Sunday, June 29, 2008

Obama used Partial Birth procedure to eliminate the possibility of Partial Birth survivors

Here's a VFR discussion that I've been following with interest the last couple of days. LA's parenthetical note at the top of the entry pretty much sums up what the discussion entails. But there are a couple of things that I should like to point out. First, in Brandon F.'s initial reply to the article, he states the following:

According to this, while in the Illinois Senate Obama voted against a bill that required health care professionals to give care to babies born alive when a partial birth abortion went "wrong". [emphasis added] So if mommy wants the baby dead, the baby dies no matter what. That is beyond despicable, it's pure evil. McCain might be an irascible gremlin but I don't think he has ever exhibited such moral depravity in his legislative career.

But later on in the discussion Stephen R. puts Obama's position on abortion in these terms:

You wrote:

"As for Obama's vote, how many thousands of Democrats in state legislatures, how many Democrats in the U.S. Congress, have taken similar stands?"

I would like to know the answer to that question, but it must be publicized that it was only because of Barack Obama that a bill to save born alive babies did not make it out of committee in Illinois. [emphasis added]

In 2003 a committee member sponsored an amendment that would adopt the exact same language in Illinois's proposed BAIPA (Born Alive) bill that U.S. Sen. Boxer was satisfied did not curtail any abortion rights in the federal BAIPA. But as chairman, Obama unilaterally killed the bill by never allowing a committee vote, thereby preventing it from being voted on by the full Senate and becoming law. And in 2001 Obama was the only senator to speak against a bill, arguing that extending life protection to any 'preterm babies' could jeopardize abortion rights.

I much appreciate your insights about how this issue relates to the unprincipled exception, but Obama should not get away with being an order of magnitude more malevolent than the average pro-abortion rights person.

At some point in reading the discussion I realized that Brandon's initial complaint had to do with Obama's position on partial birth abortions "gone wrong." This caused me to wonder whether Obama's position might be that saving, or attempting to save infants who'd somehow managed to survive the horrible procedure of partial birth abortion which had "gone wrong", would be the greater evil.

When we consider what partial birth abortion actually is, difficult and painful as this must be for anyone possessing anything close to common morals, then this should give us some indication as to what a survivor of partial birth abortion gone wrong would be generally. But according to Stephen's account, Obama was solely responsible for killing a bill intended to save "born alive" babies. A "born alive" baby I would take to mean a baby who may or may not have been mutilated by the awful procedure of partial birth abortion. So according to Stephen's wording, there seems to be no distinction made between a survivor of partial birth abortion initiated but gone wrong, and a born alive baby who it was intended would be aborted by partial birth procedure but which, for whatever reason, avoided the mutilation of partial birth abortion altogether. In other words, a healthy viable normal baby born whole and complete and unmutilated despite its mother's and the doctor's intent to murder it half born.

Is this the way it is; is there no distinction made between a doctor mutilated born alive baby and an unmutilated born alive baby? Is this what Brandon meant when he said that "if mommy wants the baby dead, it dies no matter what?" Is this the reality of Obama's position?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama Speaketh, and the church sayeth Amen!

Here's a story from ABC News on Caesar Obama's 2006 statements which are now, two years ex post facto, the focus of so much media attention. (Hat tip VA)

I could take several different approaches to the topic if that were my desire, but they'd all boil down to the obvious singularity: Obama is indeed, as Dr. Dobson has stated, a "fruitcake", unfit to be president of the United States. And he has a sizeable contingency of lesser fruitcakes who fawn over his every word, to wit:

The speech delves into Obama's view of the constructive role religion plays in society, beseeching "work that progressive leaders need to do" on the subject, followed by his views of "what conservative leaders need to do -- some truths they need to acknowledge." (emphasis mine)

That included "the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice," Obama said, as well as "the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."

First of all, someone pointed out in a comment to the article that the phrase "separation of church and state" is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution. In a response to the comment another commenter asked the question "so what do you think is meant by the "establishment clause" of the first amendment? Well, obviously, by the phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," the founders meant to say that Christians in particular can't, uh, well, uh ... let's let someone with authority to speak on the matter answer that; here are his credentials:

I am a pastor in one of the largest mainline Protestant denominations in the U.S.

Whoa! You got my attention Pastor. Proceed.

I see nothing wrong with Obama's comments as quoted in this article. In fact, I applaud them.

Ok, fair enough. But why do you qualify your support for Obama's statements with the phrase "as quoted in this article?" You're not trying to leave yourself a little wiggle room just in case it turns out that your boy truly is what he truly is, are you? Never mind.

The good Pastor continues:

Leaders who are unable to embrace our nation's pluralism are out of touch and risk establishing a theocracy.

Tripper, you wouldn't, perchance, be Dr. Charles Stanley would you, In Touch pastor in one of the largest mainline Protestant denominations in America as you are and whatnot? Well, anyway, I think you've coined a new phrase soon to be as popular in America as the oft repeated "our democracy" -- "our nation's pluralism." Congratulations. But I'm confused, how is it again that our out-of-touch founders rejected the notion of "our nation's pluralism" and yet avoided, in the very midst of a comparatively non-pluralistic society, establishing a theocracy? Wait, you said this is a "risk", albeit one directly connected to a rejection of pluralism, not necessarily an absolute surety. You're good; you are good! What other pearls of wisdom have you for us poor ignorant biblically and historically illiterate laymen?:

Pluralism is much more of a strength to celebrate rather than a liability to fear.

Wow! Pluralism, excuse me, "our nation's pluralism" is not merely more of a strength to celebrate, but much more of a strength, ummm, much more to be celebrated. Nice touch. Now as the verse of the song in the hymnal says (page 101): "let's all celebrate and have a good time." But before we start, we need you to drop us another pearl'r two:

Christians can/should be completely faithful without legislating morality or theology.

Oh, I see. According to our in touch pastor, there's some sort of mystic power in Christianity which enables us believers to divorce our religious persuasions (or the lack thereof) from our political beliefs. And in addition, Christians, ummm, I mean "in touch" Christians, can and should do the impossible, i.e., avoid legislating their peculiar brand of morality. Do I need to demonstrate for the gazillionth time that all laws are based on morality, someone's morality? Even Obama, as idiotic and self-destructive as his statements which inspired the good pastor's approving statements are, was not so foolish, at least in this particular case, as to assert that the impossible is possible, even for Christians.

