Do conservatives still care about community?

E. J. Dionne is a liberal whose beliefs are somewhat chastened by his Catholicism.  He argues in a recent column that conservatives used to be the champions of “community,” but that today’s conservatism has completely thrown off its own traditions in championing unbridled individualism.

I have long admired the conservative tradition and for years have written about it with great respect. But the new conservatism, for all its claims of representing the values that inspired our founders, breaks with the country’s deepest traditions. The United States rose to power and wealth on the basis of a balance between the public and the private spheres, between government and the marketplace, and between our love of individualism and our quest for community.

Conservatism today places individualism on a pedestal, but it originally arose in revolt against that idea. As the conservative thinker Robert A. Nisbet noted in 1968, conservatism represented a “reaction to the individualistic Enlightenment.” It “stressed the small social groups of society” and regarded such clusters of humanity — not individuals — as society’s “irreducible unit.”

True, conservatives continue to preach the importance of the family as a communal unit. But for Nisbet and many other conservatives of his era, the movement was about something larger. It “insisted upon the primacy of society to the individual — historically, logically and ethically.”

via Conservatives used to care about community. What happened? – The Washington Post.

Dionne goes on to show how conservatives of the past, from Alexander Hamilton through George W. Bush, had some sense of the social good, which he says is lacking among today’s Republican candidates.

First of all, social conservatism is not the same as libertarianism, though both have a home in today’s Republican party, largely because neither are welcome among Democrats.  Dionne’s complaint may be that “conservatives” are conflating those two different ideologies, but so is he.

Second, I would argue that conservatives (including some in the libertarian wing) are still interested in community.  Dionne’s mistake is in conflating community with government.  Classic Burkean conservatism emphasizes the importance of institutions such as the family, the church, local governments, small businesses, and other organizations, all of which help to preserve liberty and strong social values.   Burke championed these mediating institutions over and against the super-strong centralized Napoleonic state, which tends to demand all social authority, to the point of undermining these competitors.

Today’s conservatives see the authoritative state asserting its power over the family (e.g., gay marriage), the church (e.g., mandatory abortion coverage for church organizations), local government (e.g., unfunded mandates), small businesses (e.g., with intrusive regulations) and every other sphere of life.  Conservatives are plenty patriotic when it comes to the nation-state, but they do not want its government to be the sole source and repository of society and culture.  Thus, in opposing growing state power, conservatives (and many libertarians) are championing actual community.

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.

  • larry

    I see both this article’s points and Dr. Vieth’s. It is accurate that the article is conflating some things and I would say further that it misidentifies the issue, but nonetheless the issue exists. I’ve begun to hear this argument made from life long conservatives in principle but the form of the argument has not been well made – but there is some “smoke”.

    It’s part of the reason MR is making some ‘hay’ in the gop. Put in crass way, and one has to forget the whole “can a Christian vote for a cultist” right/wrong argument; when economics where going fairly good to very good for the country a candidate from a cult that has all kinds of moral issues internal to itself would have NEVER been considered a viable option for such socially conservative folks who primarily are identified in general as “evangelical”. All it has taken for a large swath of them to cave in on this core issue, now, has been a little pinch more than ever suffered on the pocket book. True, they’ve not entirely jettisoned it, they’d never say, “we don’t care about family, community, etc…”, but in reality its been deprioritized below the economics. This is largely why now and only now a CEO from an otherwise cult is a viable gop candidate. Again, the argument here is not the right or wrong of voting for a non-Christian, nor is this an argument for the standing leadership but narrow analysis of the shift that has taken place in the narrow group called “conservatives”.

  • larry

    I see both this article’s points and Dr. Vieth’s. It is accurate that the article is conflating some things and I would say further that it misidentifies the issue, but nonetheless the issue exists. I’ve begun to hear this argument made from life long conservatives in principle but the form of the argument has not been well made – but there is some “smoke”.

    It’s part of the reason MR is making some ‘hay’ in the gop. Put in crass way, and one has to forget the whole “can a Christian vote for a cultist” right/wrong argument; when economics where going fairly good to very good for the country a candidate from a cult that has all kinds of moral issues internal to itself would have NEVER been considered a viable option for such socially conservative folks who primarily are identified in general as “evangelical”. All it has taken for a large swath of them to cave in on this core issue, now, has been a little pinch more than ever suffered on the pocket book. True, they’ve not entirely jettisoned it, they’d never say, “we don’t care about family, community, etc…”, but in reality its been deprioritized below the economics. This is largely why now and only now a CEO from an otherwise cult is a viable gop candidate. Again, the argument here is not the right or wrong of voting for a non-Christian, nor is this an argument for the standing leadership but narrow analysis of the shift that has taken place in the narrow group called “conservatives”.

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

    How does one define “community”?

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

    How does one define “community”?

  • George

    A community is any group of people with a shared identity trait. Or something like that. They don’t necessarily have to actually get along or talk to each other. They just have to, in some sense “act in unison” in certain ways due to shared ideas and values and situations.

  • George

    A community is any group of people with a shared identity trait. Or something like that. They don’t necessarily have to actually get along or talk to each other. They just have to, in some sense “act in unison” in certain ways due to shared ideas and values and situations.

  • George

    Or if we are going to be Lutheran about it: community is what happens when one partakes of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and is thereby woven into the glorious body of Christ and therefore put into ever more perfect union with all the other grafted branches of the true vine.

  • George

    Or if we are going to be Lutheran about it: community is what happens when one partakes of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and is thereby woven into the glorious body of Christ and therefore put into ever more perfect union with all the other grafted branches of the true vine.

  • Dan Kempin

    So E. J. Dionne, that great admirer and respecter of conservatism, now begs to inform conservatives that they are being separated from the great conservative traditions of the past–most notably liberalism. Conservatives today just don’t care about community, like in the good old days of Dubya.

    Conservatives don’t care about “community?” Come on, E.J! Don’t bring that weak tot action!* Conservatives don’t care about children. They don’t care about schools. They don’t care about health care, the poor, the environment or animals. For crying out loud, they are prosecuting a WAR on WOMEN! And you want to talk about “community.”

    (Is it too early to complain of election year fatigue?)

    *In case you don’t remember:

  • Dan Kempin

    So E. J. Dionne, that great admirer and respecter of conservatism, now begs to inform conservatives that they are being separated from the great conservative traditions of the past–most notably liberalism. Conservatives today just don’t care about community, like in the good old days of Dubya.

    Conservatives don’t care about “community?” Come on, E.J! Don’t bring that weak tot action!* Conservatives don’t care about children. They don’t care about schools. They don’t care about health care, the poor, the environment or animals. For crying out loud, they are prosecuting a WAR on WOMEN! And you want to talk about “community.”

    (Is it too early to complain of election year fatigue?)

    *In case you don’t remember:

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    “… today’s conservatism has completely thrown off its own traditions in championing unbridled individualism.”

    It’s mostly a reaction to today’s liberalism, which has completely thrown off it’s own traditions, in championing unbridled statism.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    “… today’s conservatism has completely thrown off its own traditions in championing unbridled individualism.”

    It’s mostly a reaction to today’s liberalism, which has completely thrown off it’s own traditions, in championing unbridled statism.

