Friday, September 18, 2009

Why Obama's Opponents are Racists

The left obviously values a certain kind of freedom. It's just not the American kind. When you think about it -- and this was a central point of both Mises and Hayek -- the majority of our "lived freedom" is in the economic arena. Especially prior to the advent of the internet, our political freedom consisted of, what, voting every two years and an occasional letter to the editor?

But economic freedom affects most every decision we make in the world. It is specifically this kind of freedom that the left undermines. However, in so doing, they erode the very foundation of liberty. As Hayek explains, we have "progressively [!] been moving away from the basic ideas on which Western civilization has been built" and slowly abandoning "the freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past."

And "Although we had been warned by some of the greatest thinkers... that socialism means slavery," we have nevertheless "steadily moved in the direction of socialism." Truly, it is like a kind of ineradicable mind parasite that must be confronted anew by each generation. We give vaccinations to children for other deadly diseases. Why don't we vaccinate them against socialism?

Oh. Right. The left controls education. Don't expect mind parasites to eradicate themselves. It's not in their economic interest, to say the least.

This, I think, is the objection people had to Obama beaming into the classroom and asking children to write a letter about how they plan to help him achieve his goals. Out of the mouth of an American president this would be a platitude, but from an un-American president it becomes sinister.

And please, when I say "un-American" I am being literal, not inflammatory. Dennis Prager says the same thing. He merely means that Obama -- or any leftist -- comes from an intellectual tradition that does not find its roots in America but Europe. It doesn't necessarily mean "anti-American," although I certainly believe it's no coincidence that the further left you go, the more hatred of America -- and of course, Israel -- you see.

When some moonbat says that the world hated America because of President Bush, what they mean is that the international left hated America, which is no doubt true. It's just that there are many more leftists than classical liberals in the world, and obviously not a single other Judeo-Christian country. Ask the Poles how they feel about Obama. He has been going about alienating governments that most share our values, such as Israel and India, while coddling and appeasing those that do not share our values.

Consider again that little graph I came up with the other day, with the vertical y-axis running from worldly to spiritual, the horizontal x-axis from collectivism to individualism. This graph will show you exactly where I differ with the left, but also with Schuon and the traditionalists, who are ultra-conservative in the European (not American) sense. Thus, we are dealing with two varieties of un-Americanism.

For me, the quintessence of Americanism -- the ideal person, as it were -- is located in the upper right quadrant, the "spiritual individual." This was so beautifully laid out by the founders, that there is no reason for me to try to surpass them. Just sample some of their theo-political reflections in Novak's On Two Wings. I remember Dennis Prager saying at the time the book came out, that he had brought it with him to sabbath services, because it's that sacred.

Here, let me see if I can dig out a representative sample without losing my momentum. There are really too many to choose from. Here -- John Adams: "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."

Talk about a pure Raccoonish sentiment! Do you think I care what the ignorant slaves and slavers of the international left think about America? Ho! Our values are antithetical. Of course they hate us. We are "un-European." We are liberal. We are not collectivists. We remain the last best hope for mankind moving into the space of the Upper Right.

Alexander Hamilton (and again, bear in mind that this self-evident truth would be "unteachable" and therefore unthinkable in a leftist-controlled school, even though it was said by one of our most important founders): "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

Those are the words of a real UpRight man. Now, you may disagree with Hamilton, and that is your prerogative. Just don't kid yourself into thinking that your values are "American," because they're not. No one had your values at the American founding, except perhaps in France.

James Madison, perhaps the most important "doctor of liberty" at our founding: "The belief in a God All Powerful, wise, and good, is so essential to the moral order of the World and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it."

Again, an UpRight man of the first rank. Does this mean that our founders didn't care about the collective, i.e., the left hand side of our political graph? Hardly! This was one of the things that most caught Tocqueville's attention, that is, the spontaneous emergence of civil society, of people taking care of one another. When the state takes over this function, it not only diminishes the domain of the Upper Left, but replaces it with the lower left, the fascist/socialist space of the magical collective, impervious to the light of reason.

I'm currently reading Mises' Human Action, and he says what amounts to the same thing. Amazing that he wrote this in the 1940s, because he does a spot-on analysis on the leftist attack on logic that we see today with multiculturalism, deconstruction, and political correctness. These cognitive pathologies are not just peripheral but central to leftist thought, because they undermine reason itself. That is, if different races, classes, cultures, and ethnicities all have their own distinct modes of thought, then western logic is no better than any other form of logic.