Let me say it again for the benefit of those who missed it the other gazillion times I've stated it: ALL laws are founded in a moral perspective, someone's moral perspective. Which is to say that all laws are created on the basis that a thing is right or it is wrong, that it is good or it is evil; that it is moral or immoral. To demonstrate this, I've used the example of abortion before. Yes; laws that favor abortion are founded on a moral perspective. If you doubt me, ask someone who favors abortion laws why they favor abortion laws. Invariably you're going to get an answer based in their particular idea of morality; generally they favor abortion because they think it is wrong (i.e., immoral) to deny a woman the "right to choose" over her own body, and that it is right (i.e., moral) to grant her this "inalienable" right. I don't care how you look at it, that is a moral perspective, and any law which has its basis in such a perspective is a moral law. And as I said, all laws have their bases in this kind of moral reasoning. Therefore, it is literally impossible to not "legislate morality," someone's morality. Question is, for the gazillionth time, whose morality are we going legislate? The great champion of diverse cultural and moral clarity, the benevolent leader for change Augustus Obama provides us the answer. Mr. Obama:

Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

In other words, whatever we once were (a Christian nation, for those who missed it), we are now an admixture of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, non-believers and etc., and whatever collective morality this odd collection produces, that is the morality that will be legislated. But with the "increasing diversity of America's population," says Augustus Obama, "the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater." One could rightly conclude from this statement that as diversity continues to increase in this country, so too will the dangers of sectarianism continue to increase, and that therefore, as the dangers of sectarianism, which are a direct result of increases in diversity, increase even beyond what they are now with further increases in diversity, it is our increasing diversity which spells our ultimate doom. And yet, according to our trippin' pastor, who sees nothing wrong with Obama's statements and in fact applauds them by the way, this diversity, religious and otherwise, is more, much more to be celebrated than to be feared. Which begs the question: what kind of junk is Pastor Tripper tripping on?

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Parody of the travelling libertarian, or, National Lampoon's Libertarian Family Vacation

Here is a very funny post over at Reflecting Light. Something tells me that this guy would find something governmentally evil and liberty destroying in the existence of "the world's largest ball of yarn." Consider:

Future libertarian of America (FLA) questions libertarian (anti)-authority figure:

Daddy, why is it that you make me sit still while riding in the car?

Libertarian anti-authority figure ponders on FLA's question for at least three full seconds,

Questions like these always give me pause. There's the standard party line "because your moving about in the car while daddy is driving can be dangerous," but wait, since not all movement in a car is dangerous and exceptions are sometimes made to the rule, the party line is not valid - it never is.

and then proceeds to respond:

No; the real reason daddy makes you sit still in the car is because he can.

Besides, if the government had not arbitrarily made riding in a trailer illegal, you'd be there right now free to move about as you like. So in reality daddy only makes rules for you to follow as a result of government arbitrarily making rules for him to follow. See what I mean, honey, about the evil arbitrary nature of government and how it destroys individual liberty? Never forget this lesson.

Now please, sit back down, buckle up, and stop asking these stupid questions which any libertarian worth her salt already knows the answer to.

If you've ever argued with a libertarian about whether any and all rules and standards and limits are "arbitrary," then you know exactly where I'm coming from. For instance, are speed limits arbitrary? Libertarians think they are, all reasonable arguments to the contrary notwithstanding. To a libertarian, governments set "arbitrary" limits on the speed at which you may drive your car in a given area simply because they can. The same applies to most everything else with libertarians, right down to government at the most local level.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Son of Son of Proposition Nation

Over at VFR Auster has a nice post up rebuking the neocons for reducing the United States to a nation operating under the "rule of law."

LA writes:

The examples should make it clear that the rule of law, by itself, does not define what we are substantively as a people, a country, a way of life. Anyone who reduces America, or any Western country, to "the rule of law" and other such abstract phrases, is a liberal who has shown him incapable of defending our actual civilization from the mortal threats that encompass it.

Jake Jacobson comments to the article:

Points all very well made!

A further thought. Our focus is on illegal immigration and we have dealt extensively with the Minutemen. They are infamous for all but chanting this phrase at demos, so I have challenged some of them asking them "but what if they changed the law and passed amnesty?" Would you then respect the law?

"The Law" such as it is is by nature a malleable and political thing and it can change, which is why it is dangerous to invoke it in this way. Also, I genuinely believe this is a big part of why our elite class were so puzzled by the freak-out average Americans threw during the last several amnesty debacles. I really think they were sitting around sipping their soy lattes and saying "Right, right, so we'll change the law, what's the problem?"

The problem is that what we and they call "the rule of law" is a shared understanding, an unspoken covenant that appears to be breaking down like most everything else as industrial strength liberal solvent is applied, well, liberally!

Mr. Jacobson's comments got me thinking. Specifically, there is a tendency of right-liberals to oppose illegal immigration because, well, it's illegal ... duh! Right-liberals are admittedly all for legal immigration. In fact, they seem to be pretty proud of it. So using Mr. Jacobson's line of reasoning, one might ask whether right-liberals would care about immigration at all if the terms and conditions were changed to reduce and finally eliminate illegal immigration, in accordance with the liberal "gospel" of non-discriminationism?

If America is a nation which operates under the rule of law as the neocons say, and every law, and thus every nation operating under the rule of law, must have a "higher principle" as its basis, and if non-discriminationism is the "higher principle" which determines America's laws, then doesn't it stand to reason that it is the illegality of illegal immigration which is the chief cause of all the trouble? What's the solution then? Is it not, in conformity to the rule of law and the higher liberal principle governing it, to de-illegalize illegal immigration?

It seems to me that the grandson of the Proposition Nation may well be opposition to, and only to, illegal immigration.

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Toward a Federal Marriage Amendment

With the all-out radical leftist assault on traditional marriage in full force in this country, we're hearing again that what we need, what we must have is a Federal Marriage Amendment to save traditional marriage in America, and everything will be ok. I personally have resisted this approach since the debate was first nationalized on the grounds that amending the U.S. constitution to define marriage would have, good intentions notwithstanding, unintended consequences serving to add yet another twenty miles of pavement to the federal super-highway to hell. And through the clearing that's already taken place ahead, I can see the utter desolation of its final destination from here.

Nonetheless, and given my view of the sacredness of traditional marriage and why it must be protected, not only do I question my own position -- a position which pits me against respected traditional marriage advocates like Dr. Dobson, and Don Wildmon of AFA, and Lawrence Auster, and etc... -- on the FMA from time to time, but at certain times, given the popularity of the federal approach to protecting marriage among the more well known and well respected advocates of traditional marriage in this country, I get the feeling that ultimately the FMA might be the only method that the majority can agree on.

However, via John Savage's latest post in his recent series of entries concerning traditional marriage (see here, here, and here), I'm led to this 4-W entry on the topic and Lydia McGrew's comments concerning the FMA.

Lydia writes:

On purely (and I do mean purely) prudential grounds, I recommend state amendments. I worry about what a federal amendment would be used to do. There is a sense in which writing an amendment to the federal Constitution is like handing the federal courts a blank sheet on which they will write whatever they like. One doesn't mean to do that, but it could come to that. For example, if a federal amendment doesn't prohibit civil unions, some crazy federal court could rule that that means states _must_ have civil unions, or recognize other states' civil unions. And so forth. In my own state, our state Supreme Court tends to be more disciplined as far as sticking to what laws and the state constitution actually mean rather than telling lies about them.

My sense tells me that Lydia's concerns with the Federal Marriage Amendment are perfectly reasonable and legitimate. We all know that the unaccountable federal courts (and the federal Congress does nothing to prohibit it) love to divine the spirit of the federal constitution, and to mold it and shape it in their own image of what it should be. On the other hand, of course, we all know too that the federal courts aren't particularly disinclined from overthrowing State law when State laws have been molded and shaped by State legislatures whose image of the federal constitution doesn't match up to that of the federal judiciary.