  • SKPeterson

    Communities of whatever size or stripe are made up of individuals. In some cases there membership in those communities is sometimes more voluntary (churches, neighborhood associations, Lion’s Club, etc.) and sometimes somewhat involuntary (your family, your country of birth) depending on the strength and depth of the ties that enjoin and bind people within those communities.

    I admittedly fall out on the libertarian (classical liberal) side of things. Part of Dionne’s problem is that the modern Democratic party has assumed the mantle of “liberalism” while the two historic strands of American political thought (liberal and conservative) have been casually lumped into a generic “conservatism.” I am not a Hamiltonian. I am more of a subsidiarist in which political decision making is radically devolved away from intervening nationalist structures. Personally, I think Alexander Hamilton was one of the most destructive public figures in our nation’s history (and while I can’t condone Burr’s actions, I can’t say I’m too sorry for the outcome), along with those stellar lights Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR. The whole lot are a bunch of progressive/conservative interventionists operating in the name of “community” by actively destroying communities and replacing them with the agency of government. I find them to be in direct opposition to the liberal ideals of our Revolution, and in many ways they promoted, created, and preserved a state far more destructive of individual liberties and communities than George III and his Parliament. The only way true community can exist outside of an overweening state is for individuals to be left alone to form, shape and guide those communities by living in and amongst them.

  • SKPeterson

    Communities of whatever size or stripe are made up of individuals. In some cases there membership in those communities is sometimes more voluntary (churches, neighborhood associations, Lion’s Club, etc.) and sometimes somewhat involuntary (your family, your country of birth) depending on the strength and depth of the ties that enjoin and bind people within those communities.

    I admittedly fall out on the libertarian (classical liberal) side of things. Part of Dionne’s problem is that the modern Democratic party has assumed the mantle of “liberalism” while the two historic strands of American political thought (liberal and conservative) have been casually lumped into a generic “conservatism.” I am not a Hamiltonian. I am more of a subsidiarist in which political decision making is radically devolved away from intervening nationalist structures. Personally, I think Alexander Hamilton was one of the most destructive public figures in our nation’s history (and while I can’t condone Burr’s actions, I can’t say I’m too sorry for the outcome), along with those stellar lights Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR. The whole lot are a bunch of progressive/conservative interventionists operating in the name of “community” by actively destroying communities and replacing them with the agency of government. I find them to be in direct opposition to the liberal ideals of our Revolution, and in many ways they promoted, created, and preserved a state far more destructive of individual liberties and communities than George III and his Parliament. The only way true community can exist outside of an overweening state is for individuals to be left alone to form, shape and guide those communities by living in and amongst them.

  • George

    I think Dionne has a good point, insofar as most modern American conservatives tend to relate themselves more to an individualist/libertarian ideal as opposed to the “Old Roman Virtue” idea which prevailed in Classical Anglo Conservatism. The fault in him, I do believe, lies in the fact that he seems to not understand that there are different levels of community. Rather, he equates, like a good liberal, the community with the nation. According to true Conservative ideals, the nation is the weakest and most distant expression of “community” being the least immediate to humans and therefore demanding the fewest duties.

    But it is true that most “conservatives” nowadays more embrace the “just let me be” ideal, as opposed to the “Sparta needs sons” ideal.

  • George

    I think Dionne has a good point, insofar as most modern American conservatives tend to relate themselves more to an individualist/libertarian ideal as opposed to the “Old Roman Virtue” idea which prevailed in Classical Anglo Conservatism. The fault in him, I do believe, lies in the fact that he seems to not understand that there are different levels of community. Rather, he equates, like a good liberal, the community with the nation. According to true Conservative ideals, the nation is the weakest and most distant expression of “community” being the least immediate to humans and therefore demanding the fewest duties.

    But it is true that most “conservatives” nowadays more embrace the “just let me be” ideal, as opposed to the “Sparta needs sons” ideal.

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

    So a woman’s right to kill her unborn baby is somehow community building and not radical individualism even to the point of murdering innocent kids?

    Supporting the right of every individual to his own life is somehow too individualistic?

    But supporting the perverse right of women to kill their babies is not radically individualistic?

    I guess this is a case of point of view, huh?

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

    So a woman’s right to kill her unborn baby is somehow community building and not radical individualism even to the point of murdering innocent kids?

    Supporting the right of every individual to his own life is somehow too individualistic?

    But supporting the perverse right of women to kill their babies is not radically individualistic?

    I guess this is a case of point of view, huh?

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

    Old Roman Virtue: men could kill their kids.

    New feminist virtue: women can kill their kids.

    It is not a matter of right and wrong.

    It is a matter of who and whom.

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

    Old Roman Virtue: men could kill their kids.

    New feminist virtue: women can kill their kids.

    It is not a matter of right and wrong.

    It is a matter of who and whom.

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

    Telling teenagers they have a right to have sex and giving them condoms. Is that community building or is it perverse individualism? How does promiscuity build community?

    This article is such a joke.

    Didn’t we just have a post on no fault divorce? Nothing builds community like illegitimate kids and no fault divorce. This is just a misandrist rant about how it is fine for women to shirk their responsibilities to the family/community, but responsible men need to try to endlessly compensate by donating their property/earnings to support other irresponsible men’s and women’s kids.

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

    Telling teenagers they have a right to have sex and giving them condoms. Is that community building or is it perverse individualism? How does promiscuity build community?

    This article is such a joke.

    Didn’t we just have a post on no fault divorce? Nothing builds community like illegitimate kids and no fault divorce. This is just a misandrist rant about how it is fine for women to shirk their responsibilities to the family/community, but responsible men need to try to endlessly compensate by donating their property/earnings to support other irresponsible men’s and women’s kids.

  • DonS

    “Second, I would argue that conservatives (including some in the libertarian wing) are still interested in community. Dionne’s mistake is in conflating community with government.” — Bingo, Dr. Veith! To the liberals of today, big government IS the community. They cannot fathom the notion of free individuals forming and managing their own community, voluntarily, through the traditional cultural institutions of church and family. In fact, they have presided over Big Government’s substantial destruction of those traditional cultural institutions, as it has inserted its own behemoth self, with its self-imposed requirement to be religion-free, into nearly every nook and cranny of society, thus forcing the churches out into the corners. Its social welfare policies reward family-destructive behavior.

    Big Government is actually the enemy of community.

  • DonS

    “Second, I would argue that conservatives (including some in the libertarian wing) are still interested in community. Dionne’s mistake is in conflating community with government.” — Bingo, Dr. Veith! To the liberals of today, big government IS the community. They cannot fathom the notion of free individuals forming and managing their own community, voluntarily, through the traditional cultural institutions of church and family. In fact, they have presided over Big Government’s substantial destruction of those traditional cultural institutions, as it has inserted its own behemoth self, with its self-imposed requirement to be religion-free, into nearly every nook and cranny of society, thus forcing the churches out into the corners. Its social welfare policies reward family-destructive behavior.

    Big Government is actually the enemy of community.