Thus, DownRight, or LowDown man inevitably becomes Lower Left man, i.e., the infra-logical and magical collective. This is again why I would hesitate to assume that the Obamanians are trying to be so illogical in attacking the opposition. Again, the absence of logic is not a bug, it's a feature of leftist thought. They have no idea how to respond to an actual argument.

Indeed, just a couple of days ago there was a lengthy piece in the Washington Post -- can't find the link -- about how the White House was trying to come up with a coherent strategy for dealing with the opposition. Fascinatingly, not a single one involved simply "responding to the arguments." For to respond to the arguments would immediately pull them up into the space of logic and evidence, which is precisely where they don't want to be.

Here is how Mises describes the historical emergence of the leftist attack on logic: "The economists had entirely demolished the fantastic delusions of the socialist utopias [read: the lower left, or infralogical collective].... The communist ideas were done for. The socialists were absolutely unable to raise any objection to the devastating criticism of their schemes and to advance any argument in their favor. It seemed as if socialism was dead forever."

So, what do you do if logic is not on your side? "Only one way could lead the socialists out of this impasse. They could attack logic and reason and substitute mystical intuition for ratiocination." The DownRight men of the neo-Marxist left argued that there is no universally valid form of logic or truth, and that to even think so is "oppressive," especially toward minorities. Rather, your so-called truth is merely a reflection of race, or class, or gender, interests.

And this is why if you oppose Obama you are a racist, but if you oppose Michael Steele or Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas you can't be. In the perverse cognitive world of the left, the former is "inevitable," the latter "impossible."


Happy birthday to Mommy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you would stop opposing socialism then you would have more peace of mind.

Your personal life and daily routine wouldn't change. You would be free.

Perhaps it is your destiny to oppose socialism. That would be different and more useful.

9/18/2009 08:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

If you would stop opposing Bob then you would have more peace of mind. But perhaps it is your destiny to be a pompous ass. That would be different and more useless.

9/18/2009 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...


You forgot "resistance is futile."

9/18/2009 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

He wants the whole country to be as liberal as Bendover, Mass.

9/18/2009 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The world may have "hated" America because of Bush, but I don't recall them being afraid to trade with us - a much more dangerous scenario.

These days, it's a whole new ballgame, and we might start finding ourselves benched for most of it. Not. Good.

"...Reagan was quite a calculable. No-one knows what Obama has in mind. Will he surge or scurry out of Afghanistan? Will he brown-nose or bomb the Iranians? Will he placate or plaster the Pakistanis? Will he start a trade war with China or forge a new economic alliance? And what will his economic policy turn out to be?

Speaking of economic policy, it is quite unclear who is running what in Washington."

9/18/2009 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

I am fully of your Opinion respecting religious Tests; but, tho' the People of Massachusetts have not in their new Constitution kept quite clear of them, yet, if we consider what that People were 100 Years ago, we must allow they have gone great Lengths in Liberality of Sentiment on religious Subjects; and we may hope for greater Degrees of Perfection, when their Constitution, some years hence, shall be revised.
-Benjamin Franklin, from a letter to Richard Price, Oct. 9, 1780

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.
-Benjamin Franklin, in _Toward The Mystery_

THe Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
- George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, RI, 1790

I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!
- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?
-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 19, 1821

Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.
-- John Adams, letter to his son, John Quincy Adams, November 13, 1816

9/18/2009 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Gary Moody?

9/18/2009 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Socialized medicine is awesome!

9/18/2009 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "If you would stop opposing socialism then you would have more peace of mind."

This ninny reminds me of Hal in 2001... "Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid."

9/18/2009 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

emptypotty! I've almost missed your distinctive style of unwitting stupidity! But then of course the odor builds, and once again... it is time to flush.

Perhaps if you were to actually read of those men’s lives who you quote, you would find out how ignorant you are of them. Not likely, but... it's worth a try.

I actually set out about 20 something years ago, determined to prove a friend wrong about the Founders - I was going to show him that they were actually nearly all atheists or deists... that was one of my first experiences with facts being stubborn things. Once I went past (nearly those same quotes), investigated their lives, it became obvious that for every Ethan Allen, there were a dozen dozen John Adams's & Patrick Henry's.