All that aside, though, and as I've written before, the federal constitution provides two methods of amendment in Article V. Now, currently we have 27 separate State marriage amendments on the books in this country, and several others in the making. And with the most recent leftist assaults on the institution of marriage and the absolute certainty that the onslaught will continue in more radical ways than we've even seen thus far (this is the nature of liberalism; the less radical it needs to be to effect its purposes, the more radical it gets), I predict that this number of States with marriage amendments attached to their constitutions is going to grow significantly in the relatively near future. Indeed, I'm almost willing to bet that it will grow large enough over the next, say, five years, to meet the requirements laid down in Article V to at least initiate a Federal Convention for proposing amendments, if not see it through to its end.

So here's my question for all the strong advocates of the FMA. If we must have a Federal Marriage Amendment, wouldn't it be better for the States to force Congress to call a Convention on the subject, than for the people to pressure the federal Congress to pass the FMA; isn't this the more (to borrow from Lydia) prudent approach to which our advocacy of a Federal Marriage Amendment, if we must have one, should be directed?

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why does anyone need a "monster truck"?

I don't know. Why does anyone need a ten thousand dollar coin collection, or a large personal library, or a six thousand square foot home on 100 acres when 1,500 sq. ft. and five acres would more than suffice?

I have no interest in owning a monster truck, or a collection of motorcycles, or any number of things. But I know many people who do, and I don't begrudge them for it. I don't understand their obsession with this, that, and the other, but by the same token I'm sure they think my obsessions are a bit odd, if not extravagant themselves.

Auster has an entry up titled "What makes the rich tick?" I think the question really is "What makes the average guy tick?"

Ben W. writes:

Notice that I'm spending more therefore I need more money. The use of money and its need (and growth) accompanies the increased use of resources. If someone argues that I don't need HDTV, I'll say just try watching HDTV for a week and then try going back to standard TV.

And as I said in my comments on Ben's thoughts, while I can't agree with Ben concerning his apparent belief that watching HDTV will necessarily result in one having to own one, I think the main principle still stands. I know a lot of people who are rather obsessive about various hobbies that I personally have no interest in whatsoever. But I don't need to know why Monster Truck enthusiasts, as one example among innumerable ones, have an insatiable desire to own and drive and tinker with them. The most important thing for me is that these interests, whether they're my interests or not, are the kinds of things that motivate them to be productive, and self-sufficient, and so forth and so on.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The upside-down world we live in

Over at Gates of Vienna, Baron Bodissey cites a story in the Sydney Morning Herald concerning the French government's plans to outlaw three types of internet crime, Child pornography, Terrorism, and Racial hatred. Baron's understandable concern is with the government of France effectively declaring "racism" (French government's definition, of course) as a crime equal to that of Child porn and Terrorism.

Baron writes:

This last little fillip — the “pledge” that the new rules will not infringe on “fundamental liberty” — is a sure sign that the authorities have every intention of using the plan to exert political control and clamp down on any speech that interferes with the entrenched European power structure.

As we have seen recently in Finland, Sweden, and Britain, as well as France, “racism” is a conveniently elastic term. It can be stretched to apply to any independent-minded behavior by the citizens of Europe that is considered unacceptable by the elites who run the show. Specifically, anyone who disapproves of or even questions the mass immigration of millions of Muslims into European cities is by definition a racist.

Virtually anything posted here at Gates of Vienna — or at the Brussels Journal, or Mission Europa, or Snaphanen, or Europe News, or Politically Incorrect, or Tundra Tabloids, or Beer n Sandwiches — is “racist”, and therefore actionable under the French scheme.

As I said, the Baron's concern is understandable and well founded in my opinion. But take a look at the comments to the post:

Commenter Henrik writes:

Good post. I've been saying this over and over. Personally I have not even seer a single pieces of child porn - couldn't care less - but the principle is important. Watching some despicable picture of naked children can hardly be a crime in itself - but in the failure to cope with what really matters - the child abuse - governments have decided to attack derivatives instead.

This is a violation of the Rule of Law, in that non-crimes are being punished, and this is a problem. Further, once the government gets the idea to block particular content, the idea will not stop.

What is coming to pass is exactly what I expected.

In Denmark, the Constitution is quite good on so-called 'preventive measures', and I've tried to sound the alarm about what they're doing (blocking at the DNS level), but so far to no avail.

This is a difficult issue to deal with.

And "Homophobic Horse" responds:

So you don't think that people who masturbate to child pornography are themselves participating in and encouraging child abuse?

A few comments later, "Pogo" replies to Homophobic Horse directly:

Homophobic Horse,
I once arrested an arsonist who got his kicks setting fires and watching them burn. Does this mean that matches should be outlawed?

At which point I enter the fray:

Pogo wrote:

I once arrested an arsonist who got his kicks setting fires and watching them burn. Does this mean that matches should be outlawed?

You're arguing that internet child pornography should be legal based on the idea that we don't ban the sale of matches which, when misused, have the power to destroy physical property? How do you equate the two?

Why don't you argue instead for the sale and distribution of child porn in magazine form at your local Seven Eleven?

In my passionate disbelief of what I was reading coming from Pogo (a law enforcement officer, nonetheless), I forgot to finish my thoughts before rushing to post my reply. When I qualified my statements about the legal sale of matches with the phrase "when misused," I meant to follow up on that thought regarding child pornography, to wit: When is child pornography ever not misused; what is the usefulness of child pornography to anyone???

I'd like for Pogo, or anyone else, to answer me that.


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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dual citizenship, or dueling loyalties?

In a new entry titled American Exodus, Vanishing American attempts to broach the subject from at least a couple of different angles. It's a good post, and I heartily recommend that you read it in its entirety.

VA writes:

This is all well and good for those of recent immigrant stock, as apparently many European countries will accept immigrants with ancestry (even grandparents or great-grandparents) from that country. Still, that doesn't help people like me whose ancestors have been in this land for quite a few generations.

The article gives the impression that some of these people who are seeking dual citizenship have rather shallow loyalties to this country, and who are actually 'hyphenated Americans' with one foot in the 'old country.' So in that sense, they may not be bellwethers of 'White flight'. They seem to be opportunists, in many cases, who think their economic chances are better in Europe, and they have somewhat weak ties to this country. (italics added)

Yes; yet despite their weak ties to this country which it seems to me would only tend to get weaker in proportion to their distance and time away, they presumably would retain the strength of their political ties -- their U.S. citizenship -- once having established permanent residency in Europe! Nuts!

My concern here is with this whole issue of "dual citizenship". As to VA's italicized comments above, I personally have always thought that this was a given with "Americans" who are dual citizens of America and of a distinct foreign country with distinctive foreign interests.

I've written about this before and I've consistently maintained that dual citizenship in the United States and the country of one's ancestral origin, Western European or otherwise, does by definition divide one's loyalties between the two. Therefore, I think that dual citizenship should be prohibited by law.