  • larry

    Like I said the article does conflate issues, but modern conservatives have by and large nixed the idea of community, if that’s what we wish to call it, due individualistic and materialistic pursuits. Most of the folks I know are died in the wool conservatives and I myself grew up that way. We’ve grown up that way, voted that way, expressed all the social concerns that way for decades and still do. Yet, an honest assessment of the “communities within” and families within displays that in spite of their “conservatism” (socially, politically, psychologically) many find that their communities and families not only don’t really mimic their ideology but increasingly gravitate from it. Not that they are crassly hypocrites but because their pursuit of individualism and financial gain over time has increasingly led them away from the communities and families, the unpaid vocations, in what they would praise as “the private sector” under the guise that more financial and/or material gain will improve this. Some of the most distant disconnected families who have an “ideal” of family and community or even façade of it – that I know – are ironically extremely conservative. The broken homes today are not just the “dirty little liberal down the street” but the “conservative home up the street”.

    The answer is not of course big government, nor is it “more free market” (both are idols), liberals and conservatives, respectively deeply covet these gods & as they do both destroy the community and family. The problem is that both “sides” see the problem and think, in vain, their side is the answer.

  • larry

    Like I said the article does conflate issues, but modern conservatives have by and large nixed the idea of community, if that’s what we wish to call it, due individualistic and materialistic pursuits. Most of the folks I know are died in the wool conservatives and I myself grew up that way. We’ve grown up that way, voted that way, expressed all the social concerns that way for decades and still do. Yet, an honest assessment of the “communities within” and families within displays that in spite of their “conservatism” (socially, politically, psychologically) many find that their communities and families not only don’t really mimic their ideology but increasingly gravitate from it. Not that they are crassly hypocrites but because their pursuit of individualism and financial gain over time has increasingly led them away from the communities and families, the unpaid vocations, in what they would praise as “the private sector” under the guise that more financial and/or material gain will improve this. Some of the most distant disconnected families who have an “ideal” of family and community or even façade of it – that I know – are ironically extremely conservative. The broken homes today are not just the “dirty little liberal down the street” but the “conservative home up the street”.

    The answer is not of course big government, nor is it “more free market” (both are idols), liberals and conservatives, respectively deeply covet these gods & as they do both destroy the community and family. The problem is that both “sides” see the problem and think, in vain, their side is the answer.

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

    This is such bunk. I think of my kids’ swim team. We all come together and volunteer and make it happen. No one is organizing us. We organized ourselves. It is just a recreational swim league and we just did it ourselves. Then there is Little League and countless community organizations. What is this guy even talking about? If he is asocial, we can’t help that, but stop telling me that our community doesn’t exist. This is goofy.

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

    This is such bunk. I think of my kids’ swim team. We all come together and volunteer and make it happen. No one is organizing us. We organized ourselves. It is just a recreational swim league and we just did it ourselves. Then there is Little League and countless community organizations. What is this guy even talking about? If he is asocial, we can’t help that, but stop telling me that our community doesn’t exist. This is goofy.

  • Jonathan

    “E. J. Dionne is a liberal whose beliefs are somewhat chastened [read: informed] by his Catholicism.” It’s impossible to subscribe to Catholic Social Teaching and simultaneously be an American right winger. Which is why the US bishops, hardly a liberal group, described the House GOP budget as “immoral.”

  • Jonathan

    “E. J. Dionne is a liberal whose beliefs are somewhat chastened [read: informed] by his Catholicism.” It’s impossible to subscribe to Catholic Social Teaching and simultaneously be an American right winger. Which is why the US bishops, hardly a liberal group, described the House GOP budget as “immoral.”

  • SKPeterson

    Jonathan @ 15 – These guys would beg to disagree: http://www.acton.org/. Besides, looking to the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops for an accurate reading of Catholic Social Thought is fraught with danger. They’ve pushed for every socialistic measure Congress could think of for the last 50 years regardless of costs or repeated failure – they’re hardly interested in actually having to admit that they’ve been wrong. As a Lutheran, I’d say that pretty much sums up most Roman bishops for the last 7 or 8 hundred years – they never can admit when they’ve made a mistake.

  • SKPeterson

    Jonathan @ 15 – These guys would beg to disagree: http://www.acton.org/. Besides, looking to the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops for an accurate reading of Catholic Social Thought is fraught with danger. They’ve pushed for every socialistic measure Congress could think of for the last 50 years regardless of costs or repeated failure – they’re hardly interested in actually having to admit that they’ve been wrong. As a Lutheran, I’d say that pretty much sums up most Roman bishops for the last 7 or 8 hundred years – they never can admit when they’ve made a mistake.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    This discussion has largely been neutered before it started by being framed as being about “conservatives”. Who or what is a “conservative”? Answers will vary, so pick the group that makes your point and then move on.

    Do conservatives still care about community. Yes. And no. Depends on which “conservatives” you’re talking about.

    But as most people (including Dionne) appear to be using that term as a synonym for “Republican”, I will instead discuss the question of whether the Republican party still cares about community.

    On the whole, I would answer: no.

    Veith writes (with my substituting “Republican” for “conservative”, per the foregoing comment):

    Today’s Republicans see the authoritative state asserting its power over the family (e.g., gay marriage)…

    …And they up the ante with the authoritative state demanding more power (e.g. Defense of Marriage Act, as well as many other laws in which the government defines a family, as opposed to the people involved in it).

    Today’s Republicans see the authoritative state asserting its power over … local government (e.g., unfunded mandates)…

    …And they up the ante with more unfunded mandates (e.g. No Child Left Behind), as well as any number of federal smackdowns on state and local power (e.g. drug laws).

    Today’s Republicans see the authoritative state asserting its power over … small businesses (e.g., with intrusive regulations)…

    …And they’re okay with that, as long as the intrusive regulations benefit large businesses that are big donors.

    Heck, consider Bush’s key domestic policy before 9/11: the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I mean, just ponder the name!

    It may be true that “classic Burkean conservatism emphasizes the importance of institutions such as the family, the church, local governments, small businesses, and other organizations,” but Republicans today appear to believe, per George W. Bush, that the federal government needs to direct and fund those things with taxpayer monies. Anyone wanna call that “opposing growing state power”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    This discussion has largely been neutered before it started by being framed as being about “conservatives”. Who or what is a “conservative”? Answers will vary, so pick the group that makes your point and then move on.

    Do conservatives still care about community. Yes. And no. Depends on which “conservatives” you’re talking about.

    But as most people (including Dionne) appear to be using that term as a synonym for “Republican”, I will instead discuss the question of whether the Republican party still cares about community.

    On the whole, I would answer: no.

    Veith writes (with my substituting “Republican” for “conservative”, per the foregoing comment):

    Today’s Republicans see the authoritative state asserting its power over the family (e.g., gay marriage)…

    …And they up the ante with the authoritative state demanding more power (e.g. Defense of Marriage Act, as well as many other laws in which the government defines a family, as opposed to the people involved in it).

    Today’s Republicans see the authoritative state asserting its power over … local government (e.g., unfunded mandates)…

    …And they up the ante with more unfunded mandates (e.g. No Child Left Behind), as well as any number of federal smackdowns on state and local power (e.g. drug laws).