It's a fools errand you're on... but... then I suppose that's why you are still on it!

9/18/2009 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

emptypotty quoted "The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation."

btw pottymouth, the 'liberal' W was speaking of, was the Liberal we've been speaking of, Classical Liberalism, rooted in Property Rights - not leftism, rooted in impoverished blights.

Try reading what you read, maybe then you'll actually learn something.

9/18/2009 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

emptypotty, only because I suspect your reading abilities are suspect, here's one from listed as John Adams, Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States in the link I ref'd above,

"The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

You can find very similar statements - actually within a full context, not deceptively excerpted, as are yours - for nearly all the gentlemen you pasted from above.

9/18/2009 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

Great post Bob. We can't get far off course when we follow the Founding Stars. And thanks Van for all you do to bring their wisdom to the table.

"We can all be grateful that the Rev. Jesse Jackson has taken time away from his primary job of extorting money from corporate America fearful of his histrionic accusations of racism to cut through the rhetorical clutter and get to the bottom of the health care debate in a recent column in the Chicago Sun-Times."

Continued @

Big Gov

9/18/2009 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Butters said...

These are all Leftists:

Against multiculturalism.

Cultural Relativism: a foe of critical thought.

The false lure of cultural relativism

9/18/2009 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Mr. Dupree!
How dare you.
It is The Peoples Republic of Pleasebendmeover,

9/18/2009 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Van: the subject was religion and the founders' views of it. So the relevance of Adams' views on property escapes me. Even though he calls private property "sacred", I don't think he actually worshiped it.

I know it's all blurred together in the whirling confusion of your mind, but that's not really my problem.

9/18/2009 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...


Because you say so?

9/18/2009 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"So, what do you do if logic is not on your side? "Only one way could lead the socialists out of this impasse. They could attack logic and reason and substitute mystical intuition for ratiocination.""

I'm curious how you evaluate von Mises as a whole, outside of economics, and in relation to Hayek. Mises, as with above, was reacting against the flood of Kantian, Hegelian slop that masqueraded as epistemology and 'natural law', and most of his stated material opposed it... but in the amount of epistemology he refused to do without, he said ("Epistemological problems of economics"),

"The ultimate statement that the theory of knowledge can make without leaving the solid ground of science and engaging in vague speculations on fruitless metaphysical concepts is: Changes in what is given, as far as our experience is concerned, take place in a way that allows us to perceive in the course of things the rule of universal laws that permit of no exception.
We are not capable of conceiving of a world in which things would not run their course "according to eternal, pitiless, grand laws." But this much is clear to us. In a world so constituted, human thought and "rational" human action would not be possible. And therefore in such a world there could be neither human beings nor logical thought.
Consequently, the conformity of the phenomena of the world to natural law must appear to us as the foundation of our human existence, as the ultimate basis of our being human. Thinking about it cannot fill us with fear, but, on the contrary, must comfort us and give us a feeling of security. We are able to act at all - that is to say, we have the power to order our conduct in such a way that the ends we desire can be attained - only because the phenomena of the world are governed not by arbitrariness, but by laws that we have the capacity to know something about. If it were otherwise, we should be completely at the mercy of forces that we should be unable to understand.

Nominally, he opposed 'natural rights', but his core understanding, kept him rooted in reality and by implication, within natural law.

Hayek, while I enjoyed “Road to Serfdom”, if memory serves (it's been awhile), outside of economics, had a more "what is customarily done, makes right and wrong" view - calling him a relativist is going way too far, but I recall several slips he had that would be open doors to statism.

However, not to cut Hayek short, his introduction to Frédéric Bastiat's essays is a goodie,

"Nothing illustrates this better than the celebrated title of the first essay in the present volume. “What is seen and what is not seen in political economy!” No one has ever stated more clearly in a single phrase the central difficulty of a rational economic policy and, I would like to add, the decisive argument for economic freedom. It is the idea compressed into these few words that made me use the word “genius” in the opening sentence. It is indeed a text around which one might expound a whole system of libertarian economic policy. "

And Bastiat takes you soundly back into Natural Law and all that logically follows.

9/18/2009 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

emptypotty said "...the subject was religion and the founders' views of it. So the relevance of Adams' views on property escapes me."

