’m having to explain a rather obvious joke?

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus – 33

    “Detailed and specific? Fine: I refer you to comments #30 and #32 in this thread.”

    That does not come under the heading of “Big Government” –

    If drugs were made legal, cocaine, heroin and marjuana – many more young people would be inclined to use them. If something is legal, the idea is, it can’t be all that bad. Just look at ABORTION, that is legal –

    There are times when FEDERAL LAW is the best choice, ATF laws, bank robbery, mail fraud – the use of drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, laws the prohibit prostitution on the Federal level are needed. As Nevada proves, the states don’t always do the right thing.

    Would you like drug shops in your local mall? Prostitution venue in your local mall, or next to your grocery store, maybe a 5 blocks from your local high school or university?

    How does all this sound to you?

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus – 33

    “Detailed and specific? Fine: I refer you to comments #30 and #32 in this thread.”

    That does not come under the heading of “Big Government” –

    If drugs were made legal, cocaine, heroin and marjuana – many more young people would be inclined to use them. If something is legal, the idea is, it can’t be all that bad. Just look at ABORTION, that is legal –

    There are times when FEDERAL LAW is the best choice, ATF laws, bank robbery, mail fraud – the use of drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, laws the prohibit prostitution on the Federal level are needed. As Nevada proves, the states don’t always do the right thing.

    Would you like drug shops in your local mall? Prostitution venue in your local mall, or next to your grocery store, maybe a 5 blocks from your local high school or university?

    How does all this sound to you?

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@35:

    “Would you like drug shops in your local mall? Prostitution venue in your local mall, or next to your grocery store, maybe a 5 blocks from your local high school or university?”

    No, which is why we have zoning laws, community building codes, local action groups, etc. In short, local governing structures are perfectly capable of ensuring that brothels don’t open up in my neighborhood. You and Santorum are wrong; subsidiarity is right.

    Case in point: in Wisconsin, strip clubs are legal. But there are no strip clubs in my city (at least not openly). Why? Because my city has ordinances and business codes, etc., that prohibit strip clubs in our family-friendly neighborhoods. Meanwhile, while there are federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, local police essentially turn a blind eye to its usage (yeah, we’re a former hippie town). They have better things to do–you know, like preventing actual, dangerous crimes and protecting the public–and they also prove that, true to the dictates of subsidiarity, the federal government isn’t even competent to enforce its own regulatory empire. Guess what? I still never see anyone smoking marijuana, and the city hasn’t imploded into a vast orgy of depravity either.

    You’re correct: some situations and domains of action require federal oversight. No one has denied that claim, so you’re attacking a red herring. Mail fraud is one you mention, especially if that mail crosses state lines. Diplomacy and national defense, obviously. But the fact that you disapprove of an action–cocaine and marijuana use, bank robbery, prostitution, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you–doesn’t mean the federal government needs to step in and construct a massive enforcement infrastructure. The essence of subsidiarity is that localities can and do handle these issues better than the central government.

    /yeah, I know you won’t read this.

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@35:

    “Would you like drug shops in your local mall? Prostitution venue in your local mall, or next to your grocery store, maybe a 5 blocks from your local high school or university?”

    No, which is why we have zoning laws, community building codes, local action groups, etc. In short, local governing structures are perfectly capable of ensuring that brothels don’t open up in my neighborhood. You and Santorum are wrong; subsidiarity is right.

    Case in point: in Wisconsin, strip clubs are legal. But there are no strip clubs in my city (at least not openly). Why? Because my city has ordinances and business codes, etc., that prohibit strip clubs in our family-friendly neighborhoods. Meanwhile, while there are federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, local police essentially turn a blind eye to its usage (yeah, we’re a former hippie town). They have better things to do–you know, like preventing actual, dangerous crimes and protecting the public–and they also prove that, true to the dictates of subsidiarity, the federal government isn’t even competent to enforce its own regulatory empire. Guess what? I still never see anyone smoking marijuana, and the city hasn’t imploded into a vast orgy of depravity either.

    You’re correct: some situations and domains of action require federal oversight. No one has denied that claim, so you’re attacking a red herring. Mail fraud is one you mention, especially if that mail crosses state lines. Diplomacy and national defense, obviously. But the fact that you disapprove of an action–cocaine and marijuana use, bank robbery, prostitution, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you–doesn’t mean the federal government needs to step in and construct a massive enforcement infrastructure. The essence of subsidiarity is that localities can and do handle these issues better than the central government.

    /yeah, I know you won’t read this.

  • Cincinnatus

    so you’re attacking a straw man*

    Although red herring probably applies too…

  • Cincinnatus

    so you’re attacking a straw man*

    Although red herring probably applies too…

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 37

    YOU POSTED: – - tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you

    Cincinnatus, either you can’t read, or you have confused me with someone else. I have NOT mentioned “tobacco, alcohol, gun trading” –

    Cincinnatus @ 37

    YOU POSTED: – - tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you

    Cincinnatus, either you can’t read, or you have confused me with someone else. I have NOT mentioned “tobacco, alcohol, gun trading” -

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 37

    YOU POSTED: – - tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you

    Cincinnatus, either you can’t read, or you have confused me with someone else. I have NOT mentioned “tobacco, alcohol, gun trading” –

    Cincinnatus @ 37

    YOU POSTED: – - tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you

    Cincinnatus, either you can’t read, or you have confused me with someone else. I have NOT mentioned “tobacco, alcohol, gun trading” -

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@39:

    I’m guessing two things:

    1) You have no idea what “ATF” means, even though you cited it as a crucial component of our federal government’s regulation of everything you find distasteful.

    2) You aren’t going to respond to anything substantive in my post.

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@39:

    I’m guessing two things:

    1) You have no idea what “ATF” means, even though you cited it as a crucial component of our federal government’s regulation of everything you find distasteful.

    2) You aren’t going to respond to anything substantive in my post.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d just like to take this time to point out that Cincinnatus is clearly jealous of Tim Tebow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d just like to take this time to point out that Cincinnatus is clearly jealous of Tim Tebow.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @37

    YOU WROTE: – - “The essence of subsidiarity is that localities can and do handle these issues better than the central government.”

    subsidiarity definition Oxford Dictionary

    “the principle that a central authority should not be very powerful, and should only control things which cannot be controlled by local organizations’”

    Cincinnatus, local and state government is not doing it’s job in many instances. For that reason, tougher laws (Federal) need to be enforced regarding drugs, and prostitution – NOT make them a LEGAL opportunity for sex as a vocation, or drugs that most always hinder the individual (no matter their age) from driving safely, or more often behave mentally unbalanced, often committing crimes, including attacking others, sexual, abusive behavior, robbery etc.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @37

    YOU WROTE: – - “The essence of subsidiarity is that localities can and do handle these issues better than the central government.”

    subsidiarity definition Oxford Dictionary

    “the principle that a central authority should not be very powerful, and should only control things which cannot be controlled by local organizations’”

    Cincinnatus, local and state government is not doing it’s job in many instances. For that reason, tougher laws (Federal) need to be enforced regarding drugs, and prostitution – NOT make them a LEGAL opportunity for sex as a vocation, or drugs that most always hinder the individual (no matter their age) from driving safely, or more often behave mentally unbalanced, often committing crimes, including attacking others, sexual, abusive behavior, robbery etc.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @40

    YOU WROTE: – - “I’m guessing two things:
    1) You have no idea what “ATF” means, even though you cited it as a crucial component of our federal government’s regulation of everything you find distasteful.”

    That’s nonsense.

    ATF covers more than just tobacco, and firearms

    @ 37 YOU POSTED: – – “tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you“

    ATF covers more than just tobacco, alcohol, and as you posted “gun trading”. Add to that explosives and arson. I doubt you have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @40

    YOU WROTE: – - “I’m guessing two things:
    1) You have no idea what “ATF” means, even though you cited it as a crucial component of our federal government’s regulation of everything you find distasteful.”

    That’s nonsense.

    ATF covers more than just tobacco, and firearms

    @ 37 YOU POSTED: – – “tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and gun trading are apparently issues that bother you“

    ATF covers more than just tobacco, alcohol, and as you posted “gun trading”. Add to that explosives and arson. I doubt you have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

  • Cincinnatus

    Good Lord, Grace. I don’t even what is this.

  • Cincinnatus

    Good Lord, Grace. I don’t even what is this.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@42):

    Local and state government is not doing it’s job in many instances.

    This is a curiously unsupported statement. What, exactly, is going wrong, and what is your evidence for saying so, Grace?

    tougher laws (Federal) need to be enforced regarding drugs, and prostitution

    Because, for instance, if you would point to the prevalence of drug use, I might remind you that we already have plenty of harsh federal drug laws, and they are already being enforced. And, yes, they still remain ineffective.

    Which, following your apparent reasoning here, would suggest that we in the US need a higher authority to step in and enforce its laws to protect us from and/or stop drug use. So … should the UN step in?

    Of course, one might note that, per your Oxford Dictionary quote, subsidiarity is not measured by efficacy as such, but rather ability.