Personally I don't even like the idea of dual citizenship for native Americans, because I think, again, that there's a division of loyalties inherent to the concept of dual citizenship, which is self-destructive. This is the reason, for instance, that someone found to have a conflict of interests is disallowed from serving on a jury. It is commonly understood that such a person cannot be unbiased in his judgment, or, stated differently, he cannot act solely in the interest of justice because he has an interest which conflicts with impartial justice.

But at least in the case of native Americans they are persons whose conflicting loyalties are not between the United States and a foreign state, but between the United States and the given Indian Nation, both confined within the same broad borders. Nonetheless, I believe that native Americans should be forced to make the choice between United States citizenship and all the priveleges and immunities that go with it, and of the tribe to which they belong. There should be no conflicting loyalties, nor any opportunity for those loyalties to conflict.

While I'm not saying that American interests are altogether distinctive from, say, Great Britian's; that the two countries do not at times share the same interests, I am saying that they also have distinctive interests which often conflict with the interests of the other. And it's on this basis that I reject the idea of dual citizenship, not just for cultural incompatibles like Muslims, but for everybody. Where am I going wrong?

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Nuff said?

Not by a long shot! Picking up where I left off in the entry immediately preceding this one, in which I quote Oklahoma Republican Senator Harry Coates as saying that "enforcing immigration laws is up to the federal government, not businesses," in a statement supporting federal suspension of key provisions in Oklahoma's law, I'd like for us to examine the implications of Coates's statement a little closer.

Besides the implied meaning of the statement which I discuss here, the statement is further problematic taken at face value without the implied meaning. Taken to its logical conclusion, it is the task of the federal government, and only the federal government, to craft, debate, pass, enforce and scrutinize any and all immigration standards on the books in this country even to the remotest parts. That's why dependents like Coates insist that if there is the slightest hint or perceived contradiction between federal immigration law and state immigration law, the former always trumps the latter which must be done away with forthwith. So the legal citizens of the United States, and of every state and municipality under its rule are relegated, according to Coates, to waiting for hell to freeze over or for their respective communities and towns and states to be completely and utterly ransacked by the invading hordes of third-worlders, whichever comes first. In other words, say the Coateses of the world, the United States must first be destroyed before we can allow any portion thereof to initiate policies designed to secure its own preservation independent of the all-powerful all-knowing all-encompassing federal government.

All-destroying attitudes like this literally make me sick to my stomach. But that's liberalism for you in a nutshell. And yes Senator Coates, I'm calling you a liberal, your affiliations with the Republican party definately notwithstanding.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Do the federally suspended provisions of H.B. 1804 require Oklahoma businesses to enforce immigration laws?

Apparently one Oklahoma legislator believes so. In a June 6 Tulsa World story Republican Oklahoma Senator Harry Coates of Seminole sets the world straight about whose responsibility it is, and whose it isn't, to enforce immigration laws:

Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole, said that "all bets are off having to do with those provisions."

Coates filed unsuccessful legislation in the past session to repeal sections of the law. He noted that federal statutes still apply to businesses.

Coates said portions of the law are good.

However, he said, enforcing immigration laws is up to the federal government, not businesses.

The law has caused many legal citizens to leave, creating a major work force problem for many businesses, Coates said. He said many Oklahoma businesses pay well more than minimum wage but still can't find workers. (italics added)

With all due respect to the Senator, I don't get his line of argument re who should and shouldn't be tasked with enforcing immigration law. But I've heard the argument stated in his exact terms more times than I want to count during this whole debate over H.B. 1804. And we've all heard it said before, but it bears repeating in this case:

"There's nothing so absurd than if you repeat something often enough people begin to believe it."

If H.B. 1804 contains no provision requiring Oklahoma businesses to enforce immigration laws, then what relevance does the good Senator's statements bear to the issue at hand? In other words, what impelled him to make the statement? Is that the best he can come up with, or has he heard it said so many times himself that he's been conditioned to repeat it on command? Can the Senator cite a specific provision in the law which in fact requires law enforcement of Oklahoma businesses? The answer is no. All the law requires of Oklahoma businesses is that they comply with its provisions concerning the hiring of illegal immigrants. And if they don't comply then there are penalties for non-compliance. And it goes without mentioning the absurdity of having a law without the means to enforce it.

At the Immigration Seminar I attended a few months back someone raised the issue of whether businesses, according to the law, could be held liable for not reporting a known illegal applicant to the proper authorities. A discussion ensued and I interjected pointing out that businesses using the E-Verify system in compliance with the law would, on entering questionable or falsified information provided them by the applicant (that's the way it works; the applicant provides the employer with his information and the employer, in turn, runs it through the E-Verify system -- it's the incentive program; if you're an illegal alien residing in the state of Oklahoma, don't apply for a job unless you wish to be deported, or, stated more directly, if you're an illegal alien residing in Oklahoma, you're not welcome here so leave!), automatically be alerting authorities as to the potentiality of the applicant's illegality; that on this basis the concern was ill-founded and that the legislature had in fact provided, whether intentional or not, a measure of protection to businesses using the E-Verify system. But I don't want to lose sight of the fact that the law does not even require businesses to register with E-Verify; that it merely denies them access to government contracts if they choose not to comply with that provision of the law. So, if a business is not interested in obtaining government contracts, and if it has a reasonable internal policy regarding the hiring of employees, i.e., don't hire illegal aliens, then the business in question may continue to operate as if H.B. 1804 were never enacted. Somehow though this is considered an undue burden on businesses, that to secure government contracts they must be registered with and using E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of their new applicants.

But the main point still stands. Has Senator Coates, a State law-maker, fallen prey to the absurdity of having heard the implied statement "H.B. 1804 wrongly requires businesses to enforce immigration law" so often that he now believes it and thus instinctively repeats it in public pronouncements of opposition to the law?

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Election Question

Do any of you believe that McCain, if elected to the presidency, will follow up on President Bush's dire warnings that the United States will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons? Or, do you believe that McCain, if elected, is more likely to follow up on Bush's policy than Obama, if elected, is, and why?

Thomas Sowell has said that McCain is the "no-brainer" choice between the two candidates on this basis alone. And further that we don't have the luxury in this election of casting a vote for a third party candidate, or of writing in a candidate. LA disagrees with Sowell's argument and offers his counter-argument:

LA writes:

In a column last week, Thomas Sowell presents what he sees as an open and shut argument on the presidential election: Obama won't do anything about the Iranian nuclear threat, McCain will. Therefore electing McCain is a no-brainer.

But whoa--we've had Busherino as president for seven years, and after declaring in January 2002 that Iran was part of an "axis of evil," which sounded like a virtual declaration of war, and then making numerous grave statements that he would not tolerate the creation of an Iranian nuke, statements which led to the widely shared assumption that he would take military action against Iran before leaving office, he lapsed into several years of weenie EU-type negotiations, making the U.S. look weak and allowing the Iranians to continue their nuke development.