Lol. The sniggers of the shallow are always amusing. Sad, but amusing. Read on potty... and don't forget to flush regularly.

9/18/2009 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Gagdad Bob said...

I'm at work, so I can't say much. Let's just say that Mises and Hayek need some work on their metaphysics to get them up into the UpRight quadrant instead of just being along the horizontal axis.

9/18/2009 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Oh man, it’s worse than I thought.
Check out this double-blind, super extra secret, snuck from behind enemy lines UK Death Panel video.

9/18/2009 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Butters said...

Huh? No, they identify as Leftists. One of the blogs is even called 'Left Focus'.

9/18/2009 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Via Vanderleun, Oh, man - can you imagine if Laura Bush had done this every Thursday?

"Considering all the logistics, each tomato she purchased had a carbon footprint of several tons."

I'm glad to see it's the WaPo calling foul on this one, though.

9/18/2009 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/18/2009 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...


Identifying yourself as being religious or an atheist, in and of itself, doesn't categorize someone as a leftist, as we use the term here. I didn't have time to do more than skim the first of your links, but such a statement as Malik's "As an atheist...", as he demonstrated, doesn't bar him from realizing that "Multiculturalism is an authoritarian, anti-human outlook. True political progress requires not recognition but action, not respect but questioning, not the invocation of the Thought Police but the forging of common bonds and collective struggles."

My guess, based upon skimming that article, is that he believes reality is knowable, and truth is not merely one of many competing 'truths'. To the extent that is the case, we'll likely have little disagreement with him. To the extent that he inconsistently applies that to other positions, you'll see the gap widening between those here in One Cosmos, and those views he holds.

Theodore Dalrymple, an avowed atheist, is someone who has been often linked to and discussed here, and you'll find very, very little disagreement here with his many admirable essays here. Someone can be, what I call an 'incidental atheist', someone who hasn't gone beyond the literalist 'talking snake' story level of religion, and may see themselves as an atheist in support of, and allegiance to Truth, and so have avowed an actual allegiance to what true religion holds most revered – they just never made it past the literal to the “Vertical Depth” of the spiritual poetic (and perhaps beyond), core that is true religion.

I was, in that category as well, and even today, there are very few religious people who would not consider me an atheist. As has been said here often, and in depth, the core philosophical understanding which separates one into the realm of being a leftist, is a belief that reality is unknowable, and that Truth is non-existent or many, rather than One, a belief which ultimately puts you into opposition to Reality and Truth, as such.

You'll find the modern roots of what really is leftism, is not found in a religious or political affiliation, or lack of one, but in the philosophical schism between One Cosmos, and a dualistic view of reality which Descartes, Rousseau, Hume & Kant opened up at the foot of modernity.

That is where you need to look, if you want to understand what is being said here.

(Sorry for the Delete - bouncing between SQL, HTML and English... isn't always smooth)

9/18/2009 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...



Do you really think that we don't know that all Leftists are not the same? Do you think we don't know that all conservatives aren't the same? Hell, I doubt if any of us here would self identify with conservatism in the same way.

If we cannot argue in factual generalities when discussing essential truths, then we can't say anything of intelligence at all.

My first comment here, several years ago, was almost exactly like your first comment last week. I don't remember the post, but it drew me in, and at the same time something stuck in my craw. Not because I deep down believed I was right in the general sense the post was meant, but because I knew somebody who didn't fit the mold. A personal exception, so to speak.

In I waded, all full of self-righteousness on behalf of my beloved exception, and lo I was smacked down. By Bob, possibly Dupree, and I think Van as well. Maybe a couple of others, my memory is a bit hazy. The clue bat was not spared, I know that much.

You know what I did? I took a big tall glass of stfu. I decided to quit posting just to be contentious - if I disagreed with something, I let it go. You'd be surprised at how much I disagree with, in fact. But I have far too much respect for the amount of truth, beauty, goodness and sheer wisdom I have absorbed here to get my dander up about every little thing, while stubbornly refusing to see the larger point. So in another sense, there is almost nothing here I disagree with.

The jury's still out on Scott Walker, though.

Here's what I did instead: I wanted to comment here, very much, because there's something alive here that I just had to be a part of. So I tried, in my small way, not to say anything unless I could add to the conversation. Of course I'm not always successful, and sometimes (like now, f'rinstance - I bet everyone else is getting sick of me wasting valuable space using a nerf cluebat) I'm probably just stupid and annoying. But that's my aim. That's the ideal for which I strive.