    Which is to say, are the local police able to patrol and enforce drug laws? Yes. Are they able to surveil and intercept international drug shipments or break up international cartels? No, so if those things are deemed necessary, then per the precept here, they should be done by a larger, more central authority.

    But the fact that the local government “is not doing it’s [sic] job” does not demonstrate that power needs to accrue to a higher-level government. It just means that new people or new tactics are needed at the local level. Whch is, you know, the reason we have elections.

    That said, as Cincinnatus refers (@37), local government isn’t necessarily so much failing at its job (let’s just consider drugs) as intentionally failing to enforce laws from higher-level governments, either because such selective enforcement is more in line with local sentiment, or because the local government does not have the money or time to enforce such laws (or because local priorities trump such enforcement).

    None of which falls under “not doing it’s job”. They’re just not doing the (impossible) job that you happen to want them to do, Grace.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@42):

    Local and state government is not doing it’s job in many instances.

    This is a curiously unsupported statement. What, exactly, is going wrong, and what is your evidence for saying so, Grace?

    tougher laws (Federal) need to be enforced regarding drugs, and prostitution

    Because, for instance, if you would point to the prevalence of drug use, I might remind you that we already have plenty of harsh federal drug laws, and they are already being enforced. And, yes, they still remain ineffective.

    Which, following your apparent reasoning here, would suggest that we in the US need a higher authority to step in and enforce its laws to protect us from and/or stop drug use. So … should the UN step in?

    Of course, one might note that, per your Oxford Dictionary quote, subsidiarity is not measured by efficacy as such, but rather ability.

    Which is to say, are the local police able to patrol and enforce drug laws? Yes. Are they able to surveil and intercept international drug shipments or break up international cartels? No, so if those things are deemed necessary, then per the precept here, they should be done by a larger, more central authority.

    But the fact that the local government “is not doing it’s [sic] job” does not demonstrate that power needs to accrue to a higher-level government. It just means that new people or new tactics are needed at the local level. Whch is, you know, the reason we have elections.

    That said, as Cincinnatus refers (@37), local government isn’t necessarily so much failing at its job (let’s just consider drugs) as intentionally failing to enforce laws from higher-level governments, either because such selective enforcement is more in line with local sentiment, or because the local government does not have the money or time to enforce such laws (or because local priorities trump such enforcement).

    None of which falls under “not doing it’s job”. They’re just not doing the (impossible) job that you happen to want them to do, Grace.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I you are referring to Ron Paul – I do not advocate Ron Paul’s agenda, that would include drugs, and legalized prostitution. If that offends you or anyone else, then I would ask the question “what GOOD does legalizing the aforementioned serve this nation, it’s young people, health issues” –”

    Giant EYE ROLL

    Yeah, all of the states have legalized murder, gambling etc.

    Oh wait, no we haven’t. In fact the federal government actually our ability to enforce our laws to protect the lives of the unborn children living in our states.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I you are referring to Ron Paul – I do not advocate Ron Paul’s agenda, that would include drugs, and legalized prostitution. If that offends you or anyone else, then I would ask the question “what GOOD does legalizing the aforementioned serve this nation, it’s young people, health issues” –”

    Giant EYE ROLL

    Yeah, all of the states have legalized murder, gambling etc.

    Oh wait, no we haven’t. In fact the federal government actually our ability to enforce our laws to protect the lives of the unborn children living in our states.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    the federal government actually IMPEDES our ability to enforce our laws to protect the lives of the unborn children living in our states.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    the federal government actually IMPEDES our ability to enforce our laws to protect the lives of the unborn children living in our states.

  • Grace

    Ron Paul wants to make drugs legal, therefore doing away with laws most of you find unfair, according to libertarian/isolationist thought.

  • Grace

    Ron Paul wants to make drugs legal, therefore doing away with laws most of you find unfair, according to libertarian/isolationist thought.

  • Grace

    sg,

    No matter how hard some of us have worked, the abortion laws are still in force. There are thousands of people who claim to be against abortion, but have done nothing to help end it.

    You can roll your eyes all you want – it won’t help stop abortion. It’s what kids do when they don’t want to hear the truth, so roll on!

  • Grace

    sg,

    No matter how hard some of us have worked, the abortion laws are still in force. There are thousands of people who claim to be against abortion, but have done nothing to help end it.

    You can roll your eyes all you want – it won’t help stop abortion. It’s what kids do when they don’t want to hear the truth, so roll on!

  • Miss Liberty

    “The Catholic (and increasingly Protestant) approach to social ethics asserts that liberty is made possible by strong social institutions — families, communities, congregations — that prepare human beings for the exercise of liberty by teaching self-restraint, compassion and concern for the public good.”

    So…liberty is not “possible” without a group-think mentality? Are the INDIVIDUAL rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” not possible unless you identify with a “family, community, or congregation”?? Are you saying that you have to be part of a group in order to be “prepared” for the “exercise of liberty” and in order to pursue happiness??

    Isn’t that exactly the type of philosophy that labor unions, mafias, and Communists so successfully endorse?…you can’t possibly think for yourself, so we will create a community to show you the way.

    Contrary to your writings, Libertarianism is not “an extreme form of individualism, in which personal rights trump every other social goal and institution.” That would be the definition of anarchy, which has nothing to do with Libertarianism (and is commonly confused by those who don’t bother to educate themselves).

    Libertarians are for liberty – plain and simple – whether it comes in a individual or group package. And nothing that David Boaz says suggests otherwise, contrary to your attempt to insinuate otherwise.

    Your disappointment in someone’s opinion should not lead you to misrepresent an entire philosophy.

  • Miss Liberty

    “The Catholic (and increasingly Protestant) approach to social ethics asserts that liberty is made possible by strong social institutions — families, communities, congregations — that prepare human beings for the exercise of liberty by teaching self-restraint, compassion and concern for the public good.”

    So…liberty is not “possible” without a group-think mentality? Are the INDIVIDUAL rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” not possible unless you identify with a “family, community, or congregation”?? Are you saying that you have to be part of a group in order to be “prepared” for the “exercise of liberty” and in order to pursue happiness??

    Isn’t that exactly the type of philosophy that labor unions, mafias, and Communists so successfully endorse?…you can’t possibly think for yourself, so we will create a community to show you the way.

    Contrary to your writings, Libertarianism is not “an extreme form of individualism, in which personal rights trump every other social goal and institution.” That would be the definition of anarchy, which has nothing to do with Libertarianism (and is commonly confused by those who don’t bother to educate themselves).

    Libertarians are for liberty – plain and simple – whether it comes in a individual or group package. And nothing that David Boaz says suggests otherwise, contrary to your attempt to insinuate otherwise.

    Your disappointment in someone’s opinion should not lead you to misrepresent an entire philosophy.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@48) said:

    Ron Paul wants to make drugs legal

    Grace, I know that this has been explained to you a large number of times, so I also know that you’re either intentionally trolling or intentionally being stupid.

    Take your pick. But there’s no reason anyone should take you seriously on this topic, either way.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@48) said:

    Ron Paul wants to make drugs legal

    Grace, I know that this has been explained to you a large number of times, so I also know that you’re either intentionally trolling or intentionally being stupid.

    Take your pick. But there’s no reason anyone should take you seriously on this topic, either way.

  • Grace

    Miss @ 50

    “So…liberty is not “possible” without a group-think mentality? Are the INDIVIDUAL rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” not possible unless you identify with a “family, community, or congregation”?? Are you saying that you have to be part of a group in order to be “prepared” for the “exercise of liberty” and in order to pursue happiness??

    Isn’t that exactly the type of philosophy that labor unions, mafias, and Communists so successfully endorse?…you can’t possibly think for yourself, so we will create a community to show you the way.”

    Throwing in “Communists” and “mafias” blew your argument. ISOLATIONISM and LIBERTARIAN go hand in hand – they however, have nothing to do with Communisum or the mafia.

    WHEN YOU ASK: “Are you saying that you have to be part of a group in order to be “prepared” for the “exercise of liberty” and in order to pursue happiness??”

    YES! We are as a nation, “part of a group” in order to maintain order, and freedom and to “pursue happiness” -

  • Grace

    Miss @ 50

    “So…liberty is not “possible” without a group-think mentality? Are the INDIVIDUAL rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” not possible unless you identify with a “family, community, or congregation”?? Are you saying that you have to be part of a group in order to be “prepared” for the “exercise of liberty” and in order to pursue happiness??

    Isn’t that exactly the type of philosophy that labor unions, mafias, and Communists so successfully endorse?…you can’t possibly think for yourself, so we will create a community to show you the way.”

    Throwing in “Communists” and “mafias” blew your argument. ISOLATIONISM and LIBERTARIAN go hand in hand – they however, have nothing to do with Communisum or the mafia.

    WHEN YOU ASK: “Are you saying that you have to be part of a group in order to be “prepared” for the “exercise of liberty” and in order to pursue happiness??”

    YES! We are as a nation, “part of a group” in order to maintain order, and freedom and to “pursue happiness” -

  • Miss Liberty

    Grace – it appears you didn’t read the article.