    Today’s Republicans see the authoritative state asserting its power over … small businesses (e.g., with intrusive regulations)…

    …And they’re okay with that, as long as the intrusive regulations benefit large businesses that are big donors.

    Heck, consider Bush’s key domestic policy before 9/11: the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I mean, just ponder the name!

    It may be true that “classic Burkean conservatism emphasizes the importance of institutions such as the family, the church, local governments, small businesses, and other organizations,” but Republicans today appear to believe, per George W. Bush, that the federal government needs to direct and fund those things with taxpayer monies. Anyone wanna call that “opposing growing state power”?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    OK, when Dionne characterizes himself as having great respect for conservatism? Suffice it to say it doesn’t show in his columns in general.

    And do conservatives care about community? Well, what were the results of the study of charitable giving by political and religious persuasion? When it came to emptying their own wallets instead of the wallets of others, conservatives outdo liberals by a country mile.

    Along the same lines, if you take a look at communities that tend to be politically conservative, you’re in general going to see a lot more watching out for one’s neighbor and such than one will in Dionne’s District of Columbia, to put it mildly. So for Dionne to even ask the question is….bizaare.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    OK, when Dionne characterizes himself as having great respect for conservatism? Suffice it to say it doesn’t show in his columns in general.

    And do conservatives care about community? Well, what were the results of the study of charitable giving by political and religious persuasion? When it came to emptying their own wallets instead of the wallets of others, conservatives outdo liberals by a country mile.

    Along the same lines, if you take a look at communities that tend to be politically conservative, you’re in general going to see a lot more watching out for one’s neighbor and such than one will in Dionne’s District of Columbia, to put it mildly. So for Dionne to even ask the question is….bizaare.

  • Grace

    Bike @18

    I agree with much of your post – excellent!

    YOU STATED: “And do conservatives care about community? Well, what were the results of the study of charitable giving by political and religious persuasion? When it came to emptying their own wallets instead of the wallets of others, conservatives outdo liberals by a country mile.

    “Along the same lines, if you take a look at communities that tend to be politically conservative, you’re in general going to see a lot more watching out for one’s neighbor and such than one will in Dionne’s District of Columbia, to put it mildly. So for Dionne to even ask the question is….bizaare.”

    Conservatives do give far more to help others than liberals.

    This past two weeks have been real eye openers for myself and my husband, we have observed our community for some time, but it’s become evident that “community” isn’t what it used to be at all. I will touch on several aspects of what we have observed.

    I don’t see “community” at all, not now. People live very much as isolationists, even in so call communities, where they own lovely homes, and office not so far away.

    Multiculturalism, has divided communities. So many cultures, in one living area shouldn’t be difficult, but it is. The differences become very apparent, as they settle in. Those who have migrated to this country within the past 15 plus years, aren’t interested, or care about our culture. Certain groups, – moral issues are lax, and that’s putting it mildly – and obvious to those who live close by. These aren’t poor people, they have money, money which they’ve brought from their country of origin. They pay cash for their homes, which is a good thing, their kids are given expensive cars, which again is not bad. They aren’t interested in getting to know any of their neighbors – that’s the sad part. They associate only with their own ethnic group. They are here to make money, educate their children.

    We are becoming a nation of peoples in great numbers, coming here, not to join in, and be part of our community – but in many respects, disrespect our nation, thumb their nose at some of our laws. One area that is most disturbing is the price that’s been paid for decades, to defend, not just our country but theirs as well, they couldn’t care less. As far as they are concerned it was our duty. Even though some become citizens, they have no interest in who is running for any office, they don’t care, and make it verbally known to anyone who asks. I have asked, and the answer was “I don’t know who is running, I don’t know the issues, and won’t be voting” they don’t care.

    This isn’t “community” – it’s the new U.S. Many of you might not live in the hub, of where we do, so I understand if you don’t know how this is all playing out.

    Right Wing ? Left Wing ? – NO, it’s not either one, the sole interest is – themselves. That goes for most people today, they don’t care unless it benefits them. Moral issues are ignored. Giving to help others – they fall right in line with “liberals” it’s what THEY CAN GET FOR THEMSELVES, with or without the funds to pay for it.

    Those who truly care about “community” are in the minority!

  • Grace

    Bike @18

    I agree with much of your post – excellent!

    YOU STATED: “And do conservatives care about community? Well, what were the results of the study of charitable giving by political and religious persuasion? When it came to emptying their own wallets instead of the wallets of others, conservatives outdo liberals by a country mile.

    “Along the same lines, if you take a look at communities that tend to be politically conservative, you’re in general going to see a lot more watching out for one’s neighbor and such than one will in Dionne’s District of Columbia, to put it mildly. So for Dionne to even ask the question is….bizaare.”

    Conservatives do give far more to help others than liberals.

    This past two weeks have been real eye openers for myself and my husband, we have observed our community for some time, but it’s become evident that “community” isn’t what it used to be at all. I will touch on several aspects of what we have observed.

    I don’t see “community” at all, not now. People live very much as isolationists, even in so call communities, where they own lovely homes, and office not so far away.

    Multiculturalism, has divided communities. So many cultures, in one living area shouldn’t be difficult, but it is. The differences become very apparent, as they settle in. Those who have migrated to this country within the past 15 plus years, aren’t interested, or care about our culture. Certain groups, – moral issues are lax, and that’s putting it mildly – and obvious to those who live close by. These aren’t poor people, they have money, money which they’ve brought from their country of origin. They pay cash for their homes, which is a good thing, their kids are given expensive cars, which again is not bad. They aren’t interested in getting to know any of their neighbors – that’s the sad part. They associate only with their own ethnic group. They are here to make money, educate their children.

    We are becoming a nation of peoples in great numbers, coming here, not to join in, and be part of our community – but in many respects, disrespect our nation, thumb their nose at some of our laws. One area that is most disturbing is the price that’s been paid for decades, to defend, not just our country but theirs as well, they couldn’t care less. As far as they are concerned it was our duty. Even though some become citizens, they have no interest in who is running for any office, they don’t care, and make it verbally known to anyone who asks. I have asked, and the answer was “I don’t know who is running, I don’t know the issues, and won’t be voting” they don’t care.

    This isn’t “community” – it’s the new U.S. Many of you might not live in the hub, of where we do, so I understand if you don’t know how this is all playing out.

    Right Wing ? Left Wing ? – NO, it’s not either one, the sole interest is – themselves. That goes for most people today, they don’t care unless it benefits them. Moral issues are ignored. Giving to help others – they fall right in line with “liberals” it’s what THEY CAN GET FOR THEMSELVES, with or without the funds to pay for it.

    Those who truly care about “community” are in the minority!

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

    I live in a heavily Asian area and while I would say that they are not quite as gregarious as maybe WASPs, they are pretty community oriented and helpful. We had a home owners association issue that was very contentious, but it was in no way split along ethnic lines. We all organized ourselves and worked together and the Asians stepped up and worked with the hispanics and whites. Despite the extreme contention, no one made any insinuations about ethnicities etc. My neighbors have been very helpful and warm to me and my friends. We have a chess club at our house and kids of all different backgrounds come and play chess, and games and stuff and we get to know the parents and go to tournaments together. Again, no one is organizing us. We just come together around a common interest and help out and socialize etc. Even in the new multiculti America, you still get out of it what you put into it.