Give it a try sometime.

9/18/2009 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Did you just tell Butter to STFU? It was so nice, I couldn't tell. :*)

9/18/2009 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...


Forget about Scott Walker. More freedom with Pharoah.

9/18/2009 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, thanks Dupree! That reminds me of a way more interesting conversation I was thinking of starting yesterday after I watched that video.

Is it just me, or is a good musical composition a lot like an individual life? At the start, some basic patterns of character and personality are established, nurtured, and allowed to grow. Then, if the combo is a good one, the patterns are taken on a grand whirl, mixed up, danced around... highs and lows, drama, conflict and resolution, it's all there and at the same time there's an underlying unity. And of course, the parts can only be understood in the context of the whole. And of course, some tunes are groovier than others.

Hoarhey, I only mentioned what I did. If Butters chooses to follow my example, she's welcome to the same beverage. It may taste nasty, but properly applied and in the proper doses it's good medicine.

9/18/2009 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Also, I think my brain is being infected by the sax. Last night at rehearsal I couldn't help imagining how some of the more rigid parts of G. Puccini's Credo in D would sound as jazz riffs. Entertaining, but a good way to lose your place...

9/18/2009 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

And for anyone else with too much time on their hands this afternoon, (the other) Dr. Bob has an excellent essay up today: The Sword of Grace

9/18/2009 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this is why if you oppose Obama you are a racist, but if you oppose Michael Steele or Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas you can't be. In the perverse cognitive world of the left, the former is "inevitable," the latter "impossible."

I suppose it might also depend on how one “opposes” them. If Giants fans went into DC with massive signs of Paul Bunyan death marching Indians onto reservations, it might be more offensive than if those same fans simply painted their faces.

9/18/2009 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Referring back to yesterday: Intellectual compromise is why hubby's college is not on the dole. Very few of those left. I'm enjoying the Dr. Bob link, Julie. He's got a great blog too. I've linked to his pre-election post on black liberation theology more than once.

9/18/2009 03:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Butters said...


Well, I think it helps for authors of posts not to generalize too much about the people they're talking about. Robert Godwin was generalizing too much about the Left, so I pointed out the problem with that.

There aren't merely a few exception to the cultural relativism rule, but if I'm not mistaken, relativism is a recent addition to the Left, and relativists constitute a minority, or at least not a majority, of Leftists. So, in this case, it would be a gross generalization where the exception is made into the rule, or some not-quite-exceptional-but-still-not-dominant strain within the Left is made to appear like its true and essential nature.

I also let go of 95% of what bothers me on this blog. I usually comment on the thing that appears most resolvable, in the sense that it is a clear disagreement with a concrete solution. So I pick my battles, and mention only about 5% of the criticisms I have of Godwin. Trust me, given how much rubbish there is on the internet, I've learned to let go of most disagreements.


I understand (mostly) where Godwin is coming from, and have had many of the intuitions he's had. The dichotomy between a purely horizontal view and a vertical/deep one is very clear and important. So, I do not disagree at all that there is an important difference between two kinds of people, the ones with spiritual sight and the ones permenantly in 'material consciousness' or horizontality.

However, I do not think that this difference maps onto the difference between being a Leftist and not. Leftists, like most modernists, have a very flattened view of reality, and many non-Leftists have a deeper view. But, in the interest of accuracy and most importantly to avoid turning a political disagreement into a Cosmic War, the dichotomies should still be treated as different.

Here is a post I did on the subject.

Kenan Malik is a liberal, more Left than Godwin at least. The other two links are by people who are explicitly Leftist, so in their case there's no question.

9/18/2009 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob, you're the "O.J. Simpson of the spiritual-philosophical world"?


I came back with an actual observation, but now I think I need a moment to regain my composure.

Obviously, I didn't read far enough back into Butters' blog.