So if Mr. Axis of Evil himself ended up doing nothing, what makes Sowell so sure that Mr. Son of Axis of Evil will do anything?

Where is the basis for the belief that there is such a stark difference between McCain and Obama on the Iranian threat that McCain's election is mandatory

I took a shot at getting inside of Sowell's head and wrote the following comment to LA's article:

"So if Mr. Axis of Evil himself ended up doing nothing, what makes Sowell so sure that Mr. Son of Axis of Evil will do anything?"

This is just a theory, but somewhere deep down inside himself Sowell might believe that McCain, as a first term Republican with a "conservative" base, will do something about the Iranian nuke threat whereas Obama, as a first term Democrat, will feel no pressure from his base to do anything about it.

To which LA replied:

But Bush was supposedly under the ultimate pressure--that he either take action before he leaves office, or be succeeded by a Democrat who would not take action. Yet he has done nothing. After years of Churchillian talk, he ended up like Neville Chamberlain.

In a reply to LA's reply to me, which, at the time of this writing, LA has not yet posted, I admit that he makes a good point, but also ask the ultimate question: "Isn't it reasonable for Sowell to assume that McCain, as president, is going to be looking to establish his own "legacy" apart from President Bush, and that part of that legacy might involve McCain's actually following up on Bush's threat?"

I suppose, in hindsight, that any action taken by McCain on the Iranian nuclear crisis would technically be tied to Bush's policy, but McCain can't expect to establish his own legacy apart from Bush by simply continuing the "War on Terror" as it now exists, can he?

What do you think? Is McCain more likely, as a first term president, to take decisive action against Iran's nuclear program than Obama? I tend to believe that Sowell has a point. What say you?

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Conservative MEGO?

For those of you who don't know, or who may have forgotten, MEGO is the acronym for "My Eyes are Glazing Over." I'm sure most of you have dealt with this phenomenon at one time or another, in one way or another, during the course of your lifetimes.

I once had an employee who had a severe case of MEGO (fact is I've had several employees over the years who exhibited signs of having MEGO, but only one whose case was this severe), and it negatively affected everything he did at work, and thus me and my business. I'd be in the middle of explaining something to him, and I'd notice that his eyes would begin to glaze over; literally you could see his mind begin to wander off into never never land. I can't say I'm 100% certain about the root cause of his particularly extreme condition, though I have my suspicions, but one day when I'd had all I could take of his eyes glazing over and his mind wandering off into space as I was giving him vital instructions which required his full attention, I managed to temporarily recapture his attention and focus by threatening to fire him on spot. Even so, once I'd regained his undivided attention and began retracing steps I'd already covered, MEGO began to set in once again. Though I did not fire him on spot as I had threatened, I was forced to follow through a few days later when it was determined that his condition was simply too advanced and too much outside my control for there to be any hope of a reversal.

I sometimes have to wonder whether MEGO is that which afflicts many conservatives as regards Islam or the immigration problem, or a host of other issues? Modern conservatives definately seem to exhibit the symptoms (and at least the early stages) of MEGO -- short attention spans, inability to focus, lack of rationality, short-term memory lapses, inability to connect the dots, and etc. -- and as with my former employee, it negatively affects everything they do, and thus our country and its future. But unlike my situation with my former employee, we can't ultimately control the effects of MEGO by cutting MEGO afflicted conservatives loose, can we?; his, as I said, was an extreme case which required extreme measures. What then is the solution to this problem? If we manage to recapture conservatives' attention by being forceful and loud and threatening, only to lose it again to the condition of MEGO, what are we to do?

As regards my employee, I strongly suspect (I'm only about 99.9 percent certain) that he was taking drugs while on the job, and that this was the underlying cause of his inability to focus and to perform his job according to any acceptable standards. It wasn't that he didn't work hard, but that he didn't work smart and couldn't follow simple steps from a to z in a constructive, orderly fashion. In other words, in order to permanently stop the effects of MEGO that this person carries with him everywhere he goes, you'd have to end his drug use, which I have no ability to do. With regard to conservatives who show all the signs of having MEGO as well, I suspect that they're also working under the influence of the mind-altering hallucinogenic liberal drug known as multiculturalism which produces in the minds of its users hallucinations as to the ability of cultural incompatibles to assimilate in our culture while we, at the same time, acculturate to theirs and its increasingly problematic presence here. In other words, in order to deal with the effects of conservative MEGO permanently and effectively, we'd have to radically purge modern conservatism of the cause -- the use and abuse of the mind-altering addictive drug of liberalism. But how exactly can we do this?

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Question answered

In the preceding blog post, I asked the question "where are you other ninety percent?", in connection with state to state legislation on the illegal immigration problem. Well, here is where some of them are,:

But members of the Senate Judiciary B Committee questioned whether the bill would achieve Geymann's stated aim: Arresting and prosecuting people who transport, and take advantage of, job-seeking immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Committee chairman Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, said the bill could discourage employers from trying to find out an immigrant's legal sts.

"What employer in his right mind is ever going to ask that question?" Martiny asked Geymann.

they're held up in legislative disputes over the language in a given provision of their respective bills. I can respect that; it's part of the democratic process. The key to it all is that states such as Louisiana have recognized the need to deal with the immigration issue effectively. And they're working on it...

And by the way, in case you read me wrongly, unlike Lou Dobbs, everything in me is an immigration restrictionist, and I realize that separates me from others who are against illegal immigration on the basis that all legal forms of immigration are just fine and dandy and healthy for our country. I don't believe that. I do believe that immigration to this country is out of control, and that the best course would be to put a moratorium on immigration until we sort it out. If we are to have a national debate and a national dialogue and a decision about national policy and we make a judgment that we're going to lower immigration levels -- let's say that we reduce them by half, or by three quarters -- sign me up! Otherwise I'd prefer to let the states handle it on their own terms.

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My State's law is tougher than your State's law!

Is South Carolina's new immigration law tougher on illegal immigration even than Oklahoma's? No way! I think I even read once that Arizona's law is tougher than the Sooner State's. Well, no matter; whichever state ends up with the toughest immigration legislation in the country, that's a state that I can respect, without conceding that your state's law can beat up my state's law. We're all in this fight together by golly! And now a full ten percent of the states in this union have enacted their own comprehensive immigration packages. (Where are you other ninety percent???)

If it's any consolation to my fellow Okies, I think our state will always bear the distinction of being among the very first to enact this vital form of legislation; of being on the frontlines, at the tip of the spear in this historic battle to save our country from foreign invaders. And of course, every state that follows in our footsteps will have studied our legislation (either directly or indirectly), and hopefully improved and expanded upon it. Indeed, if S.C.'s new legislation is now rightfully being touted as the "toughest immigration legislation in the country", as H.B. 1804 once was, and this trend continues, imagine what advances we have to look forward to in this fight!

By the way, I picked up this story at Outraged which I have a permanent link to in the Links of Interest section in the right sidebar of this blog.