    Interestingly, my mother in law said her mother, a FOTB German Lutheran, wouldn’t let her play with one of the neighbor girls because she was Roman Catholic. So, the old days had their community issues, too.

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

    I live in a heavily Asian area and while I would say that they are not quite as gregarious as maybe WASPs, they are pretty community oriented and helpful. We had a home owners association issue that was very contentious, but it was in no way split along ethnic lines. We all organized ourselves and worked together and the Asians stepped up and worked with the hispanics and whites. Despite the extreme contention, no one made any insinuations about ethnicities etc. My neighbors have been very helpful and warm to me and my friends. We have a chess club at our house and kids of all different backgrounds come and play chess, and games and stuff and we get to know the parents and go to tournaments together. Again, no one is organizing us. We just come together around a common interest and help out and socialize etc. Even in the new multiculti America, you still get out of it what you put into it.

    Interestingly, my mother in law said her mother, a FOTB German Lutheran, wouldn’t let her play with one of the neighbor girls because she was Roman Catholic. So, the old days had their community issues, too.

  • Jonathan

    @16, Peterson, you understand a caricature of the US Bishops, I grant you. Though I admit, as a Catholic, that some, like most Lutherans, have difficulty admitting error. But to call them Socialists gave me a laugh.

  • Jonathan

    @16, Peterson, you understand a caricature of the US Bishops, I grant you. Though I admit, as a Catholic, that some, like most Lutherans, have difficulty admitting error. But to call them Socialists gave me a laugh.

  • larry

    Todd,

    I think that’s a good clarification on two levels. First, the question is by its nature designed to be answered in the “broad category (brush)” sense for of course one can find specific examples pro and con to make either a pro or con point. Second, in the very points you make concerning the hypocrisy. It reminds me of back in the early 90s with the big 2nd Amendment scare was going on over right to own legislation and the Clinton administration and such things as conceal and carry legislation carried on at the State level. I followed it a lot being a good rural southerner. But as I’ve pointed out to many of my friends before, “You feared government gun registration. Fine, I don’t disagree, but do you realize who actually got it done? Largely the GOP with the aid, ironically, of the NRA under the guise of “protecting the right” with CC laws. For it matters little if the register a specific firearm that you have, it is entirely sufficient that you are registered with a CC permit which presupposes that you own a firearm…governmental gun registration goal accomplished and it was not by Clinton, et. al. but Wayne LaPierre, et. al. For you already had a second amendment right and it just crept away right under your nose and with your $$$ donations to aid the legislation through the State”.

    The US Constitution is largely a restrictive document on government in and of itself and should allow community to take care of itself. But when people come in and attempt to solve a problem through government legislation, they are empowering it (government) which formerly had been restricted to now formally “give you that right (i.e. insert your liberal/conservative pet moral thing)” and implied with that is (now) the ability to in the future to take that right away from you (a reality neither right or left politics largely grasps).

  • larry

    Todd,

    I think that’s a good clarification on two levels. First, the question is by its nature designed to be answered in the “broad category (brush)” sense for of course one can find specific examples pro and con to make either a pro or con point. Second, in the very points you make concerning the hypocrisy. It reminds me of back in the early 90s with the big 2nd Amendment scare was going on over right to own legislation and the Clinton administration and such things as conceal and carry legislation carried on at the State level. I followed it a lot being a good rural southerner. But as I’ve pointed out to many of my friends before, “You feared government gun registration. Fine, I don’t disagree, but do you realize who actually got it done? Largely the GOP with the aid, ironically, of the NRA under the guise of “protecting the right” with CC laws. For it matters little if the register a specific firearm that you have, it is entirely sufficient that you are registered with a CC permit which presupposes that you own a firearm…governmental gun registration goal accomplished and it was not by Clinton, et. al. but Wayne LaPierre, et. al. For you already had a second amendment right and it just crept away right under your nose and with your $$$ donations to aid the legislation through the State”.

    The US Constitution is largely a restrictive document on government in and of itself and should allow community to take care of itself. But when people come in and attempt to solve a problem through government legislation, they are empowering it (government) which formerly had been restricted to now formally “give you that right (i.e. insert your liberal/conservative pet moral thing)” and implied with that is (now) the ability to in the future to take that right away from you (a reality neither right or left politics largely grasps).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg @ 20 makes an important point – especially in her last paragraph. The “gold-tinted” past simply never existed.

    And Tod also made a good point – words lie “conservative”, or “liberal”, have become too meaningless to be used by themselves. The context of Dionne’s accusation identifies the “culprits”, according to him, as Republicans on the right of the party. Now whether that is true or not I’m not sure.

    And as a last remark, I live in a small town, dominated by Mennonites, or those descended from Mennonites – a community based on both religious as well as ethnic (Anglo-low German folk). As a Lutheran, and an immigrant, albeit one from Anglo-French-German-Dutch ancestry, I fall on the outside of this community, by default. And so do my kids, by-and-large. Now the Mennonites I live with would generally be quite comfortable in the “Conservatism” defined by Dionne (heck, the town council banned all alcohol and lottery ticket sales in the town, or let me rather say, is keeping up the ban that existed over the last century or so). So, in that sense, I could do with less community. And so could my bullied son.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg @ 20 makes an important point – especially in her last paragraph. The “gold-tinted” past simply never existed.

    And Tod also made a good point – words lie “conservative”, or “liberal”, have become too meaningless to be used by themselves. The context of Dionne’s accusation identifies the “culprits”, according to him, as Republicans on the right of the party. Now whether that is true or not I’m not sure.

    And as a last remark, I live in a small town, dominated by Mennonites, or those descended from Mennonites – a community based on both religious as well as ethnic (Anglo-low German folk). As a Lutheran, and an immigrant, albeit one from Anglo-French-German-Dutch ancestry, I fall on the outside of this community, by default. And so do my kids, by-and-large. Now the Mennonites I live with would generally be quite comfortable in the “Conservatism” defined by Dionne (heck, the town council banned all alcohol and lottery ticket sales in the town, or let me rather say, is keeping up the ban that existed over the last century or so). So, in that sense, I could do with less community. And so could my bullied son.

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

    Exactly right, Larry. @ 22

    The thing about community is that you have to have people who are willing and able to participate.

    Klasie makes the point that the Mennonites can do community by and for themselves, but if you aren’t one of them, it is rather uncomfortable or worse. I think of Utah. It may be swell if you are wholeheartedly Mormon, but maybe not so swell if you are not. If you are high functioning but don’t agree, it is not so great. If you are low functioning, it is still better than living with or under the control of abusive people.

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

    Exactly right, Larry. @ 22

    The thing about community is that you have to have people who are willing and able to participate.

    Klasie makes the point that the Mennonites can do community by and for themselves, but if you aren’t one of them, it is rather uncomfortable or worse. I think of Utah. It may be swell if you are wholeheartedly Mormon, but maybe not so swell if you are not. If you are high functioning but don’t agree, it is not so great. If you are low functioning, it is still better than living with or under the control of abusive people.

