Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 - Back With a Vengeance

First of all, let me apologize a little to all of you, as I have, since the election, slacked off to the point where I was almost phoning it in over the holidays. Between 24/7 youngling care (except when at work), a screwy work schedule, and the general chaos that is the holidays, I've been slacking. Then, as we were coming into the first week of the year, I end up sick, fevering, and other bodily functions you probably don't want described getting all sloppy.

But today I'm back. I woke up with a headache, but no fever. My appetite is back (which does not bode well for the resolution to drop 20 pounds (although I have to add exercise as well, so I have time)), the radio and TV talking heads are back (already consumed some Boortz, and I'm listening to Dee as I'm writing this, and will get some Rush before work), and I'm back into the weekly routine with school. Now I just need to sustain this inergy enough to get the house cleaned, and I'll be really flying.

And we're getting a new president in a little over two weeks. So there's a lot of stuff to work with. And I'm just going to spend the rest of this post with a few random thoughts....

The Obama girls are off to their new private school in DC today. Michelle had the duty of dropping them off. It's a good thing for any parent to take control of their children's education. Hopefully the incoming prez will empower parents, disempower teachers unions (and empower the excellent teachers), and get the government's claws out of education. That's not his plan, but it's something to focus on.

I mentioned this in Asshat of the Week, but I want to reiterate this. There is a big difference between Governors Bill Richardson and runner-up asshat Blagojevich. Bill Richardson, under cloud of a scandal in his state, has withdrawn himself from consideration for Secretary of Commerce in the Obama administration. This is the right thing to do, and hopefully is part of the "change we can believe in". As for Blago, you know he would have gotten Asshat of the Week had the story broke after I rolled out the award. The fact he pushed a replacement for the position he was trying to sell indicates he's an idiot to the extreme.

Latest numbers I have from the Israeli attack on Hamas is 537 dead and around 2,000 wounded. If anybody knows how many people are in, around, or related to Hamas terrorists, let me know. That's where I want to see the number of dead end up.

Finally, I found this vid at
Praesidium Respublicae, and it is a perfect explanation of the danger we face as the government consumes more and more power to itself while dumbing down the people to believe in the moronic nature of democracy. It's a little dry for my video selections (as it lacks references to jizzmoppers), but it's worth the watch nonetheless:

27 comments:

Mike's America said...

Patrick: Glad you are finally on the mend. I know how much your moonbats miss you and their daily feeding.

Richardson's withdrawal is likely to be the first of many. It's funny how these Democrats always talk about ethics but never seem to actually practice them.

Mike's America said...

And I have a tech question:

One of the Windows accelerators in Windows Vista makes is difficult to select and copy text. I wonder if there is a way to turn off that stupid blue box that pops up whenever selecting text and interferes?

Dee said...

Thanks for being such a loyal listener!! Glad you are feeling better and I agree about Richardson and Blago!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Interesting video, Patrick.

Except the US is not a pure democracy--it is a democratic republic.

A republican democracy is a republic which has democratic forms of government. One of the key principals is free and open debate prior to casting a vote. The United States of America is a Democratic Republic.

A republic in the modern understanding is a nation or state where the people are sovereign. It is not a monarchy, where the king or queen is the head of state. By this definition there are abundant examples of states that are republics but not democracies, and of states that are democracies but not republics.

Another characterization of a republic is its emphasis on law and rule of the people through elected representatives. In this sense it refers to the notion representative democracy, as one meaning of republic is a system of restricted democracy.

However, there are distinctions between the terms "republic" and "democracy," as the latter retains many of the same qualities of a republic, yet adheres to no distinct political order or set of laws. Therefore by its original understanding, "democracy" could be qualified as anything from representative governance to individual and mob rule. And in this sense the word "democracy" is often used too lightly and erroneously to mean "republic."

Corrina Collins said...

Thanks for the link and for picking up on this video.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Except the US is not a pure democracy--it is a democratic republic."

Actually, I would say that the US wasn't setup as a pure Democracy (which is a GOOD thing). However, look around you...

One of the definitions of Democracy is majority rule. It pains me the frequency with which a majority can, and often times does, vote away the right(s) of the minority is a gross injustice in this country.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Soapboxgod,

Are you referring to Proposition 8 in California where that actually happened?