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Bob Struble on homosexual "marriage" and Judicial Usurpation

Robert Struble is the author of the interactive book Treatise on Twelve Lights. Mr. Struble and I have had, since I first learned of his book a couple of years ago, several short email discussions, interrupted by long pauses in our communications, concerning his proposals for restoring the republic. A few days ago Mr. Struble interrupted the latest long pause in our communications sending me an email in which he asks that I take a look at his article concerning the recent CA Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage, and to "pass it on" if I am so inclined. Well, I am so inclined, so I excerpt a few passages from the article here:

Mr. Struble Writes:

In California the state Supreme Court has radically undermined a key support of public morality, marriage between man and woman. By a 4-3 vote, in a decree issued on the Ides of May, 2008, the judicial branch welded base metal into a crucial buttress of American culture. Together with a similar measure imposed by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, this dual challenge to our marriage laws is more dangerous and menacing by far than the temporary success in introducing harems into 19th century Utah.

This new adventure in judicial activism creates not just a moral calamity, but also a constitutional crisis in that it undermines the rule of law. I'm especially struck at how such legislation from the bench contradicts John Adams' famous definition of a republic as "a government of laws, not men." If four men, or rather two men and two women, can nullify established law and substitute their own preferences, then we no longer have a republic of laws. In his dissent to the ruling (pp. 1, 5-6 [127ff], concurred in by Justice Ming Chin), Justice Marvin Baxter wrote that the decision “violates the separation of powers, and thereby commits profound error.” Continued Justice Baxter:

… a bare majority of this court, not satisfied with the pace of democratic change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its own social policy views for those expressed by the People themselves. Undeterred by the strong weight of state and federal law and authority, the majority invents a new constitutional right, immune from the ordinary process of legislative consideration. The majority finds that our Constitution suddenly demands no less than a permanent redefinition of marriage, regardless of the popular will.

In November, hopefully, the voters of California will get a chance to reverse “this exercise in legal jujitsu.” (Baxter, p. 7) If successful this effort would restore the definition of marriage in California law, as enacted by the Legislature in 1977. Almost a quarter century later, in the year 2000, California’s voters passed proposition 22 by the margin of 61-39%. Both forms of legislating, via the people and through the state legislature, had defined marriage as limited to unions between a man and a woman.

This latest case of amending the constitution by adjudication makes clear that the neo-pagan elites are not willing to let the American people have their way on basic social/moral issues. It is not us, the American citizens, but rather our cultural commissars who intend to decide such questions. Apparently their presiding paradigm is "democracy be damned if it gets in the way" of the social-engineering projects of their postmodernist revolution. Over 4.6 million voters approved Proposition 22, or 1.15 million times the number of oligarchs (four) who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. So much for “the consent of the governed” proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence.

The California case is more threatening to America’s moral integrity than the phenomenon in Massachusetts, in that residency is required to marry in the Bay State, but people from anywhere can marry in California. The newlyweds could then sue back in their home state to have their same-sex “marriages” validated under the full faith and credit clause.

What strikes me particularly is Justice Baxter's dissenting remarks excerpted above. I wrote about this fundamental change in the definition and conditions of marriage and thus to the marriage contract a few days ago in an entry at this blog. The term "marriage" has been redefined by this rogue court as a "long-term" union between "consenting adults". Thus the normal meaning of marriage as a binding contract between a man and a woman in which they pledge to each other (exclusive to all others) mutual affection and support, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in heath, till death parts them is disastrously undone by the court's introduction of new terms in the marriage contract which undermine and contradict the very basis on which the court depends for the validity of its articulation of the inestimable glories of the marriage institution. Thus apparently the court believes it can fundamentally alter (destroy) the meaning of the term marriage to admit homosexuals without destroying the glories, of which it writes in its opinion, of the marriage institution. I therefore declare this court to be collectively insane.

But anyway, with respect to Mr. Struble's book, I thought that some of you might want to check it out. If you're so inclined, you may connect to the ToTL main page via the link to Struble's article which I've provided above.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kristor separates the MEN from the boys, and the boys from the screaming belligerant undisciplined toddlers

In the event that you haven't had the opportunity to read Kristor's excellent analysis on the distinctions which separate Traditionalists from liberal Republicans and liberal Republicans from liberal Democrats over at VFR, I'll make it easy for you:

Kristor writes:

That's the problem with gnosticism: the perfect drives out the good. The liberal gnostics quite properly hate evil, but are not prepared to admit that, albeit corrupted by evil, the world is basically good. For them, any evil anywhere ruins the whole shooting match. It is the moral stance of the two year old who wants both to keep his cake and eat it. Nothing is ever good enough for them. That is why they have difficulty with any wholehearted allegiance to any concrete entity like America. Their allegiances are to abstract ideas, which by nature cannot ever be perfectly instantiated in the world. They love ideas; they hate the world; and, logically, they would hate any world, because worlds as such are congeries of disparate entities that are forced to reconcile themselves to each other (so as to constitute a world), and thus to compromise on their ideals, and thus to introduce to the world some defect or other in the perfect actualization thereof. This is why there are conservation laws in physics; There is No Free Lunch is the conservation laws of physics at work in society.

None of this is acceptable to the liberal gnostic. Liberal gnostics want all the possible goods, without recognizing that there cannot be such a thing as a world in which all goods are compossible. So, e.g., they want cheap gas, but they don't want domestic drilling; they want to encourage people to reduce gas consumption and seek alternatives, but they want cheap gas; they want to tax the bejesus out of the oil companies, but they want cheap gas. They want to stop burning coal, but don't want to build nuclear plants, or site windmills where they might kill some birds. They want the poor to stop being poor, but they don't want anyone to do well. They want the Grand Canyon to be wheelchair accessible, but they want to reduce public access to the Grand Canyon. They want religious freedom, but they don't want religion to constrain anything. They want the government to make us all perfectly safe, but they don't want the government to do anything at all that would interfere with anyone's freedoms anywhere. The logical endpoint of all this is the destruction of humanity as a blot upon the earth. But that would be evil, too (thus James Taranto's archetypal liberal headline, "World Ends: Poor Hardest Hit").

When the liberal gnostics can't get everything they want, what do they do? They scream at the Daddy or Mommy who is telling them "no." That's why the gnostics of the first century were mad at Yahweh. That's why the liberal gnostics of today hate the mean nasty Republicans, even though Republicans are mostly liberals, too. The difference between the liberal gnostics and the liberal Republicans is that the latter are not gnostics. Liberal Republicans share the liberal goal of perfection: perfect safety, prosperity, health, and so forth, for everyone--but they recognize the limitations of reality. They tend to know something about economics. They are liberals, but they are realists.

The difference between the liberal realist and the traditionalist is that the traditionalist is not interested in perfection in this world; does not expect it; understands that the worship of creaturely perfection is both an exercise in idolatry and simply inapposite to our basic creaturely predicament. To the traditionalist, the limits imposed upon us in this world are instances of Providence, that secure for us the very structure of the world, and, thus, because the world is the platform from which we mount, as rungs to Jacob's ladder.

The liberal gnostic hates and abhors the limit, and all things subject thereto (thus also himself); the liberal realist recognizes and respects the limit; the traditionalist cherishes and celebrates the limit.