  • Grace

    sg,

    You have made comments in the past regarding high functioning and low functioning people. Are you talking about “autism” if not, just who are you referring to?

  • Grace

    sg,

    You have made comments in the past regarding high functioning and low functioning people. Are you talking about “autism” if not, just who are you referring to?

  • John C

    In many ways chess is the ideal community activity,sg. One does not require a court or stadium to play in – a table or a bench will do. You don’t need a high school diploma: you don’t even have to read. The government does not have to spend a cent of taxpayer funds on schools or teachers or universities. There is no need for courts to intervene in disputes; players do not require health insurance, roads, hospitals or electricity. One can believe in Intelligent Design and still play.
    In short, chess is the ideal sport for conservatives and libertarians.

  • John C

    In many ways chess is the ideal community activity,sg. One does not require a court or stadium to play in – a table or a bench will do. You don’t need a high school diploma: you don’t even have to read. The government does not have to spend a cent of taxpayer funds on schools or teachers or universities. There is no need for courts to intervene in disputes; players do not require health insurance, roads, hospitals or electricity. One can believe in Intelligent Design and still play.
    In short, chess is the ideal sport for conservatives and libertarians.

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

    High functioning people have good social skills, character, job skills, diligence, empathy, etc. Low functioning people generally are less motivated, less curious, lower skilled, less empathetic. High functioning people can work together and are civic minded. Low functioning people are not as able to do those things.

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

    High functioning people have good social skills, character, job skills, diligence, empathy, etc. Low functioning people generally are less motivated, less curious, lower skilled, less empathetic. High functioning people can work together and are civic minded. Low functioning people are not as able to do those things.

  • Grace

    sg,

    High functioning vs. low functioning is mostly used to define autism.

  • Grace

    sg,

    High functioning vs. low functioning is mostly used to define autism.

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

    @ 28 I don’t know much about autism, but it makes sense to use those terms to describe levels of ability in those affected by autism. The terms are used in many other contexts. They aren’t peculiar to autism.

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

    @ 28 I don’t know much about autism, but it makes sense to use those terms to describe levels of ability in those affected by autism. The terms are used in many other contexts. They aren’t peculiar to autism.

  • Grace

    sg,

    You might not be aware but the terms high functioning — low functioning are attributed to autism.

  • Grace

    sg,

    You might not be aware but the terms high functioning — low functioning are attributed to autism.

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

    Okay, like I said, that makes sense, but those terms are used for other things, too.

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

    Okay, like I said, that makes sense, but those terms are used for other things, too.

  • Grace

    sg,

    In medicine, the term (low functioning – high functioning) isn’t thrown about. It’s definition is autism, and sometimes used to define Asperger syndrome.

  • Grace

    sg,

    In medicine, the term (low functioning – high functioning) isn’t thrown about. It’s definition is autism, and sometimes used to define Asperger syndrome.

  • larry

    SG I understood precisely what you were saying as your context CLEARLY indicates, and that you were not throwing the terms about. And I have family that work in the medical community and those whose expertise has been dealing with autism and asperger for a long time.

  • larry

    SG I understood precisely what you were saying as your context CLEARLY indicates, and that you were not throwing the terms about. And I have family that work in the medical community and those whose expertise has been dealing with autism and asperger for a long time.

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

    I guess I don’t really get the particular association of the terms with autism. The words have been around for a long time before the diagnosis of autism. They sure aren’t obscure, and are used in many contexts. Anyway, just a quick google for ‘high function’ renders suggestions for alcoholics, down syndrome, sociopath, the elderly, etc, and yes, autism and aspergers. I don’t think that using the terms is somehow inappropriate to other contexts of social function.

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

    I guess I don’t really get the particular association of the terms with autism. The words have been around for a long time before the diagnosis of autism. They sure aren’t obscure, and are used in many contexts. Anyway, just a quick google for ‘high function’ renders suggestions for alcoholics, down syndrome, sociopath, the elderly, etc, and yes, autism and aspergers. I don’t think that using the terms is somehow inappropriate to other contexts of social function.

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

    “In many ways chess is the ideal community activity,sg.”
    “In short, chess is the ideal sport for conservatives and libertarians.”

    Are you pulling my leg? Is this a clever reference to chess in the Soviet Union?
    Perhaps this is what you meant:

    Chess is the ideal communist activity.
    Chess is the ideal sport for communists.

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

    “In many ways chess is the ideal community activity,sg.”
    “In short, chess is the ideal sport for conservatives and libertarians.”

    Are you pulling my leg? Is this a clever reference to chess in the Soviet Union?
    Perhaps this is what you meant:

    Chess is the ideal communist activity.
    Chess is the ideal sport for communists.

  • larry

    Precisely SG, precisely – it wasn’t even on ANYONE’s radar in the least.

  • larry

    Precisely SG, precisely – it wasn’t even on ANYONE’s radar in the least.

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

    @36

    communism or autism?

    or autistic communism?

    or communist autism?

    make me stop, please :D

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

    @36

    communism or autism?

    or autistic communism?

    or communist autism?

    make me stop, please :D

  • Grace

    sg,

    You might think it funny to make a joke of “autism” but those who have children and loved ones, it’s no joke.

    The jokes on you, I doubt you know what “autism” is, unless you GOOGLE it.

    The laughter and hilarity you exhibit, is very telling!

  • Grace

    sg,

    You might think it funny to make a joke of “autism” but those who have children and loved ones, it’s no joke.

    The jokes on you, I doubt you know what “autism” is, unless you GOOGLE it.

    The laughter and hilarity you exhibit, is very telling!

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

    Whatever, Grace.

    It is pretty obvious I wasn’t joking about the condition of autism, rather the confusion of what larry @ 36 was referring to.

    I am not and never was talking about autism.

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

    Whatever, Grace.

    It is pretty obvious I wasn’t joking about the condition of autism, rather the confusion of what larry @ 36 was referring to.

    I am not and never was talking about autism.

  • Grace

    sg

    It isn’t a “whatever” comment.

    YOU WROTE: → “I am not and never was talking about autism.”

    Oh YES YOU WERE – why make mention of it over and over again in post 37?

  • Grace

    sg

    It isn’t a “whatever” comment.

    YOU WROTE: → “I am not and never was talking about autism.”

    Oh YES YOU WERE – why make mention of it over and over again in post 37?

  • Grace

    sg @ 37

    Here ya go:

    → “communism or autism?

    or autistic communism?

    or communist autism?

    make me stop, please </blockquote

    Then this gem from your post @ 39

    → “I am not and never was talking about autism.

    You throw something around like playing a childish game of “kick ball” and then deny you were not talking about “autism” ?

  • Grace

    sg @ 37

    Here ya go:

    → “communism or autism?

    or autistic communism?

    or communist autism?

    make me stop, please </blockquote

    Then this gem from your post @ 39

    → “I am not and never was talking about autism.

    You throw something around like playing a childish game of “kick ball” and then deny you were not talking about “autism” ?

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

    Communism isn’t funny either. Aren’t you going to chide me for joking about communism? Think of all the people who died because of communism. I even made a minor reference to communism @ 35, unlike autism which I never said anything about.

    Or are you all out of venom?