    The author said that the “exercise of liberty” was only “possible” with “strong social institutions” within our country — families, communities, congregations.” He is talking about conflicting political philosophies WITHIN the US of A – he is not talking about our nation vs the world.

    He is telling you that your individual pursuit of happiness is meaningless unless you have a local group (“family, community, or congregation”) to attach your beliefs to.

    And that, my friend, is exactly how the mafia and the Communists work – they devalue you as an individual in order to promote the collective good. Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy. To say otherwise is to ignore history and head down a very dangerous path indeed.

    Our Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to protect PERSONAL freedoms – not group freedoms.

    And your use of the word “isolationism” instead of “non-interventionism” with regard to the Libertarian movement unfortunately reveals you for your lack of research and/or education.

  • Miss Liberty

    Grace – it appears you didn’t read the article.

    The author said that the “exercise of liberty” was only “possible” with “strong social institutions” within our country — families, communities, congregations.” He is talking about conflicting political philosophies WITHIN the US of A – he is not talking about our nation vs the world.

    He is telling you that your individual pursuit of happiness is meaningless unless you have a local group (“family, community, or congregation”) to attach your beliefs to.

    And that, my friend, is exactly how the mafia and the Communists work – they devalue you as an individual in order to promote the collective good. Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy. To say otherwise is to ignore history and head down a very dangerous path indeed.

    Our Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to protect PERSONAL freedoms – not group freedoms.

    And your use of the word “isolationism” instead of “non-interventionism” with regard to the Libertarian movement unfortunately reveals you for your lack of research and/or education.

  • Grace

    Miss @ 53

    “Grace – it appears you didn’t read the article.”

    I don’t agree with it, that doesn’t mean I didn’t read it.

    “The author said that the “exercise of liberty” was only “possible” with “strong social institutions” within our country — families, communities, congregations.” He is talking about conflicting political philosophies WITHIN the US of A – he is not talking about our nation vs the world.

    I frame my posts they way I see fit, that means I don’t confine myself to the limits of another’s ideas. I have not mentioned the “world” but my own country, the U.S.A.

    ‘He is telling you that your individual pursuit of happiness is meaningless unless you have a local group (“family, community, or congregation”) to attach your beliefs to.

    And that, my friend, is exactly how the mafia and the Communists work – they devalue you as an individual in order to promote the collective good. Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy. To say otherwise is to ignore history and head down a very dangerous path indeed.”

    Drop it Miss, .. that isn’t an analogy you’re sporting, that makes sense, it’s nonsense. The mafia and Communism are not a comparison, no matter how eager you are to translate it into the equation.

    “Our Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to protect PERSONAL freedoms – not group freedoms.”

    We as a nation are a group, we all have “personal freedoms” that include, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc. Those are freedoms that include a group, ie the citizens of this country. “Personal freedoms” don’t encompass prostitution as a vocation, nor do they allow that people dope themselves up with, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin to hurt others because they are out of control, mentally unbalanced, committing crime, abusing and assaulting others.

    “And your use of the word “isolationism” instead of “non-interventionism” with regard to the Libertarian movement unfortunately reveals you for your lack of research and/or education.”

    No you’re wrong, it is used all the time by many very educated people. However it’s the ‘NEW SLICK way of trying to sling a rock at another individuals education, research and intelligence. You might consider your own …………

  • Grace

    Miss @ 53

    “Grace – it appears you didn’t read the article.”

    I don’t agree with it, that doesn’t mean I didn’t read it.

    “The author said that the “exercise of liberty” was only “possible” with “strong social institutions” within our country — families, communities, congregations.” He is talking about conflicting political philosophies WITHIN the US of A – he is not talking about our nation vs the world.

    I frame my posts they way I see fit, that means I don’t confine myself to the limits of another’s ideas. I have not mentioned the “world” but my own country, the U.S.A.

    ‘He is telling you that your individual pursuit of happiness is meaningless unless you have a local group (“family, community, or congregation”) to attach your beliefs to.

    And that, my friend, is exactly how the mafia and the Communists work – they devalue you as an individual in order to promote the collective good. Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy. To say otherwise is to ignore history and head down a very dangerous path indeed.”

    Drop it Miss, .. that isn’t an analogy you’re sporting, that makes sense, it’s nonsense. The mafia and Communism are not a comparison, no matter how eager you are to translate it into the equation.

    “Our Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to protect PERSONAL freedoms – not group freedoms.”

    We as a nation are a group, we all have “personal freedoms” that include, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc. Those are freedoms that include a group, ie the citizens of this country. “Personal freedoms” don’t encompass prostitution as a vocation, nor do they allow that people dope themselves up with, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin to hurt others because they are out of control, mentally unbalanced, committing crime, abusing and assaulting others.

    “And your use of the word “isolationism” instead of “non-interventionism” with regard to the Libertarian movement unfortunately reveals you for your lack of research and/or education.”

    No you’re wrong, it is used all the time by many very educated people. However it’s the ‘NEW SLICK way of trying to sling a rock at another individuals education, research and intelligence. You might consider your own …………

  • Cincinnatus

    Miss Liberty@53: But the article is correct. You do not have liberty unless you have a context of relationships and meaningful pursuits in which to exercise your liberty. No man (or woman) is an island.

    The flaw in liberalism (small “l”, of which libertarianism is a species) is that the (isolated) individual is the operative unit of political analysis and political life. Individuals and only individuals, according to liberalism, have rights. Rights require a State for protection and definition. Thus, liberalism–beginning with Hobbes for you intellectual historians following along–posits, on the one hand, the autonomous individual and, on the other, the all-powerful State whose “limited” task is to protect those rights, whether they be rights to property, happiness, a job, whatever.

    You might have guessed by now that this is a dangerous idea. An autonomous individual possesses no means to defend himself against a State, whether that state be “democratic” or monarchical. Liberty in such a situation is only a fiction permitted by the state.

    Essential to modern Burkean conservatism is that the autonomous individual of liberalism is a myth. Human beings dwell inextricably in various secondary, voluntary associations and groupings that exist in a mediating role between individual and state. These associations are necessary not merely because they grant us a meaningful existence–what would life be without family, church, business, etc.; i.e, what would live be without relationships?–but also because they serve a political function: they protect the isolated individual against the power of the state. This is something acknowledged by subsidiarity as well. The first sign of a tyranny, by the way, is an attempt to sever these bonds of community (I’ll say no more except to counsel you to look around you).

    Where Santorum and Gerson go wrong, then, is in assuming that subsidiarity and conservatism essentially call for the State to coopt–ahem, “protect” and “buttress”–these mediating/secondary institutions.

    Anyway, Gerson is 100% correct (I had to gag to say that) insofar as he recognizes the indispensability of associational life with respect to the preservation of liberty. His point has nothing whatsoever to do with “groupthink” or your absurd conjuring of “Communism” and “the mafia.” Seriously, what on earth? The notion that you are an autonomous, rights-bearing individual with no involvement in or responsibility to a community is a dangerous myth. “Mythical” because it’s empirically false, even though it underwrites much of our modern political thinking, and dangerous because you secretly depend upon the State for “protection”–and since you’ve expressed a distaste for family, religion, etc., and all the other groups that make life meaningful, well, good luck with that.

  • Cincinnatus

    Miss Liberty@53: But the article is correct. You do not have liberty unless you have a context of relationships and meaningful pursuits in which to exercise your liberty. No man (or woman) is an island.

    The flaw in liberalism (small “l”, of which libertarianism is a species) is that the (isolated) individual is the operative unit of political analysis and political life. Individuals and only individuals, according to liberalism, have rights. Rights require a State for protection and definition. Thus, liberalism–beginning with Hobbes for you intellectual historians following along–posits, on the one hand, the autonomous individual and, on the other, the all-powerful State whose “limited” task is to protect those rights, whether they be rights to property, happiness, a job, whatever.

    You might have guessed by now that this is a dangerous idea. An autonomous individual possesses no means to defend himself against a State, whether that state be “democratic” or monarchical. Liberty in such a situation is only a fiction permitted by the state.

    Essential to modern Burkean conservatism is that the autonomous individual of liberalism is a myth. Human beings dwell inextricably in various secondary, voluntary associations and groupings that exist in a mediating role between individual and state. These associations are necessary not merely because they grant us a meaningful existence–what would life be without family, church, business, etc.; i.e, what would live be without relationships?–but also because they serve a political function: they protect the isolated individual against the power of the state. This is something acknowledged by subsidiarity as well. The first sign of a tyranny, by the way, is an attempt to sever these bonds of community (I’ll say no more except to counsel you to look around you).

    Where Santorum and Gerson go wrong, then, is in assuming that subsidiarity and conservatism essentially call for the State to coopt–ahem, “protect” and “buttress”–these mediating/secondary institutions.

    Anyway, Gerson is 100% correct (I had to gag to say that) insofar as he recognizes the indispensability of associational life with respect to the preservation of liberty. His point has nothing whatsoever to do with “groupthink” or your absurd conjuring of “Communism” and “the mafia.” Seriously, what on earth? The notion that you are an autonomous, rights-bearing individual with no involvement in or responsibility to a community is a dangerous myth. “Mythical” because it’s empirically false, even though it underwrites much of our modern political thinking, and dangerous because you secretly depend upon the State for “protection”–and since you’ve expressed a distaste for family, religion, etc., and all the other groups that make life meaningful, well, good luck with that.