It's by sheer force of will alone that I resist the overwhelming urge to add to Kristor's list of grievances against liberal gnostics several of my own complaints, albeit that mine are of a more general variety.

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Federal injunction (temporarily) blocks full enactment of H.B. 1804

I learned of this new development yesterday evening when a friend and local businessman, and a staunch advocate of illegal immigration restriction, called me on my cell to inform me and to vent his outrage. This individual and I attended the March 6 immigration seminar of which I wrote on May 18 together; it was there that we both learned of the then pending lawsuit filed on behalf of the State (and federal) Chambers of Commerce which is responsible for this new development. Indeed, the speaker (whose OKC based firm filed the original lawsuit on behalf of the State Chambers of Commerce) spoke rather glowingly about his firm's legal work in opposition to the new Oklahoma law, saying, in no uncertain terms, that the law is unconstitutional because it (1) violates federal immigration law, and (2) unfairly burdens Oklahoma business owners with an undue responsibility to enforce the provisions of H.B. 1804. As to the second claim, I just rolled my eyes in utter contempt that someone would be so presumptuous as to suggest that Oklahoma business persons have no responsibility to reasonably attempt to verify the employment status of their prospective employees, particularly those who they suspect are illegal. "Fact of the business", no such provision should even be necessary in a sane society, but the necessity of the provision, i.e., the insanity of our society, is made strikingly evident by the very strength of the opposition to it. However, as the first reason was given by the speaker in terms that I thought required an explanation, I did challenge him to defend that assertion in more particularity -- "On what basis is it that Oklahoma's law violates federal immigration law?" When he asked for clarification of my question, I put it to him in these terms: "Is the basis some sort of privacy issue, or is it simply that the language in Oklahoma's provisions doesn't match up to the language in the federal law, or what?" He answered that it was the latter; that the language in the respective laws differed, but he didn't elaborate further.

Notwithstanding all of that, the federal government has now injected itself into the dispute over Oklahoma's immigration law. Sections seven and nine of the law are now declared by the federal government to be, for all intents and purposes and until further notice from on high, unconstitutional:

By RON JENKINS, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jun 4, 6:24 PM ET

OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge on Wednesday blocked parts of an Oklahoma law targeting illegal immigration, saying the measures are probably unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of provisions of the law that subject employers to penalties for failing to comply with a federal employee verification system.

The decision came on a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Chamber and other business groups, who argued that the electronic verification system is voluntary under federal law and that employers should not be subjected to state penalties.

"Through harsh civil penalties, the Oklahoma law unfairly shifts the burden of immigration enforcement from government onto the backs of business," Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber, said in statement.

The provisions in effect since November prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving tax-supported services and make it a state crime to transport or harbor illegal immigrants, a provision loudly criticized by social agencies that work with the immigrant population.

The state law took effect in November 2007, but the employer provisions under attack were set to take effect July 1.

Cauthron held that the plaintiffs would probably establish that the state measure pre-empted federal law on immigration.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson defended the law.

"We will attempt to overcome this hurdle when the matter is set for hearing on the permanent injunction," he said.

Rep. Randy Terrill, a Republican who introduced the legislation, predicted the case would be appealed if the plaintiffs prevail in their quest for a permanent injunction.

No hearing date has been set. (all emphases mine)

In closing, allow me to set the record straight. The inference that Oklahoma's law conflicts with federal law in that it "requires" businesses to register with the employment verification system is simply false. As I explained in this post, only if a company voluntarily enters into contractual agreement with a government entity to provide goods or services in exchange for payment, is the company in question "required" to register with E-Verify to confirm the employment status of all new hires. No company is under any obligation whatsoever to enter into such a contract, and therefore, by Oklahoma law, no company is under any obligation whatsoever to register with the E-Verify employment verification system. In other words, it's all voluntary and the complaint is bogus, always has been. But you know how it is; there are a bunch of well-to-do government welfare cases out there who couldn't maintain their elaborate and lavish lifestyles if the goverment didn't provide them a swollen teat to suck off of. To wean them off of it is simply unthinkable. The best we can do is to occasionally slap them on the forehead and painfully exclaim "don't bite!"

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Marriage cont.

In connection with the discussion on homosexual "marriage," John Savage turned me on to this article posted at TakiMag. The main objective of the writer may be summed up in his concluding paragraph. He writes:

“Traditionalists” have it all backwards. Marriage isn’t in decline; it has instead been glorified beyond all recognition. The only way back to traditional marriage may be to allow same-sex marriage without protest. Let marriage first be deflated. Then perhaps it can be restored.

The rest of the article goes about to establish the author's foregoing assertions. As evidence that the institution of marriage is overly exalted in modern society, Mr. Bramwell quotes from the CA Supreme Court's (a reliable source for the general opinion of moderns, I'm sure) infamous opinion in the recent homosexual marriage case. In its opinion the court declared that marriage is:

[T]he most socially productive and individually fulfilling relationship that one can enjoy in the course of a lifetime. The ability of an individual to join in a committed, long-term, officially recognized family relationship with the person of his or her choice is often of crucial significance to the individual’s happiness and well-being. The legal commitment to long-term mutual emotional and economic support that is an integral part of an officially recognized marriage relationship provides an individual with the ability to invest in and rely upon a loving relationship with another adult in a way that may be crucial to the individual’s development as a person and achievement of his or her full potential.

First of all, I'd personally like to know on what evidence exactly the Court is relying for its dogmatic, overly enthusiastic statements on marriage? One must assume, given that homosexual "marriage" was, before this ruling, illegal and non-existant, that the court is basing its exalted view of the marriage institution entirely on heterosexual examples, and imputing those examples to homosexuals, as if homosexuals have the same capacity as heterosexuals to engage in successful marriages. Talk about serving up a crock full of equality b.s.!

Beyond that, look at the way the Court subtly yet significantly redefines marriage to be just another all-inclusive institution. Marriage, according to the court, is no longer a "lifelong" commitment, but merely a "long-term" commitment. Of course the court gives us no indication of what it means by the term "long-term," so I assume it could mean any "extended" period of time. Do I smell a rat here?; is someone purposely being liberal with its ambiguity? What is self-evident and non-ambiguous about the term, however, is what the term does not mean -- a lifelong commitment. I suggest to you that the court knows full well that homosexuals are uniquely incapable of upholding the terms of traditional marriage, and therefore, as an advocate of homosexual "marriage", found it incumbent upon itself to destroy yet another foundational principle of marriage for the sake of its favored group.

So, is Mr. Bramwell correct in his assertion that Tradionalists have it all wrong; that we err in defending the exaltation and exclusivity of marriage? Is he right in saying that marriage has been "glorified beyond all recognition?" Well, if you want to call the court's written expression of its opinion a glorification of the sacred institution of marriage, then I suppose his opinion carrys some weight with you. But I for one do not view the court's opinion as he does. Yes; the court uses glowing language in its pronouncements on the glories of the marriage institution, but I submit to you that the more important issue in the court's decision is its overthrow of a concept which has always attended any traditional idea of marriage; that the court's exalted expressions on the institution of marriage are at once rendered meaningless by its destruction of a principle without which the glories of marriage could never have been fully realized or written about.