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

    Communism isn’t funny either. Aren’t you going to chide me for joking about communism? Think of all the people who died because of communism. I even made a minor reference to communism @ 35, unlike autism which I never said anything about.

    Or are you all out of venom?

  • Grace

    sg,

    You BLEW IT, when you started commenting regarding “autism” – that was the point you beamed out on this thread.

    sg @29

    “I don’t know much about autism, but it makes sense to use those terms to describe levels of ability in those affected by autism. The terms are used in many other contexts. They aren’t peculiar to autism.

    You went from there to dodge your understanding of “high functioning” and “low functioning” and “autism.

    sg @ 42

    “Communism isn’t funny either. Aren’t you going to chide me for joking about communism?”

    No, I’m not. The comment is ridiculous. Your comments in post 37 PROVE IT!

    There is no “venom” sg, you can’t wiggle out of this one. Your comments concerning a dreadful condition as “autism” shows how little you understand, and the pain and suffering of those who struggle with it, and the loving parents who devote their lives to children who have it – your understanding is NIL. But of course you can GOOGLE and try to …….. well, you get the idea!

  • Grace

    sg,

    You BLEW IT, when you started commenting regarding “autism” – that was the point you beamed out on this thread.

    sg @29

    “I don’t know much about autism, but it makes sense to use those terms to describe levels of ability in those affected by autism. The terms are used in many other contexts. They aren’t peculiar to autism.

    You went from there to dodge your understanding of “high functioning” and “low functioning” and “autism.

    sg @ 42

    “Communism isn’t funny either. Aren’t you going to chide me for joking about communism?”

    No, I’m not. The comment is ridiculous. Your comments in post 37 PROVE IT!

    There is no “venom” sg, you can’t wiggle out of this one. Your comments concerning a dreadful condition as “autism” shows how little you understand, and the pain and suffering of those who struggle with it, and the loving parents who devote their lives to children who have it – your understanding is NIL. But of course you can GOOGLE and try to …….. well, you get the idea!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, not only are you a bully, but you’re an ignorant one.

    I wish I could say that I can’t believe you’ve spent this much time and energy berating SG for using terms that you didn’t understand. But, in your case, sadly, I can believe it.

    You like to tell us how much you know about medicine, and you seem to assume that you know more than anyone else here about anything medical, but your comments make clear what you actually know, your claims notwithstanding.

    And I say this as a parent of a child who has “autistic-like” behaviors (though who likely doesn’t actually have autism; if you must know, it’s probably a form of hyperlexia, which may or may not be on the autism spectrum).

    Anyhow, I wasn’t in the least offended by SG’s comment, because she so obviously wasn’t joking about autism. You’re just looking for a reason to be offended, Grace. You usually are.

    Oh, and saying that you “doubt” SG knows what autism is unless she Googles it? Um, she not infrequently drops allusions to “aspies”. Maybe you don’t know what that means, but she obviously does, and, if nothing else, it makes clear she’s aware of the autism spectrum, or perhaps even knows a few people on it. It’s not clear you are similarly knowledgeable.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, not only are you a bully, but you’re an ignorant one.

    I wish I could say that I can’t believe you’ve spent this much time and energy berating SG for using terms that you didn’t understand. But, in your case, sadly, I can believe it.

    You like to tell us how much you know about medicine, and you seem to assume that you know more than anyone else here about anything medical, but your comments make clear what you actually know, your claims notwithstanding.

    And I say this as a parent of a child who has “autistic-like” behaviors (though who likely doesn’t actually have autism; if you must know, it’s probably a form of hyperlexia, which may or may not be on the autism spectrum).

    Anyhow, I wasn’t in the least offended by SG’s comment, because she so obviously wasn’t joking about autism. You’re just looking for a reason to be offended, Grace. You usually are.

    Oh, and saying that you “doubt” SG knows what autism is unless she Googles it? Um, she not infrequently drops allusions to “aspies”. Maybe you don’t know what that means, but she obviously does, and, if nothing else, it makes clear she’s aware of the autism spectrum, or perhaps even knows a few people on it. It’s not clear you are similarly knowledgeable.

  • John C

    “Chess is the ideal sport for Communists”, and so it is — for many of the same reasons it is for libetarians and the religious right.
    Indeed, the US and the Soviet Union were great rivals in the early 1970s World Chess Championships. It was not just a personal victory that was at stake, but the triumph of one ideology over the other.
    The Soviet Union’s centrally planned economy was a failure but so is the unshackled crony capitalism of its successor.
    Decreasing taxes, reducing the size of government and emasculating public insitutions is not necessaryily good government either.

  • John C

    “Chess is the ideal sport for Communists”, and so it is — for many of the same reasons it is for libetarians and the religious right.
    Indeed, the US and the Soviet Union were great rivals in the early 1970s World Chess Championships. It was not just a personal victory that was at stake, but the triumph of one ideology over the other.
    The Soviet Union’s centrally planned economy was a failure but so is the unshackled crony capitalism of its successor.
    Decreasing taxes, reducing the size of government and emasculating public insitutions is not necessaryily good government either.

  • John C

    Or, to put it another way.
    If you don’t believe in government at a the state or federal level and you’re not very good at it why do you think you would be any better building communities?

  • John C

    Or, to put it another way.
    If you don’t believe in government at a the state or federal level and you’re not very good at it why do you think you would be any better building communities?

  • larry

    The real offense and abused term is Grace’s name.

  • larry

    The real offense and abused term is Grace’s name.

  • Grace

    Here comes tODD, giving a so called lesson regarding the definition of “aspies” – as though no one understands it, but should guess, as to how and why ‘some people’ throw it around.

    Autism is very much misunderstood. It’s not something one jokes about, or makes new definitions, or alludes to, throwing every disorder into the mix.

    As for my name larry, your remark is childish, and abusive.

  • Grace

    Here comes tODD, giving a so called lesson regarding the definition of “aspies” – as though no one understands it, but should guess, as to how and why ‘some people’ throw it around.

    Autism is very much misunderstood. It’s not something one jokes about, or makes new definitions, or alludes to, throwing every disorder into the mix.

    As for my name larry, your remark is childish, and abusive.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, I don’t know who told you that feigning outrage is the way to gain the upper hand in a conversation, but let me be the one to tell you this much: it’s not working.

    I don’t believe you know more than anyone else discussing this topic. If you want to convince me otherwise, you’ll have to actually display your expertise on the topic, rather than merely make repeated reference to its existence, as you typically do. And here’s a clue: saying “autism is very much misunderstood” is not a display of expertise. It just makes me think that it’s very much misunderstood … by you.

    But hey, I heard you’re offended by something or other. Good for you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, I don’t know who told you that feigning outrage is the way to gain the upper hand in a conversation, but let me be the one to tell you this much: it’s not working.

    I don’t believe you know more than anyone else discussing this topic. If you want to convince me otherwise, you’ll have to actually display your expertise on the topic, rather than merely make repeated reference to its existence, as you typically do. And here’s a clue: saying “autism is very much misunderstood” is not a display of expertise. It just makes me think that it’s very much misunderstood … by you.

    But hey, I heard you’re offended by something or other. Good for you.