  • steve

    J. Dean #4 said:

    “I’ve yet to see a government ever use appropriate self-restraint once it begins to broaden its scope of influence. Like a virus, it spreads and infects, killing the body.”

    Yes, I agree. Much like a virus whose source of infection and method of suppression were pretty much ignored by the populace. People on all sides of the small-government spectrum would do well to recognize that government will ALWAYS fill the void when the population does not take care of business. And government bureaucracies are rarely ever self-limiting. They are filled with people who want to protect their own jobs. Some forms of government will try to fill in the void faster than others but even a Constitutional Republic will try to compensate when it’s citizens are irresponsible. So, while I rarely hesitate to jump on the “bash the government” bandwagon, I have to place much of the responsibility of our current situation squarely on the shoulders of a population that can barely name the candidates for President of the United States, let alone the candidates for their local school board or city council.

  • steve

    J. Dean #4 said:

    “I’ve yet to see a government ever use appropriate self-restraint once it begins to broaden its scope of influence. Like a virus, it spreads and infects, killing the body.”

    Yes, I agree. Much like a virus whose source of infection and method of suppression were pretty much ignored by the populace. People on all sides of the small-government spectrum would do well to recognize that government will ALWAYS fill the void when the population does not take care of business. And government bureaucracies are rarely ever self-limiting. They are filled with people who want to protect their own jobs. Some forms of government will try to fill in the void faster than others but even a Constitutional Republic will try to compensate when it’s citizens are irresponsible. So, while I rarely hesitate to jump on the “bash the government” bandwagon, I have to place much of the responsibility of our current situation squarely on the shoulders of a population that can barely name the candidates for President of the United States, let alone the candidates for their local school board or city council.

  • Miss Liberty

    Cincinnatus :

    “But the article is correct. You do not have liberty unless you have a context of relationships and meaningful pursuits in which to exercise your liberty. No man (or woman) is an island.”

    Wow – I think reading comprehension needs to be pushed more in schools.

    Nowhere have I said anything against “a context of relationships” as you put it.

    Group philosophies are great – I, for one, am part of the Libertarian group philosophy. The point emphasized here (since emphasis is clearly needed) is that you can exist in a “context of relationships” without violating a person’s individual liberties. The author here says the opposite – that liberty is only made possible by strong social institutions.

    As I said, and will say again – Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy.

  • Miss Liberty

    Cincinnatus :

    “But the article is correct. You do not have liberty unless you have a context of relationships and meaningful pursuits in which to exercise your liberty. No man (or woman) is an island.”

    Wow – I think reading comprehension needs to be pushed more in schools.

    Nowhere have I said anything against “a context of relationships” as you put it.

    Group philosophies are great – I, for one, am part of the Libertarian group philosophy. The point emphasized here (since emphasis is clearly needed) is that you can exist in a “context of relationships” without violating a person’s individual liberties. The author here says the opposite – that liberty is only made possible by strong social institutions.

    As I said, and will say again – Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy.

  • Grace

    Miss @ 57

    “Wow – I think reading comprehension needs to be pushed more in schools.”

    Try taking a course, maybe they have a community college near you!

    “As I said, and will say again – Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy.

    That would include prostitution, drugs the Amber alert bill that is in place, what about pedophilia, would that be on your list?

    Some so called “individual freedoms” are catastrophic to the moral integrity of decent people. If you include drugs and prostitution, that includes health, the health of everyone who uses sex as their vocation, every young and older adult, be it male or female, who engages in such activity, and then spreads it.

    The Amber alert bill that was signed into law, that has saved over 550 lives.

    Miss, until you’ve seen, up close and personal, drug use, the ruined lives of those who sell themselves for sex, you haven’t one single clue as to what you’re talking about.

    My career in medicine allowed me to see how devastating immoral behavior can be, not just to the ones who indulge is such slop, but those who must pay the price (the innocent) the children, spouses, parents and the community at large – for such acts, be it crime, disease and death. For the children who watch helpless as those who are older young people and adults abuse themselves and the children they are supposed to protect.

  • Grace

    Miss @ 57

    “Wow – I think reading comprehension needs to be pushed more in schools.”

    Try taking a course, maybe they have a community college near you!

    “As I said, and will say again – Personal freedoms should never be sacrificed in order to promote a group philosophy.

    That would include prostitution, drugs the Amber alert bill that is in place, what about pedophilia, would that be on your list?

    Some so called “individual freedoms” are catastrophic to the moral integrity of decent people. If you include drugs and prostitution, that includes health, the health of everyone who uses sex as their vocation, every young and older adult, be it male or female, who engages in such activity, and then spreads it.

    The Amber alert bill that was signed into law, that has saved over 550 lives.

    Miss, until you’ve seen, up close and personal, drug use, the ruined lives of those who sell themselves for sex, you haven’t one single clue as to what you’re talking about.

    My career in medicine allowed me to see how devastating immoral behavior can be, not just to the ones who indulge is such slop, but those who must pay the price (the innocent) the children, spouses, parents and the community at large – for such acts, be it crime, disease and death. For the children who watch helpless as those who are older young people and adults abuse themselves and the children they are supposed to protect.

  • Cincinnatus

    Miss Liberty,

    Speaking of reading comprehension, I’m talking about a philosophy of groups, not “group philosophies.” Libertarianism isn’t a group. You don’t “belong” to libertarianism. The groups I’m talking about are real: tangible, embodied, definable, local. Unlike the “nation” or a philosophy, both of which are mere abstractions, the family and the town are specific and concrete. You belong to a particular family, a particular community, a particular church (maybe) or clubs, etc.

    So, yes, Gerson is correct when he argues that liberty is only made possible in a context of strong social institutions like the family and the church–and the book club and the tavern and the local political party. Otherwise, it’s just you and your “rights claims” and your rants about individualism and liberty versus the State. The State usually wins in such contests.

  • Cincinnatus

    Miss Liberty,

    Speaking of reading comprehension, I’m talking about a philosophy of groups, not “group philosophies.” Libertarianism isn’t a group. You don’t “belong” to libertarianism. The groups I’m talking about are real: tangible, embodied, definable, local. Unlike the “nation” or a philosophy, both of which are mere abstractions, the family and the town are specific and concrete. You belong to a particular family, a particular community, a particular church (maybe) or clubs, etc.

    So, yes, Gerson is correct when he argues that liberty is only made possible in a context of strong social institutions like the family and the church–and the book club and the tavern and the local political party. Otherwise, it’s just you and your “rights claims” and your rants about individualism and liberty versus the State. The State usually wins in such contests.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, Grace, against whom and what are you arguing? Miss Liberty has said nothing about morality, Amber alert, drug use, and the assorted soapboxes you’re mounting yet again.

    Are you just upset because she called you out on your incorrect usage of the term “isolationism”?

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, Grace, against whom and what are you arguing? Miss Liberty has said nothing about morality, Amber alert, drug use, and the assorted soapboxes you’re mounting yet again.

    Are you just upset because she called you out on your incorrect usage of the term “isolationism”?

  • SKPeterson

    Grace,

    Here are the Amber Alert statistics you are so fond of parading as evidence of the need for FEDERAL law enforcement. From the DOJ Office of Justice Programs (emphasis is mine):

    SUMMARY OF AMBER ALERTS
    From January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010, 173 AMBER Alerts were issued in the United States involving 211 children.
    At the time the AMBER Alert cases were intaked there were 80 FAs, 74 NFAs, 16 LIMs, and 3 ERUs.

    (Note: FA = family abductions, which regularly account for about 50% of the alerts – these are usually non-custodial parents involved in custody disputes. NFA = non-family abductions, LIM = lost kids, and ERU = endangered runaways.

    Eleven (11) cases were later determined to be hoaxes, and 10 cases were later determined to be unfounded. From previous years this is about the usual number. The DOJ did not report how these 21 cases were distributed through the category classifications.

    Of the 173 AMBER Alerts issued from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010, 150 cases resulted in a recovery, 28 of which were successfully recovered as a direct result of those respective AMBER Alerts being issued.

    As of February 25, 2011, when statistics for this report were finalized 2 AMBER Alerts issued in 2010 remained active and 9 children were recovered deceased.

    So, from this sample we can see that about half of the alerts issued involve non-threatening instances of custody disputes or even outright hoaxes and false alarms. In fact, 150 of the 173 cases (I will note that the DOJ does a very poor job of discriminating between the number of alerts/cases and the number of children) were resolved without actually needing the Amber Alert system and, in about 40 percent of the remaining cases, FEDERAL law enforcement failed and the child ended up dead.