9/18/2009 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Going back to an actual discussion, Shrinkwrapped has an observation today that I thought interesting in light of the other day's talk about Bob gaining more patients if psych care gets included under omamacare:

If she identified herself as unhappy and determined no longer to tolerate her situation, she could perhaps with the aid of a good Psychotherapist, and perhaps adjunctive medication, regain mastery, begin an exercise and diet program, return to work, come to some resolution of her dysfunctional relationship and not only increase her level of function but increase her own happiness. Yet by defining herself as depressed, and receiving societal reinforcement of her self-identification, along with multiple social services, an attentive and concerned Social Worker, and a Physician ready, willing, and able to codify her unhappiness as a Psychiatric disorder for which medication is the prescribed treatment, she avoids taking the necessary actions to change her life and remains stuck in a miserable life, feeling helpless (and confirmed in her helplessness) and taking medication indefinitely which, at best, can "take the edge off."

In other words, and much like I observed earlier today re. education, there's no incentive on anyone's part - including the patient's - for the system to work to actually help her.

Reading further into the post, Patient C's 13yo twin came to see me this summer. I hope her prognosis is as positive.

On a sortof side note, and maybe this is a stretch, I wonder if there's a correlation between the increased use of anti-depressants and the increasing popularity of truly disgusting horror movies, as noted by Goldman? Not a cause-effect, but just as symptoms of the underlying malaise.

Interesting times.

9/18/2009 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'll bet Van would like this book. Excellent description of the socialist lower left quadrant:

"The social-Darwinist ingredient in progressive jurisprudence is the notion of the state as an organic principle, informed by the general will of society and by the particular facts, circumstances, and history of a people. Subject to no fixed limits, eschewing belief in objective justice, the state follows a path of incessant growth and flexibility, limited only by the ever-changing needs of society.

"As dictated by the laws of progress and evolution, the state moves society along an inevitable ascent. By application of “scientific” expertise and rationalizing administration, government directs this growth. Expressly left behind is Madisonian constitutionalism and its notions of natural rights, limited government, the rule of law, prevention of faction, and vigilance against the possibility of overly centralized and unaccountable government."

9/18/2009 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

I was referred here by Educated Shoprat's site. I have added you to my blog list.

9/18/2009 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PCC, Congratulations on your linking. We hope your new link provides you and yours with many hours of blogging pleasure. I have a question for you. Lets say that Detroit NFL fans went into New Orleans with posters of Christians being eaten by lions. Do you think that more liberal or more conservative football fans would find such a thing offensive?

9/18/2009 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Who care, so long as the Redskins don't kill the Saints.

9/18/2009 06:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cares. Patriots killing Texans?

9/18/2009 08:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. G said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes and the boy in his crazy birthday suit.

9/18/2009 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"...most importantly to avoid turning a political disagreement into a Cosmic War, the dichotomies should still be treated as different."

I think that is a point you're going to get a lot of disagreement on. A pure policy decision, or difference of how to interpret and apply a principle (ala Hamilton vs Madison), sure, true. But the difference between classical liberalism, and leftism, are not mere policy differences or differences of opinion of how to interpret and apply principles. They are fundamental differences of how reality itself is understood, and how it must be dealt with, and they do amount to a 'Cosmic War' - they are that significant, and most here do see that.

While the individual may have good intentions, wouldn't knowingly hurt a fly and it would be wrong to clobber them unawares, but the actual implications of leftist thought, such as the hundreds of millions of people who have died, and are dying around the world, due the environmentalist hysteria and banning of DDT; that is as close to justifiable 'Cosmic War' as I need to come, and it matters little whether it has been accomplished through misguided good intentions.

Evil, whether wearing a happy face or not, wreaks evil.

"I've learned to let go of most disagreements"

Sorry, but that's one I've never "Got" (surpriiise). If I disagree with someone, it is for a reason... if the reasoning is not shown to be faulty, the disagreement stands. Of course I don't dwell on it, or think about it beyond the actual disagreement (other than if decent questions were raised and I'm examining my position, at which point, again, it is of actual moment, and needs to remain a focus), but what does 'let go of most disagreements' mean?

The act of arguing should of course end with the argument (and maybe this is what it's supposed to mean, you don't latter respond to the person asking you to pass the salt with "But you are just wrong about Kant! Get your own salt."), but the disagreement is not unwanted ballast to be cut loose, it is reflective of actual differences of opinion, and shouldn't be ignored. You might decide it's pointless arguing it further, neither is going to budge, but still... 'let it go'...? I don't get that one.

Anyway, I'll take a look at your post later, and see what we see.