The people are NOT the ultimate determinants in that case. The California Supreme Court--and possibly the SCOTUS will determine if what the majority of the people in Calif. is Constitutional.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"...if what the majority of the people in Calif. VOTED FOR is Constitutional."

Sorry.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Actually, what I was referring to Shaw was how a majority of Minneapolis residents voted for a property tax increase so that we may further continue the practice of throwing money down the rat hole which is our piss poor public school district in an effort to "bridge the racial achievement gap".

But whatever...clearly there exist a myriad of other similar instances.

Arthurstone said...

Sorry Soapbox.

Taxes are the cost of living here in the good old US of A.

Presumably you benefited from a public education. Or not?

I have no children and have not voted against a school levy in 40 years of voting. Don't like the schools? Run for school board. Join the PTA.

Now if only we can put propositions such as the ongoing Iraq occupation up to a vote...

Patrick M said...

Mike: You know how interesting my comment section (or even yours) would be without divergence of opinion, or even rank moonbattery?

Not very.

As for your tech question, I don't have a good answer, as I've never run into that problem, as I have yet to spend any serious time on a computer with Vista. Drop me an email with more detail and I'll research it.

Dee: It's always interesting to listen. Except when you start into the American Idol crap, of course. :)

Corrina: Welcome. And it's a pleasure to do so when someone gets it so right.

Shaw and Soapster: I'm lumping you two together as my comments are part of your thread.

The biggest difference between a republic and a democracy is that a republic does not trust the majority with most every decision. Our country was set up as a republic, with your only true power being to elect your state rep. Senators were chosen by state legislatures to act as a check on the will of the mob majority, and the president was (and to some degree) is still chosen and elected through the Electoral College.

Since then, we've become more and more driven by the whining of the masses, where our representatives buy our vote by blocks rather than by being the best of public servants. The Senate is occupied by long-term popularly elected asshats. And the presidential races are less about choosing a leader and more about a popularity contest.

Now both examples (prop 8 and Minneapolis school insanity) show how the majority can strip people of their cash or their rights. These should serve as warnings as to the dangers of votes being driven by popular sentiment rather than precedent and principle. And while there should be some voice of the people in how they are governed, those voices can easily be swayed (as we have seen) by those in power, should we allow them.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Presumably you benefited from a public education."

I did attend public schools. But ya know what?? My parents funded them. I don't have children so do tell me why I'm to have some sort of moral obligation to fund the education of my neighbor's children??

Public Good...Public Benefit I'm quite certain you'll allude to. But, let me remind you that requiring everyone to carry automobile insurance is just as much a public good/public benefit and yet...

We don't subsidize everyone's auto insurance now do we?

Patrick M said...

Arthur: Now if only we can put propositions such as the ongoing Iraq occupation up to a vote...

THAT'S the best example of why democracy is the death of freedom. You never fight a war based on its popularity. We would be an English colony if we waited for the popular vote. We would have the Confederate States of America to the south if we waited for the popular vote.

And Soapster: While some things that are for the "common good" are a necessity, most of them usually just take freedom from some to benefit others.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"And Soapster: While some things that are for the "common good" are a necessity, most of them usually just take freedom from some to benefit others."

Indeed, thus negating any notion of "common good".

Gayle said...

I've been slacking too, Always, and I don't even have the excuse of having been sick. I'm glad you're feeling better. :)

"Juzzmoppers"??? Did I miss something? I've never heard that before.

Gayle said...

I've been slacking too, Always, and I don't even have the excuse of having been sick. I'm glad you're feeling better. :)

"Juzzmoppers"??? Did I miss something? I've never heard that before.

Arthurstone said...

Soapbox typed:

'I did attend public schools. But ya know what?? My parents funded them'

The taxpayers funded them Soap. Your parents. Their neighbors. Some with misbegotten offspring the lucky ones without. Now I don't disagree that much of public school spending seems a waste of money. The conservative/right wing blogosphere is proof enough of that but still we shouldn't give up the efforts to improve the common good. No matter how daunting it may appear.

Patrick raved:

'THAT'S the best example of why democracy is the death of freedom. You never fight a war based on its popularity'

Well your authoritarian impulse is alive and well in 2009 I must say. Imagine the electorate weighing in on the issues of the day.