    Thus, the success rate and purpose of Amber Alerts applies to less than half of all reported uses of the alerts in any given year. In many cases about 30% based on prior year statistics. Here is an article reviewing the program benefits:

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/20/abducted/

    I don’t believe that this provides a sufficient degree of evidence that federal law enforcement efforts are particularly effective.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace,

    Here are the Amber Alert statistics you are so fond of parading as evidence of the need for FEDERAL law enforcement. From the DOJ Office of Justice Programs (emphasis is mine):

    SUMMARY OF AMBER ALERTS
    From January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010, 173 AMBER Alerts were issued in the United States involving 211 children.
    At the time the AMBER Alert cases were intaked there were 80 FAs, 74 NFAs, 16 LIMs, and 3 ERUs.

    (Note: FA = family abductions, which regularly account for about 50% of the alerts – these are usually non-custodial parents involved in custody disputes. NFA = non-family abductions, LIM = lost kids, and ERU = endangered runaways.

    Eleven (11) cases were later determined to be hoaxes, and 10 cases were later determined to be unfounded. From previous years this is about the usual number. The DOJ did not report how these 21 cases were distributed through the category classifications.

    Of the 173 AMBER Alerts issued from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010, 150 cases resulted in a recovery, 28 of which were successfully recovered as a direct result of those respective AMBER Alerts being issued.

    As of February 25, 2011, when statistics for this report were finalized 2 AMBER Alerts issued in 2010 remained active and 9 children were recovered deceased.

    So, from this sample we can see that about half of the alerts issued involve non-threatening instances of custody disputes or even outright hoaxes and false alarms. In fact, 150 of the 173 cases (I will note that the DOJ does a very poor job of discriminating between the number of alerts/cases and the number of children) were resolved without actually needing the Amber Alert system and, in about 40 percent of the remaining cases, FEDERAL law enforcement failed and the child ended up dead.

    Thus, the success rate and purpose of Amber Alerts applies to less than half of all reported uses of the alerts in any given year. In many cases about 30% based on prior year statistics. Here is an article reviewing the program benefits:

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/20/abducted/

    I don’t believe that this provides a sufficient degree of evidence that federal law enforcement efforts are particularly effective.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 61

    This from: – – U.S. Department of Justice

    Office of Justice Programs

    How effective has it been?

    AMBER Alert has been very effective. AMBER Alert programs have helped save the lives of 540 children nationwide. Over 90 percent of those recoveries have occurred since October 2002 when President Bush called for the appointment of an AMBER Alert Coordinator at the first-ever White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children. AMBER Alerts serve as deterrents to those who would prey upon our children. AMBER Alert cases have shown that some perpetrators release the abducted child after hearing the AMBER Alert on the radio or seeing it on television.
    Have there been any successes or failures of the AMBER Alert system?

    Everyone from law enforcement to government to broadcasters has worked very hard to make the AMBER Alert program a success. Although there is much work left to do, the progress made has been significant. All 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands now have AMBER Alert plans and 540 children have been recovered because of the AMBER Alert.

    http://www.amberalert.gov/faqs.htm#faq6

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 61

    This from: – – U.S. Department of Justice

    Office of Justice Programs

    How effective has it been?

    AMBER Alert has been very effective. AMBER Alert programs have helped save the lives of 540 children nationwide. Over 90 percent of those recoveries have occurred since October 2002 when President Bush called for the appointment of an AMBER Alert Coordinator at the first-ever White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children. AMBER Alerts serve as deterrents to those who would prey upon our children. AMBER Alert cases have shown that some perpetrators release the abducted child after hearing the AMBER Alert on the radio or seeing it on television.
    Have there been any successes or failures of the AMBER Alert system?

    Everyone from law enforcement to government to broadcasters has worked very hard to make the AMBER Alert program a success. Although there is much work left to do, the progress made has been significant. All 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands now have AMBER Alert plans and 540 children have been recovered because of the AMBER Alert.

    http://www.amberalert.gov/faqs.htm#faq6

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 60

    ” Miss Liberty has said nothing about morality, Amber alert, drug use, and the assorted soapboxes you’re mounting yet again.”

    I spoke about morality, and the consequences of certain behavior. Whether she said “nothing about moraliity” doesn’t mean I should stay silent.

    Miss didn’t call me out on “isolationism” – libertarians are isolationist, whether they like the terms linked together or not.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 60

    ” Miss Liberty has said nothing about morality, Amber alert, drug use, and the assorted soapboxes you’re mounting yet again.”

    I spoke about morality, and the consequences of certain behavior. Whether she said “nothing about moraliity” doesn’t mean I should stay silent.

    Miss didn’t call me out on “isolationism” – libertarians are isolationist, whether they like the terms linked together or not.

  • Lutheran

    ‘Libertarian group philosophy”

    I snorted my coffee when I read this.

    Must be like trying to herd cats.

    Welcome to the United States of You.

  • Lutheran

    ‘Libertarian group philosophy”

    I snorted my coffee when I read this.

    Must be like trying to herd cats.

    Welcome to the United States of You.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, you have the rather unfortunate tendency of reducing anything you don’t like down to a level you can comprehend. And in the case of libertarianism, that is quite a lot of reduction.

    Much as we saw you reduce the entirety of Romney’s candidacy down to “He’s a Mormon!”, and then address the whole of Mormonism with two (I believe it was) quotes from histories of the LDS church, now we see you attempting to do the same here.

    So you try to make libertarianism (or any particular candidate who is somewhat libertarian — not that you distinguish between those) about simplistic black/white situations you can grasp, such as the legalization of drugs. In your world, of course, the entire topic can be addressed by saying “Drugs Bad!”, and so the legalization of drugs — never mind at what level, never mind if the proposal might actually still leave drugs being criminalized, no never mind any of that because it’s all too complicated for you — is also Bad, and thus libertarianism is also Bad.

    Or consider the Amber Alert, which you have beatified along with Tim Tebow. Never mind political principles, never mind cost-effectiveness, never mind anything besides the one statistic you bandy about regarding the Amber Alert which proves it is Good. And thus anyone who has any complaints whatsoever about the Amber Alert? Bad. It really is that simple.

    Anyhow, consider your points — such as they are — made. For all time. Really, I think you’ve offered all the insight I think you’re capable of on the topic of libertarianism (and those candidates on the pro or con side of it).

    And those points are, to recap: Amber Alert Good, Drugs Bad. Ladies and gentlement, Grace’s analysis of the whole of libertarianism!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, you have the rather unfortunate tendency of reducing anything you don’t like down to a level you can comprehend. And in the case of libertarianism, that is quite a lot of reduction.

    Much as we saw you reduce the entirety of Romney’s candidacy down to “He’s a Mormon!”, and then address the whole of Mormonism with two (I believe it was) quotes from histories of the LDS church, now we see you attempting to do the same here.

    So you try to make libertarianism (or any particular candidate who is somewhat libertarian — not that you distinguish between those) about simplistic black/white situations you can grasp, such as the legalization of drugs. In your world, of course, the entire topic can be addressed by saying “Drugs Bad!”, and so the legalization of drugs — never mind at what level, never mind if the proposal might actually still leave drugs being criminalized, no never mind any of that because it’s all too complicated for you — is also Bad, and thus libertarianism is also Bad.

    Or consider the Amber Alert, which you have beatified along with Tim Tebow. Never mind political principles, never mind cost-effectiveness, never mind anything besides the one statistic you bandy about regarding the Amber Alert which proves it is Good. And thus anyone who has any complaints whatsoever about the Amber Alert? Bad. It really is that simple.

    Anyhow, consider your points — such as they are — made. For all time. Really, I think you’ve offered all the insight I think you’re capable of on the topic of libertarianism (and those candidates on the pro or con side of it).

    And those points are, to recap: Amber Alert Good, Drugs Bad. Ladies and gentlement, Grace’s analysis of the whole of libertarianism!

  • Grace

    tODD at 65 in “reduction” !!!!!!

    “Grace, you have the rather unfortunate tendency of reducing anything you don’t like down to a level you can comprehend. And in the case of libertarianism, that is quite a lot of reduction.”

    The “reduction” you suffer from, are those that stick in your craw, mainly anything you cannot comprehend, or consider viable in your small world.

    Libertarianism is a small minded subject. But in the case of Ron Paul, pops up like a weak weed, every three years or so, gleaning whatever dumbbell/followers that are willing to stick their chicken necks out to cheer his cause.

    You, cannot understand, or rather you refuse to comprehend what libertarianism is, or what it represents. You rely on your closed “webbery” closet with ears plugged eyes glued to your monitor.

    As for “reduction” – when I think of your comment, I think of my gourmet style of cooking, that of reduction, which includes taking something such as “chicken broth” simmering it for several hours, only to make a “reduction” of it for sauce, needing a great deal of seasoning, as it’s taste is rather dull ‘as is. So, as you can read, “reduction” is not only a pedestrian sort of word, but rather ordinary in the sense that it has the same meaning a “chicken coop” when others would rather ‘upscale it to mean a ‘chicken breading farm’ TA TA .. it’s all a “reduction” or should be of facts, rather than using the word as some sort of symbol for intellectual achievement.

  • Grace

    tODD at 65 in “reduction” !!!!!!

    “Grace, you have the rather unfortunate tendency of reducing anything you don’t like down to a level you can comprehend. And in the case of libertarianism, that is quite a lot of reduction.”