9/18/2009 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "I'll bet Van would like this book. Excellent description of the socialist lower left quadrant:"

"Indeed, progressivism’s pervasive skepticism ends in denying the philosophical grounding of constitutionalism and its animating principle — the rule of law. ... the citizen now joins in an undulating partnership with the government, under the administration of experts whose intervention actualizes the liberty and self-development of persons and groups. From this perspective, natural rights are seen more as the negation rather than the fulfillment of freedom. "

Very interesting, should fit right into my upcoming reading list, thanks!

9/18/2009 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Happy B-Day Mrs. G!

(Gagdad... very strategic use of a flip-flop, well done!)

9/18/2009 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...


Do read Butters' link. It's very enlightening. Had I seen that post a week ago, I wouldn't have wasted any time or energy in politeness. She deserves none.

Civil discourse, my ass.

9/18/2009 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

And Mrs. G, I hope you had a fantastic birthday.

9/18/2009 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...


Yeah, I just did, wish I'd looked closer earlier too.

I left a comment, we'll see if it is *allowed*. Her comment to Gagdad that "I normally don’t allow insulting comments..." seems to show a wee bit different view of 'silencing dissent' than she expressed here.

Oh well.

9/18/2009 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I told you butter was a moron, and I didn't have to read the blog, just the response posts from yesterday.
Her depth of thought is about 1/8th of an inch with absolutely ZERO curiosity in finding and/or discerning truth. Brainwashed, agenda driven, and leftist to the core.
I think I'll continue my hammering of the ignorant snot-nose.

9/18/2009 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Yeah... but I still got top billing in the meanie ranking.

Nyah, nyah.


9/18/2009 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey Hoarhey, you seen Ximeze up there? I'm still looking for my postcard from her....

9/18/2009 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Haven't seen her.
I think she's on the southcentral coast or in Southeast which isn't really Alaska. No 50 below zero.

9/19/2009 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

But she will be up to her ass in snow this Winter.

9/19/2009 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha ha! Happy Birthday Mrs. G.!

That's a swell hat FL has on, and his military bearing is exceptional! Although he appears to be outta uniform, I reckon his birthday suit will add more joy to Mom's birthday celebration.

Great post, Bob!

9/19/2009 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger katzxy said...

Julie at 10:46

I looked at Butters link also. What got me was the casual assumption that "although the Left is the more conventionally moral side." The economic examples cited (i.e. minimum wage, paid maternal leave) show a naivete about how these things work and some sort of partial blindness. Where is the compassion to the employer? Where is the question does it work? That is, does mandating a minimum wage really help the employee? Does it help society as a whole. Why should Butters have any say in how much Peter pays Paul?

I'll stop now. You said what needed to be said, and said it first.

9/19/2009 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger katzxy said...

Oh, and then there was that part about Jesus being a soft 'hippie' figure.

Oh dear!

wv: preyedis

9/19/2009 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm actually embarrassed for her future self should she ever evolve, for she won't be able to stop cringing at the naivete, breezy superficiality, and confident stupidity of her youth.

9/19/2009 07:11:00 AM  
Anonymous sitka spacecadet said...


The Postcards


9/19/2009 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob - yep. I actually couldn't help thinking she seems to be stuck in kind of a jr. high mentality, like a kid in a click who has to prove her awesomeness to her friends by picking a fight with another group. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes, should she ever grow out of it.

I was nice, because going by her first comments here I saw enough of my own initial foolishness I thought maybe she could learn something. Although, I think that while I disagreed way back when I didn't feel it necessary to throw in an insult to "emphasize" my point, no matter how small. I hope not, anyway - that would, indeed, be cringeworthy behavior.

From here on out, she's beneath my radar unless she actually has anything to contribute instead of trying to count coup.

9/19/2009 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. G said...

Thanks you guys for the birthday wishes. It's been an interesting day. Bob told me that at 49, I'm finishing seven 7-year cycles, so it's like a rebirth. It gave me chills when he told me about this, because I do feel as though I'd been workingout lifelong conflicts (many of which I barely remembered anymore) right up to the last minute.

And Ben, you are so right about FL being out of uniform! He has great posture, but absolutely no discipline and does not take orders well. I think he'll end up in the Rangers or SEALs, since he is more of an independent thinker. But he'll still need to get through boot camp, etc. We'll see!
Mrs. G

9/19/2009 10:12:00 AM  

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