One indication that marriage is indeed in a state of decline, is that the court succeeded in inserting, in the midst of all its flowery language, a fundamental change in the conditions of marriage from lifelong commitment to "long-term" commitment and that this fundamental change evidently escaped Bramwell's keen sense of the low state that is the defining mark of traditional marriage.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Is childless Marriage beneficial to society?

(Note: In connection with this post, please read Lawrence Auster's entry on the extreme radicalism of homosexual marriage. Scroll down and read Dana W.'s remarks and LA's reply to Dana on no-fault divorce, an issue I thought about adding to this entry but ultimately decided against.)

MARRIAGE, n. The act of uniting a man and a woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and a woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.(emphasis mine)

(Definition taken from Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language)

Contrast Webster's definition with an opinion expressed at Savage's blog on the purpose of marriage and why government benefits related to marriage should be strictly tied to having children. (Admittedly, when you start talking about government benefits passed out to folks who meet certain government-established criteria, I start to get a little nervous. As they say, "there ain't nothin' free," so one has to decide whether the rewards outweigh the costs. I think generally they don't when it comes to government favors.)

My parenthetical remarks aside, though, do you think that government benefits related to marriage should be reserved only to those married (husband and wife, male and female, man and woman) couples who have offspring; that government benefits for married couples should be tied to having children? That seems to be the consensus of some at BNWW and elsewhere. John quotes commenter Robert Hume from the Inductivist who writes in favor of this view:

The main purpose of marriage in modern times is as a support system for children. The state grants benefits to married folk in order to help raise children well.

It used to be that all married people had children, so the benefits were not mis-allocated. But now many heterosexual couples do not have children, so they reap benefits to which they are not entitled.

So homosexuals have noted that there were benefits that they could not get that heterosexuals could get … without carrying the responsibility of caring for children.

In this case homosexuals have a good “equal protection” argument.

The solution is to modify the law to tie marriage benefits to having children, not to being married.

The presumption is that society reaps little or no benefits from the institution of marriage except those which are directly related to the having and raising of children, and therefore, since society derives no appreciable benefits from the institution of marriage aside from the production of offspring, and since homosexuals can't have children which are a product of both partners, all government favors related to marriage must be changed to apply strictly to marital reproduction. So you've essentially killed two birds with one stone in Hume's opinion; you've stopped the mis-allocation of government marriage benefits to people who are not entitled to them (childless couples), and you've prevented by the same stroke homosexual marriages.

I simply have to disagree with this. Marriage between a man and a woman is beneficial to society in precisely the ways that Webster lays forth in his definition of the term -- it helps to prevent the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, and promotes domestic happiness. So, while I'm not saying that government benefits related to marriage should be equal across the board (unless they're equally zero), I am saying that marriage between men and women is beneficial to society apart from having children. And if society is going to reward people for their particular contribution to the general welfare and encourage its continuance, it ought to reward childless married couples for theirs.

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No globalization without representation?

I wonder when that phrase (or some version of it) might become popularized as a universal battlecry among foreign peoples relegated to, or by their own volitions (it matters not) living in the lands of their births yet intimately impacted by the decisions of the President of the United States ... and of our Congress, and our Judiciary, and of the very people who inhabit this continent; the new universalist globalist battlecry to extend to all the peoples of the world the liberal principle of universal suffrage in American elections?

VA has an entry up this morning in which she cites one Mr. Simon Jenkins from his article of May 9, 2008 published in the U.K. Times. Mr. Jenkins writes:

The globalised president is a different matter. This leader must represent America’s values - and consequent actions - everywhere that is touched by American policy. His or her decisions benefit or afflict millions of people, rich and poor, in dozens of countries on every continent. Yet they have no vote.

Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians, Israelis, Pakistanis, Colombians, Brazilians, Russians, Chinese have no means of saying yes or no to decisions taken in Washington that may intimately affect their families, their security, their jobs and prospects. Nobody accounts to them or invites them to any caucus. Few of them enjoy democratic privileges even in their own countries. Yet the next president of the United States can mean life or death.

Commenter Alex seems to have been on the same page as me when he wrote:

There's plenty of glib media commentary on the responsibilities of the 'global presidency'. But while journalists cater to the insatiable public appetite for news of presidential follies (and reluctant admissions of accomplishments), almost nothing is heard from the academics who might be expected to provide some scholarly analysis of "decisions that benefit or afflict millions of people, rich and poor, in dozens of countries on every continent. Yet they have no vote".(emphasis mine)

Yet they have no vote! Shout it from the rooftops! What could possibly be more unjust, more unfair, and yes more immoral than to have people who are potentially afflicted and murdered, whose very lives, liberties and fortunes are subject to the whims of a president of the United States who have no voice in the installment of that president?

This whole issue could be argued from many different perspectives, I suppose. One position would say that there is at least some truth to what Mr. Jenkins is saying; that globalization has indeed intimately connected the decisions of the President of the United States with the diverse peoples of the world, and that therefore the peoples of the world should have some voice in the election of the president. The logical end of this would of course be, as I said, involvement of foreigners in the entire American political process. Did not our founders say that "...governments ... derive(ing) their just powers from the consent of the governed?" If the policies of a president of the United States affect the lives of average Pakistanis, then these Pakistanis are, by definition, "the governed," are they not? The government of the United States can have no "just powers" then, aside from the direct involvement of the Pakistani people, whose lives are intimately affected by U.S. policy, in the American political process.

Months back John Savage wrote in a comment to one of my posts:

I've decided that wherever they differ from us moderns, our Founding Fathers deserve the presumption of being correct. Whether it's on Islam, the role of government, interpretation of Scripture, race, or whatever else, we're the children looking up to our great teachers. Where opinions have changed, the burden of proof lies on those who came later. Our situation is parallel to that of the people who painstakingly rediscovered ancient knowledge after the Dark Ages, is it not?

To keep with the spirit of John's outstanding comment, what we must not do, as I've said or implied innumerable times in the past, is to cherry pick from their writings statements they made which would seem at first glance to support our particular view of the world and of a given topic. As the adage goes "a text out of context is a pretext." This is the reason I cited above the quote from the Declaration of Independence. Let us not forget that it is a declaration of American Independence; let us not neglect to attend to the preamble which declares that during the course of human events it sometimes become necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another. In other words we should always read a particular sentence or phrase in context of the whole piece of work, and that whole piece of work in context of the whole American movement for independent nationhood, in the case of the Declaration of Independence. And as I've said many times as well "WE [heavy on the WE] hold these truths to be self evident", and etc. WE can't and shouldn't speak for anyone else as we seem inclined to do.

But in this case of a so-called 'global president', and the inherent right of all people affected by the presidency, both natural results of 'globalism', it seems to me, we would all be very well served to look to the example and wisdom of our founding fathers, as John Savage says, and in this particular case to Washington's Farewell Speech.

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