    The “reduction” you suffer from, are those that stick in your craw, mainly anything you cannot comprehend, or consider viable in your small world.

    Libertarianism is a small minded subject. But in the case of Ron Paul, pops up like a weak weed, every three years or so, gleaning whatever dumbbell/followers that are willing to stick their chicken necks out to cheer his cause.

    You, cannot understand, or rather you refuse to comprehend what libertarianism is, or what it represents. You rely on your closed “webbery” closet with ears plugged eyes glued to your monitor.

    As for “reduction” – when I think of your comment, I think of my gourmet style of cooking, that of reduction, which includes taking something such as “chicken broth” simmering it for several hours, only to make a “reduction” of it for sauce, needing a great deal of seasoning, as it’s taste is rather dull ‘as is. So, as you can read, “reduction” is not only a pedestrian sort of word, but rather ordinary in the sense that it has the same meaning a “chicken coop” when others would rather ‘upscale it to mean a ‘chicken breading farm’ TA TA .. it’s all a “reduction” or should be of facts, rather than using the word as some sort of symbol for intellectual achievement.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 65

    Much as we saw you reduce the entirety of Romney’s candidacy down to “He’s a Mormon!”, and then address the whole of Mormonism with two (I believe it was) quotes from histories of the LDS church, now we see you attempting to do the same here.

    Romney is a Mormon, every quote I used typifies the Mormon church, what their core beliefs are. So what’s your beef? Is Romney your new best friend, they guy you think belongs in the White House?

    Those who believe they will someday be gods?

  • Grace

    tODD @ 65

    Much as we saw you reduce the entirety of Romney’s candidacy down to “He’s a Mormon!”, and then address the whole of Mormonism with two (I believe it was) quotes from histories of the LDS church, now we see you attempting to do the same here.

    Romney is a Mormon, every quote I used typifies the Mormon church, what their core beliefs are. So what’s your beef? Is Romney your new best friend, they guy you think belongs in the White House?

    Those who believe they will someday be gods?

  • Grace

    todd @ 65

    “So you try to make libertarianism (or any particular candidate who is somewhat libertarian — not that you distinguish between those) about simplistic black/white situations you can grasp, such as the legalization of drugs. In your world, of course, the entire topic can be addressed by saying “Drugs Bad!”, and so the legalization of drugs — never mind at what level, never mind if the proposal might actually still leave drugs being criminalized, no never mind any of that because it’s all too complicated for you — is also Bad, and thus libertarianism is also Bad.

    In your world, you sit on the ragged fence, trying to decide whether drugs are good or bad. Never mind that they have destroyed families, children, and even their very lives ie: death for their drug use.

    There is no level of good when it comes to cocaine, heroin and marijuana,… they all lead to a life that is sub-standard. Most who inhibit these drugs are unable to hold a job, their families suffer. Druggies are noted for robbery and many other crimes – please don’t tell me they rob for money to buy drugs.. that’s just a cover for their inability to provide for their families.

    Libertarianism, per Ron Paul .. legalized drugs is BAD, there is nothing good about it. It’s a life to no-where!

  • Grace

    todd @ 65

    “So you try to make libertarianism (or any particular candidate who is somewhat libertarian — not that you distinguish between those) about simplistic black/white situations you can grasp, such as the legalization of drugs. In your world, of course, the entire topic can be addressed by saying “Drugs Bad!”, and so the legalization of drugs — never mind at what level, never mind if the proposal might actually still leave drugs being criminalized, no never mind any of that because it’s all too complicated for you — is also Bad, and thus libertarianism is also Bad.

    In your world, you sit on the ragged fence, trying to decide whether drugs are good or bad. Never mind that they have destroyed families, children, and even their very lives ie: death for their drug use.

    There is no level of good when it comes to cocaine, heroin and marijuana,… they all lead to a life that is sub-standard. Most who inhibit these drugs are unable to hold a job, their families suffer. Druggies are noted for robbery and many other crimes – please don’t tell me they rob for money to buy drugs.. that’s just a cover for their inability to provide for their families.

    Libertarianism, per Ron Paul .. legalized drugs is BAD, there is nothing good about it. It’s a life to no-where!

  • Grace

    tODD @ 65

    “And those points are, to recap: Amber Alert Good, Drugs Bad. Ladies and gentlement, Grace’s analysis of the whole of libertarianism!”

    I haven’t even started.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 65

    “And those points are, to recap: Amber Alert Good, Drugs Bad. Ladies and gentlement, Grace’s analysis of the whole of libertarianism!”

    I haven’t even started.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace asked (@67):

    Is Romney your new best friend, they guy you think belongs in the White House?

    See, Grace, even as you attempt to make some point (@66) about reductionism (which, if I could make any sense of it, looked something like, “Nuh-uh! I’m rubber, you’re glue!”), you engage in the same simplistic black/white logic.

    If I criticize your facile analysis of Romney or Mormonism (they appear to be the same, to you), then, according to your logic, it simply must be the case that he’s my “best friend” or that I support him. Because, you know, anything that doesn’t smack of “Mormonism Bad!” is suspect for you.

    You, cannot understand, or rather you refuse to comprehend what libertarianism is, or what it represents.

    Um, let me guess. Does libertarianism represent some sort of antithetical position on drugs or the Amber Alert? Did I get it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace asked (@67):

    Is Romney your new best friend, they guy you think belongs in the White House?

    See, Grace, even as you attempt to make some point (@66) about reductionism (which, if I could make any sense of it, looked something like, “Nuh-uh! I’m rubber, you’re glue!”), you engage in the same simplistic black/white logic.

    If I criticize your facile analysis of Romney or Mormonism (they appear to be the same, to you), then, according to your logic, it simply must be the case that he’s my “best friend” or that I support him. Because, you know, anything that doesn’t smack of “Mormonism Bad!” is suspect for you.

    You, cannot understand, or rather you refuse to comprehend what libertarianism is, or what it represents.

    Um, let me guess. Does libertarianism represent some sort of antithetical position on drugs or the Amber Alert? Did I get it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@69), regarding her analysis of libertarianism:

    I haven’t even started.

    Well, on that we can agree!

    Because for several months now one of the ex-horses you’ve been flogging when it comes to Ron Paul and/or libertarianism has been the supposed relevance (and importance) of Amber Alerts. You are right when you say you haven’t started, because you apparently refuse to move beyond this ridiculous argument, bringing it up time and time again![1][2][3][4][5]

    By all means, Grace, please start actually analyzing libertarianism! Maybe you’ll have something of interest to say if you do!

    [1]geneveith.com/2011/08/17/the-ron-paul-alternative/#comment-124613
    [2]geneveith.com/2011/11/16/and-now-cains-brain-freeze/#comment-132388
    [3]geneveith.com/2011/12/12/its-all-true-about-gringrich/#comment-134507
    [4]geneveith.com/2012/01/03/the-case-against-ron-paul/#comment-136661
    [5]geneveith.com/2012/01/09/santorums-philosophy-of-government/#comment-137446

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@69), regarding her analysis of libertarianism:

    I haven’t even started.

    Well, on that we can agree!

    Because for several months now one of the ex-horses you’ve been flogging when it comes to Ron Paul and/or libertarianism has been the supposed relevance (and importance) of Amber Alerts. You are right when you say you haven’t started, because you apparently refuse to move beyond this ridiculous argument, bringing it up time and time again![1][2][3][4][5]

    By all means, Grace, please start actually analyzing libertarianism! Maybe you’ll have something of interest to say if you do!

    [1]geneveith.com/2011/08/17/the-ron-paul-alternative/#comment-124613
    [2]geneveith.com/2011/11/16/and-now-cains-brain-freeze/#comment-132388
    [3]geneveith.com/2011/12/12/its-all-true-about-gringrich/#comment-134507
    [4]geneveith.com/2012/01/03/the-case-against-ron-paul/#comment-136661
    [5]geneveith.com/2012/01/09/santorums-philosophy-of-government/#comment-137446

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@68):

    In your world, you sit on the ragged fence, trying to decide whether drugs are good or bad.

    This is pretty rich, coming from a woman who’s on record as promoting the purchase and consumption of drugs on this very blog. And not just any drug, no, but a drug that is well known for having “destroyed families, children, and even [users'] very lives”. So are you a hypocrite, Grace, or do you just not know that alcohol is also a drug?

    Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you use your (self-)vaunted medical experience and tell me how many people died in the past decade from alcohol (whether from overdosing or merely from the effects of intoxication). And then give me the same numbers for marijuana. Will you do that for me, Grace?

    Because it seems to me that you’re very much in favor of legalized drugs — at least the ones you use. You seem to think you’re capable of handling them, even though the data is very clear that alcohol kills people and destroys families. My only question is why you would promote such a “life to no-where” right here on this blog. Are you trying to destroy more families by pushing your drug on them?

    Druggies are noted for robbery and many other crimes – please don’t tell me they rob for money to buy drugs..

    Um, are you on drugs right now, Grace?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@68):

    In your world, you sit on the ragged fence, trying to decide whether drugs are good or bad.

