Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things June 21, 2012

Samir Chopra: “Misery Needs Company: The American Worker’s Hostility Toward Unions

The correct response to this from a non-unionized worker should be, “Damn, that sounds like a sweet deal; how do I get a piece of the action?” At which point, he responds favorably the next time a union organizer contacts him, fills out the election card, and welcomes the NLRB to make sure the NLRA is properly implemented in his workplace.

Of course, none of that happens. The average American worker’s response is, “How dare people organize themselves into collective bargaining units to resist the almost unlimited powers of employers and ensure a better deal for themselves?” At which point, he throws his weight behind every anti-union force that he can find, thus conspiring against his own economic interests.

Todd Stiefel: “What Do Atheists Stand For?

James Madison, pretty good guy, he has a great quote on this. He says, “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christianity, in exclusion of all others?” So, I ask you, if this is a Christian country, this is a Christian nation, is it a Methodist nation? Is it a Catholic nation? Is it a Protestant nation? Which one is it because the reason we have separation of church and state in this country is because the Protestants and the Catholics were killing each other for centuries. And, our Founding Fathers knew that we must protect ourselves from religion so that this Republic can thrive.

So, I would like you all to imagine for a moment what it would feel like. What would it feel like if you were in a court of law and a judge said to you that, “Islam is the one true faith?” That’s exactly how it feels to a Protestant student in a public school when the teacher tells them that the Pope in infallible. That’s how it feels to an atheist in North Carolina when there is a prayer to Jesus in the name of the government given before a North Carolina Senate session. And, that’s how feels for a Catholic who is told by an Army chaplain that Evangelical is the correct form of Christianity. Don’t let any representative of the government tell you that your religious beliefs are wrong. You are not “spiritually unfit!” Your faith is not the wrong form of Christianity. You have the right to believe whatever you want to in this country.

Garry Wills: “The Curse of Political Purity

The independents, too ignorant or inexperienced to recognize these basic facts, are the people most susceptible to lying flattery. They are called the good folk too inner-directed to follow a party line or run with the herd. They are like the idealistic imperialists “with clean hands” in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American — they should wear leper bells to warn people of their vicinity.

The etherialists who are too good to stoop toward the “lesser evil” of politics — as if there were ever anything better than the lesser evil there — naively assume that if they just bring down the current system, or one part of it that has disappointed them, they can build a new and better thing of beauty out of the ruins. Of course they never get the tabula rasa on which to draw their ideal schemes. What they normally do is damage the party closest to their professed ideals.

… All these brave “independents” say that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, and claim they can start history over, with candidates suddenly become as good as they are themselves. What they do is give us the worst of evils.

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