Yipes!

Patrick M said...

Gayle: sorry, it was supposed to be jizzmoppers, but I had a typo. And if you haven't....

Arthur: Damn skippy it is. When it comes to war, popular opinion may have some weight over time, but if the majority could shut off a war the day it became unpopular (51%), the murdering terrorist would rule in short order (as in democracy would lead us to an oligarchy of the most fanatical) and it would be contest between us as to whom would last the longest before we found our head on a pike after the state had it sawed off to suppress dissent.

That's why the president is commander in chief and not Congress.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Idealistically AS, one ought to pay for the government one consumes. That said, my parents had 4 children that went to public schools. As such, their property tax contribution payed for those services.

I have no children. And yet, I am forced by the strong arm of government to pay for a service that I do not consume.

Let us suppose at some point that I have some of my own and do not wish to send them to be indoctinated. I'm still forced to feed the government monopoly that is public education.

I've heard the ridiculous "public good/public benefit" assertions along the lines of "Well you want a literate kid to ring you up when you buy your groceries, yadda yadda yadda..."

Let me respond by saying that if said individual wishes to sustain his life, it would then be in his best interest and to his "benefit" that he acquire the means which allow him to do so.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Let me respond by saying that if said individual wishes to sustain his life, it would then be in his best interest and to his "benefit" that he acquire the means which allow him to do so.

And if he can't, for whatever reason?

More Mathusianism! I wonder how many people actually know about this.

Gayle said...

Dang, Patrick. I think I called you "Always." I must have been confused as to whose blog I was reading. Sorry! :(

I went to the link, Patrick. Ugh! But at least now I know what you meant. I guess that's a good thing... maybe... possibly.... LOL!

Patrick M said...

Saty, Soapster: There is a middle ground somewhere in there. It's really a matter of finding the way to give everyone the opportunity with as little loss of individual freedom as possible. More that I'm going to cover in a future post.

Gayle: You should watch the rest of the movie (Clerks). Or all the ones that come after. My Kevin Smith movie collection rivals my Star Wars collection, if that tells you something.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"And if he can't, for whatever reason?"

Then leave it to the innate compassion of human nature rather than the brute force of government.

Arthurstone said...

Soapbox typed:

'Then leave it to the innate compassion of human nature rather than the brute force of government.'

In which case we'd probably still have slavery in this country. Waiting around for the 'innate compassion of human nature' is a fools game.

You make two interesting errors here in one short post Soap.

1.) Human nature is not innately compassionate.

2.) Our form of government doesn't always operate by brute force. It is more likely to if one is yellow, black, red or poor or live in a pokey little country we can bully but for the rest of the middle-class white folk posting here at Sane Discourse I imagine the brutality is fairly negligible.

Patrick M said...

Arthur: Once again, you underestimate the good of the individual.

And you underestimate the brute force the government is capable of.

And if you had the sense to look at the people you enjoy deriding, you'd probably find the good (and I'm not talking politics at this moment).

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"It is more likely to if one is yellow, black, red or poor or live in a pokey little country we can bully but for the rest of the middle-class white folk posting here at Sane Discourse I imagine the brutality is fairly negligible."

When I said "brute" force, I wasn't so much speaking in the literal sense. Nonetheless, government does rule by force. They make otherwise free individuals do things they wouldn't otherwise do vis' a vis' compulsory, coercive, and intimidating practices. Clearly you know this to be true which is why, in your own commentary, you draw the corollary between its implementation as some sort of prerequisite to ending slavery.

What is more, I should point out that while you assert innate human compassion as being "a fools game" thus facilitating the need for government force to act in this interest, you are conveniently forgetting one very fundamental truism.

Government is comprised of nothing more than individuals.

So then, how is it this collective group of individuals can thus supplant innate human nature, when by your assertion, it members individual cannot??

Arthurstone said...

Soapbox wondered:

'So then, how is it this collective group of individuals can thus supplant innate human nature, when by your assertion, it members individual cannot??'

Government mitigates the differences between individuals and between groups many of which have competing interests. Compromise is a key ingredient. There are reasons your neighbor can't recycle nuclear waste in his basement.