  • Grace

    Poor tODD, has nothing else to do then complain about what I write.

    Just for the record – whether you’re “CONVINCED” regarding what I write or not, makes no difference to me. You’re becoming fixated on most everything I write. Strange!

  • Grace

    Poor tODD, has nothing else to do then complain about what I write.

    Just for the record – whether you’re “CONVINCED” regarding what I write or not, makes no difference to me. You’re becoming fixated on most everything I write. Strange!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@50),

    Poor tODD, has nothing else to do then complain about what I write. … You’re becoming fixated on most everything I write.

    Hey, maybe you now know how SG felt when you decided to write eight (!) comments berating her for using terms that you didn’t understand.

    I guess you don’t like your own tactics, then. Maybe there’s a lesson there for ya.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@50),

    Poor tODD, has nothing else to do then complain about what I write. … You’re becoming fixated on most everything I write.

    Hey, maybe you now know how SG felt when you decided to write eight (!) comments berating her for using terms that you didn’t understand.

    I guess you don’t like your own tactics, then. Maybe there’s a lesson there for ya.

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

    Grace, even if using low/high functioning outside the context of autism were somehow erroneous, I think your reaction is a little overblown for a case of malapropism.

    Check out the 8th commandment. It is helpful reading for a Christian:

    The Eighth Commandment.

    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    What does this mean?

    –Answer.

    We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.

    http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#tencommandments

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

    Grace, even if using low/high functioning outside the context of autism were somehow erroneous, I think your reaction is a little overblown for a case of malapropism.

    Check out the 8th commandment. It is helpful reading for a Christian:

    The Eighth Commandment.

    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    What does this mean?

    –Answer.

    We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.

    http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#tencommandments

  • larry

    SG, Todd is right, she really did bully you and the more she spouts the more she really proves the point. Bottom line is you were making a good observation in discussion with me, minding your own business and along she came verbally smacking you out of the blue. That’s how a bully operates, they target someone because they need “recognition” and then they keep doing it.

  • larry

    SG, Todd is right, she really did bully you and the more she spouts the more she really proves the point. Bottom line is you were making a good observation in discussion with me, minding your own business and along she came verbally smacking you out of the blue. That’s how a bully operates, they target someone because they need “recognition” and then they keep doing it.

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

    Larry, it makes me think that although we often call them trolls, perhaps bully is the better label.

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

    Larry, it makes me think that although we often call them trolls, perhaps bully is the better label.

  • Grace

    I understand the term tODD -It just wasn’t used properly. Of course you and others, can make up your own definition-

    Everyone is a “bully” if they don’t agree with your critique!

  • Grace

    I understand the term tODD -It just wasn’t used properly. Of course you and others, can make up your own definition-

    Everyone is a “bully” if they don’t agree with your critique!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@55):

    I understand the term tODD -It just wasn’t used properly.

    That’s obviously not true, and it just drives home the point that you don’t know what you’re talking about, even as you baffingly attempt to portray yourself as some sort of expert in the area. Finding counterexamples to your uninformed claim is easy — so easy that it boggles my mind you haven’t even bothered to do it. It certainly says something about your approach to knowledge and learning.

    As just one super-easy example (yet one which you haven’t even bothered to do yourself), here are links to pages on the New England Journal of Medicine that use the phrase “high functioning” in various contexts:

    “the participating EMS agencies were high-functioning services with advanced-level paramedics”[1]
    “A High-Functioning Primary Care Clinic”[2]
    “A growing body of evidence also links teamwork in surgery to improved outcomes, with high-functioning teams achieving significantly reduced rates of adverse events.”[3]
    “in a recent cohort of 25 high-functioning patients with TSC [Tuberous Sclerosis Complex], there was no correlation between whole-brain tuber volume and IQ”[4]
    “The Associations Between Physical Activity and Inflammatory Markers in High-Functioning Older Persons”[5]

    Here are some more from the NIH site:

    “Subjective and objective physical limitations in high-functioning renal dialysis patients”[6]
    “Predicting cognitive impairment in high-functioning community-dwelling older persons”[7]
    “High-functioning multiple personality patients”[8]
    “Unusual mutations in high functioning fragile X males”[9]
    “Phonological and orthographic spelling in high-functioning adult dyslexics”[10]

    These results took me more time to cut-and-paste than they took me to discover. You are not just ignorant on this topic, Grace, you are willfully ignorant. I can’t help you understand what you refuse to see — though I can at least demonstrate to those who are willing to consider facts that you don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about on this topic.

    As a final note, I disagree with lots of people on this blog — including, not infrequently, SG. But you are one of a few people I have ever accused of being a mere bully. So, please, spare me.

    [1]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1010076#t=article
    [2]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1104942
    [3]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0810119#t=article
    [4]nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMc062928
    [5]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199804093381506#t=citedby (okay, that’s actually an article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, but it’s cited in the NEJM)
    [6]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15494354
    [7]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12110065
    [8]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3783139
    [9]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1051212/
    [10]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18489012

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@55):

    I understand the term tODD -It just wasn’t used properly.

    That’s obviously not true, and it just drives home the point that you don’t know what you’re talking about, even as you baffingly attempt to portray yourself as some sort of expert in the area. Finding counterexamples to your uninformed claim is easy — so easy that it boggles my mind you haven’t even bothered to do it. It certainly says something about your approach to knowledge and learning.

    As just one super-easy example (yet one which you haven’t even bothered to do yourself), here are links to pages on the New England Journal of Medicine that use the phrase “high functioning” in various contexts:

    “the participating EMS agencies were high-functioning services with advanced-level paramedics”[1]
    “A High-Functioning Primary Care Clinic”[2]
    “A growing body of evidence also links teamwork in surgery to improved outcomes, with high-functioning teams achieving significantly reduced rates of adverse events.”[3]
    “in a recent cohort of 25 high-functioning patients with TSC [Tuberous Sclerosis Complex], there was no correlation between whole-brain tuber volume and IQ”[4]
    “The Associations Between Physical Activity and Inflammatory Markers in High-Functioning Older Persons”[5]

    Here are some more from the NIH site:

    “Subjective and objective physical limitations in high-functioning renal dialysis patients”[6]
    “Predicting cognitive impairment in high-functioning community-dwelling older persons”[7]
    “High-functioning multiple personality patients”[8]
    “Unusual mutations in high functioning fragile X males”[9]
    “Phonological and orthographic spelling in high-functioning adult dyslexics”[10]

    These results took me more time to cut-and-paste than they took me to discover. You are not just ignorant on this topic, Grace, you are willfully ignorant. I can’t help you understand what you refuse to see — though I can at least demonstrate to those who are willing to consider facts that you don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about on this topic.

    As a final note, I disagree with lots of people on this blog — including, not infrequently, SG. But you are one of a few people I have ever accused of being a mere bully. So, please, spare me.

    [1]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1010076#t=article
    [2]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1104942
    [3]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0810119#t=article
    [4]nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMc062928
    [5]nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199804093381506#t=citedby (okay, that’s actually an article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, but it’s cited in the NEJM)
    [6]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15494354
    [7]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12110065
    [8]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3783139
    [9]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1051212/
    [10]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18489012


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X