    This is pretty rich, coming from a woman who’s on record as promoting the purchase and consumption of drugs on this very blog. And not just any drug, no, but a drug that is well known for having “destroyed families, children, and even [users'] very lives”. So are you a hypocrite, Grace, or do you just not know that alcohol is also a drug?

    Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you use your (self-)vaunted medical experience and tell me how many people died in the past decade from alcohol (whether from overdosing or merely from the effects of intoxication). And then give me the same numbers for marijuana. Will you do that for me, Grace?

    Because it seems to me that you’re very much in favor of legalized drugs — at least the ones you use. You seem to think you’re capable of handling them, even though the data is very clear that alcohol kills people and destroys families. My only question is why you would promote such a “life to no-where” right here on this blog. Are you trying to destroy more families by pushing your drug on them?

    Druggies are noted for robbery and many other crimes – please don’t tell me they rob for money to buy drugs..

    Um, are you on drugs right now, Grace?

  • Miss Liberty

    Lutheran – I don’t insult your group philosophy (and trust me, if I really wanted to I could), because I respect the fact that you are part of a religious sect within the Christian faith – a group of people who distinguish themselves from other Christian sects such as Mormons or Catholics, for example.

    And contrary to whatever you have heard, Libertarians are entirely concerned about the freedoms of everyone in this country – they are not thinking only of themselves.

    I am sorry for you that you have fallen victim to the mainstream media canned summary of Libertarianism.

    I am surprised by some of the juvenile comments on this board – I guess I was hoping this forum would be a step above.

    Oh well – onward and upward, and I wish you all well.

  • Miss Liberty

    Lutheran – I don’t insult your group philosophy (and trust me, if I really wanted to I could), because I respect the fact that you are part of a religious sect within the Christian faith – a group of people who distinguish themselves from other Christian sects such as Mormons or Catholics, for example.

    And contrary to whatever you have heard, Libertarians are entirely concerned about the freedoms of everyone in this country – they are not thinking only of themselves.

    I am sorry for you that you have fallen victim to the mainstream media canned summary of Libertarianism.

    I am surprised by some of the juvenile comments on this board – I guess I was hoping this forum would be a step above.

    Oh well – onward and upward, and I wish you all well.

  • SKPeterson

    Miss @ 73 – You’ve been a welcome addition to the conversation. Please do return. You unfortunately stepped into an ongoing scrap that has been in play for the last month or so, between those of us who are on the libertarian side (of whatever stripe) against the general caricatures and pejoratives by some of the others who refuse to distinguish between isolationism and non-interventionism, the difference between federal law, state and local, and even down to differences between law and social or cultural custom. Most of this is exemplified in the scintillating commentary from Grace, which is singular in its complete disregard for reason, fact or rational argumentation and the stubborn insistence that such disregard is a perfectly legitimate means of arguing a point.

  • SKPeterson

    Miss @ 73 – You’ve been a welcome addition to the conversation. Please do return. You unfortunately stepped into an ongoing scrap that has been in play for the last month or so, between those of us who are on the libertarian side (of whatever stripe) against the general caricatures and pejoratives by some of the others who refuse to distinguish between isolationism and non-interventionism, the difference between federal law, state and local, and even down to differences between law and social or cultural custom. Most of this is exemplified in the scintillating commentary from Grace, which is singular in its complete disregard for reason, fact or rational argumentation and the stubborn insistence that such disregard is a perfectly legitimate means of arguing a point.

  • kerner

    Miss L:

    I’m not even part of this conversation, and I would still hate to see you gone for good. SK is right to say that some of the more, er, colorful comments here are the products of disagreements of longstanding. But we always have room here for one more who can defend her opinions.

  • kerner

    Miss L:

    I’m not even part of this conversation, and I would still hate to see you gone for good. SK is right to say that some of the more, er, colorful comments here are the products of disagreements of longstanding. But we always have room here for one more who can defend her opinions.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    It would be nice to move into a real discussion. Miss@57 brought up a point about individual rights that is worth pondering. While I do enjoy the discussions that Burkean conservatives bring up about mediating institutions, they are often brought up in a murky way where it isn’t clear what ramifications this has for law. I think individuals have rights. I don’t think it is best to speak of group rights, even if I value the contribution of groups to a culture which values liberty. Are those who are promoting a more Burkean vision suggesting that there are specific legal ways that groups should be protected?

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    It would be nice to move into a real discussion. Miss@57 brought up a point about individual rights that is worth pondering. While I do enjoy the discussions that Burkean conservatives bring up about mediating institutions, they are often brought up in a murky way where it isn’t clear what ramifications this has for law. I think individuals have rights. I don’t think it is best to speak of group rights, even if I value the contribution of groups to a culture which values liberty. Are those who are promoting a more Burkean vision suggesting that there are specific legal ways that groups should be protected?

  • Cincinnatus

    Rick Ritchie@76:

    To quote Jeremy Bentham, individual natural rights are “nonsense on stilts.” Pure fictions of the State.

    And the State is almost always the enemy.

    As far as legal protections for groups? That’s certainly what Santorum and Gerson propose, but what does that even mean? Families and other “mediating” institutions are organic. They don’t need legal protections to survive. In fact, the only threats to the survival of such organic groupings are 1) State intervention and 2) moral decay that can’t be addressed via legal channels.

  • Cincinnatus

    Rick Ritchie@76:

    To quote Jeremy Bentham, individual natural rights are “nonsense on stilts.” Pure fictions of the State.

    And the State is almost always the enemy.

    As far as legal protections for groups? That’s certainly what Santorum and Gerson propose, but what does that even mean? Families and other “mediating” institutions are organic. They don’t need legal protections to survive. In fact, the only threats to the survival of such organic groupings are 1) State intervention and 2) moral decay that can’t be addressed via legal channels.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Jeremy Bentham was a pragmatist. Pragmatists only believe in the group making decisions based upon the greatest good for the greatest number. Of course he was against individual rights. They are the one constraint against the group having total power.

    Property rights existed long before there was anything like a state. The situation where one individual says, “That’s mine, not yours!” occurs early.

    The commandment against coveting is given at a point where a nation is on the verge of being created. But there is no state at that point. And the language of things belonging to the neighbor is understood without reference to a state. The state is the latecomer in all these situations.

    In Acts, when Ananias and Sapphira lied about the money they held back, St. Paul recognized that it belonged to them. “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?” (Acts 5:4). That looks like an individual right to me. The money would not belong to the mediating institution until they gave it.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Jeremy Bentham was a pragmatist. Pragmatists only believe in the group making decisions based upon the greatest good for the greatest number. Of course he was against individual rights. They are the one constraint against the group having total power.

    Property rights existed long before there was anything like a state. The situation where one individual says, “That’s mine, not yours!” occurs early.

    The commandment against coveting is given at a point where a nation is on the verge of being created. But there is no state at that point. And the language of things belonging to the neighbor is understood without reference to a state. The state is the latecomer in all these situations.

    In Acts, when Ananias and Sapphira lied about the money they held back, St. Paul recognized that it belonged to them. “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?” (Acts 5:4). That looks like an individual right to me. The money would not belong to the mediating institution until they gave it.

  • Lou G.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (When founding fathers spoke of pursuing happiness, they had nothing vague or private in mind, but rather meant a public pursuit prosperity through vocation which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government.)

  • Lou G.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (When founding fathers spoke of pursuing happiness, they had nothing vague or private in mind, but rather meant a public pursuit prosperity through vocation which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government.)

  • Lou G.

    should be: “pursuit of prosperity”

  • Lou G.

    should be: “pursuit of prosperity”

  • SKPeterson

    Well, to counter Bentham, to say that groups have rights is a complete absurdity. Almost every instance in which the law has seen fit to recognize group rights, it has been expressly paired with efforts to remove recognition of rights of other groups, and the individuals so classified as members of the disadvantaged group.

    The recognition of mediating institutions in no way invalidates the concept of individual rights and liberties. Those rights and liberties are inherent – they do not flow from the state. States may, properly or improperly act in accord with those rights or to deny those rights, but the actions of the states either way does not call the existence of those rights into question. As a corollary example, just because some people deny the efficacy of Baptism, does not mean that the efficacy of Baptism does not exist. Or, just because some people do not believe in Baptism, it does not invalidate the objective reality of Baptism. Unless you’re a Benthamite and Baptism is just another bath.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, to counter Bentham, to say that groups have rights is a complete absurdity. Almost every instance in which the law has seen fit to recognize group rights, it has been expressly paired with efforts to remove recognition of rights of other groups, and the individuals so classified as members of the disadvantaged group.

    The recognition of mediating institutions in no way invalidates the concept of individual rights and liberties. Those rights and liberties are inherent – they do not flow from the state. States may, properly or improperly act in accord with those rights or to deny those rights, but the actions of the states either way does not call the existence of those rights into question. As a corollary example, just because some people deny the efficacy of Baptism, does not mean that the efficacy of Baptism does not exist. Or, just because some people do not believe in Baptism, it does not invalidate the objective reality of Baptism. Unless you’re a Benthamite and Baptism is just another bath.

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, wait, wait. Did I miss something? When did we start talking about “group rights,” which are at least as absurd as “individual rights”?

    Also, Rick, while I have no love for Bentham–he merely happens to be correct about the idea of natural rights–your parody of utilitarianism (not pragmatism) is, well, kind of a parody.

    SKPeterson: prove to me that there is such a thing as an inherent right or liberty.

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, wait, wait. Did I miss something? When did we start talking about “group rights,” which are at least as absurd as “individual rights”?

    Also, Rick, while I have no love for Bentham–he merely happens to be correct about the idea of natural rights–your parody of utilitarianism (not pragmatism) is, well, kind of a parody.

    SKPeterson: prove to me that there is such a thing as an inherent right or liberty.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Miss Liberty,

    You have an awesome name, and a great mind. We hope you come back and contribute here. (Just be willing to laugh at yourself once in awhile.)

    Now, as for the RonPaul is a full-blown libertarian stuff & libertarian = isolationist, just thought I’d throw in a humorous quote I came across yesterday:

    “Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn’t come on your property and break your windows” Chris Lyspooner

    Also, today I read an article in which even John Bolton, in an interview with Judge Andrew Napalitano, is beginning to understand there is a significant difference between “non-interventionism” and “isolationism.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/think-tanked/post/bolton-changes-mind-on-ron-paul-would-seriously-consider-serving-administration/2012/01/10/gIQAj2I8nP_blog.html

    Point is: Some people are finally waking up, becoming intellectually emancipated from blanket labels so favored by MSM regarding political thought. Isolationism is a pejorative falsehood regarding RP and many conservative libertarians, paleo-conservatives, etc., whereas, the real truth is that the rarely spoken label of “INTERVENTIONISM” is arguably not pejorative or false with regard to the foreign and domestic policies of the majority Republican “establishment”. Not very different from the Democrats, no? I’m so sure it is Democrat vs. Republican as much as it is the individual vs. the government, regardless of whether it is Democrat or Republicrat. But that’s just my opinion. :)

  • JunkerGeorg

    Miss Liberty,

    You have an awesome name, and a great mind. We hope you come back and contribute here. (Just be willing to laugh at yourself once in awhile.)

    Now, as for the RonPaul is a full-blown libertarian stuff & libertarian = isolationist, just thought I’d throw in a humorous quote I came across yesterday:

    “Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn’t come on your property and break your windows” Chris Lyspooner

    Also, today I read an article in which even John Bolton, in an interview with Judge Andrew Napalitano, is beginning to understand there is a significant difference between “non-interventionism” and “isolationism.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/think-tanked/post/bolton-changes-mind-on-ron-paul-would-seriously-consider-serving-administration/2012/01/10/gIQAj2I8nP_blog.html

    Point is: Some people are finally waking up, becoming intellectually emancipated from blanket labels so favored by MSM regarding political thought. Isolationism is a pejorative falsehood regarding RP and many conservative libertarians, paleo-conservatives, etc., whereas, the real truth is that the rarely spoken label of “INTERVENTIONISM” is arguably not pejorative or false with regard to the foreign and domestic policies of the majority Republican “establishment”. Not very different from the Democrats, no? I’m so sure it is Democrat vs. Republican as much as it is the individual vs. the government, regardless of whether it is Democrat or Republicrat. But that’s just my opinion. :)

  • Lou G.

    Cincinnatus:
    It seems to me that your rejection of natural rights is contrary not only to the founding fathers’ intent, but also to the Lutheran doctrin of the Two Kingdoms. In my opinion, a Republic is not even possible without an acknowledgement of (if not a basis iin) individual rights.
    Now, of what these individual rights ought to sonsist remains a matter of debate.

    As I mentioned above, the founding fathers’ principles were right in line with the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms (Kim Riddlebarger has written several articles on this topic as well).

    my previous quote:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (When founding fathers spoke of pursuing happiness, they had nothing vague or private in mind, but rather meant a public pursuit of prosperity through vocation which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government.)

  • Lou G.

    Cincinnatus:
    It seems to me that your rejection of natural rights is contrary not only to the founding fathers’ intent, but also to the Lutheran doctrin of the Two Kingdoms. In my opinion, a Republic is not even possible without an acknowledgement of (if not a basis iin) individual rights.
    Now, of what these individual rights ought to sonsist remains a matter of debate.

    As I mentioned above, the founding fathers’ principles were right in line with the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms (Kim Riddlebarger has written several articles on this topic as well).

    my previous quote:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (When founding fathers spoke of pursuing happiness, they had nothing vague or private in mind, but rather meant a public pursuit of prosperity through vocation which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government.)

  • Lou G.

    To further draw on my comment “Now, of what these individual rights ought to sonsist remains a matter of debate”:
    Natural rights are God given, self-evident and inalienable. The debate I’m talking about is between those who acknowledge their Creator and those who have quenched/suppressed the knowledge of the Truth.
    I hope that helps to elaborate on what I mean by ‘debatable.;

  • Lou G.

    To further draw on my comment “Now, of what these individual rights ought to sonsist remains a matter of debate”:
    Natural rights are God given, self-evident and inalienable. The debate I’m talking about is between those who acknowledge their Creator and those who have quenched/suppressed the knowledge of the Truth.
    I hope that helps to elaborate on what I mean by ‘debatable.;

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Lou, you keep quoting the Declaration of Independence as if it were Scripture, or even in keeping with Scripture. But where in Scripture do we find these rights? Conversely, if we do not find them there, on what basis would you defend the Declaration? Just because it’s a founding document?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Lou, you keep quoting the Declaration of Independence as if it were Scripture, or even in keeping with Scripture. But where in Scripture do we find these rights? Conversely, if we do not find them there, on what basis would you defend the Declaration? Just because it’s a founding document?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Todd, didn’t you know? It comes right after Revelations, just before Going Rogue…
    :) :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Todd, didn’t you know? It comes right after Revelations, just before Going Rogue…
    :) :)

  • Lou G.

    tODD,

    Have you not spent any time at all looking into the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms — from your own denomination? (Afterall, factoring in the Two Kingdoms was a big part of Dr. Veith’s original implication in his questions.)

    If you actually read the document, I think you’ll see Two Kingdom theology all fairly straight forwardly. ref: http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/

    Further, I shall also like to quote Martin Luther who wrote: “The laws of worldly government extend no farther than to life and property and what is external upon earth. For over the soul God can and will let no one rule but himself. Therefore, where temporal power presumes to prescribe laws for the soul, it encroaches upon God’s government and only misleads and destroys souls.” Sounds like life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (as defined in the colonial days) to me,

    As far as scripture goes, I would defer to David VanDruden and Kim Riddlebarger for some of the best explanations of Natural Law. They have both written quite a few excellent resources, including: Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms. Here is a feeble, quick attempt from me to find some right off the cuff:

    In particular, we can see the from Genesis 1 that God created man with a pretty special place and plan:
    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
    So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.
    And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 ESV) Certainly, we have been endowed with Natural Rights from our Creator.

    Would you deny the right of mankind to life? “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13 ESV) The Law of Nature can be viewed in Romans 2:14-16. In addition, our Creator is the Author of life, which is seen in Genesis 2:7. That God, not government, grants liberty is seen in Galatians 5:1, while government and leaders have the responsibilty to protect and fight for the liberty that God has given us (see Moses, post Pharoah). The “pursuit of happiness” is found in Ecclesiastes 3:13 and throughout the book of Proverbs.

    My guess, however, is you’re playing devil’s advocate and trying to stick up for your buddy, so I don’t really expect a response.

  • Lou G.

    tODD,

    Have you not spent any time at all looking into the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms — from your own denomination? (Afterall, factoring in the Two Kingdoms was a big part of Dr. Veith’s original implication in his questions.)

    If you actually read the document, I think you’ll see Two Kingdom theology all fairly straight forwardly. ref: http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/

    Further, I shall also like to quote Martin Luther who wrote: “The laws of worldly government extend no farther than to life and property and what is external upon earth. For over the soul God can and will let no one rule but himself. Therefore, where temporal power presumes to prescribe laws for the soul, it encroaches upon God’s government and only misleads and destroys souls.” Sounds like life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (as defined in the colonial days) to me,

    As far as scripture goes, I would defer to David VanDruden and Kim Riddlebarger for some of the best explanations of Natural Law. They have both written quite a few excellent resources, including: Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms. Here is a feeble, quick attempt from me to find some right off the cuff:

    In particular, we can see the from Genesis 1 that God created man with a pretty special place and plan:
    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
    So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.
    And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 ESV) Certainly, we have been endowed with Natural Rights from our Creator.

    Would you deny the right of mankind to life? “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13 ESV) The Law of Nature can be viewed in Romans 2:14-16. In addition, our Creator is the Author of life, which is seen in Genesis 2:7. That God, not government, grants liberty is seen in Galatians 5:1, while government and leaders have the responsibilty to protect and fight for the liberty that God has given us (see Moses, post Pharoah). The “pursuit of happiness” is found in Ecclesiastes 3:13 and throughout the book of Proverbs.

    My guess, however, is you’re playing devil’s advocate and trying to stick up for your buddy, so I don’t really expect a response.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X