Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Potpourri of Recent Reads

Too many to post in full here, so once again, I post a few initial "teaser" paragraphs plus the link to the entire article.

This one reminds me why I no longer send articles to that site. There is such a thing, after all, as the rule of law. Moreover, there is the same sensibility here that one finds with the "booming economy" crowd, that whatever is "good for the economy" (i.e., above all, keeps the money flowing into the hands of the elites) is "good for the country," and that every choice made ought to be valued or even endorsed simply because it is "voluntary and not coerced," no matter how stupid it is. Mass stupidity, I fear, is going to be our downfall. Not to mention the religion of money, which more and more trumps the rule of law and even common horse sense. The international banking cartel is just taking advantage of all this; if we're this stupid, maybe we don't deserve to keep this country. Here is what Lou Dobbs actually said on CNN, quoting Theodore Roosevelt:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith, becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American.

"There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room but for one flag, the American flag ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

He added, "The government doesn’t know how many illegal aliens live in the United States. But we know what they cost. And that’s plenty."

If that's "whining" about illegal aliens who are being allowed openly to flout the rule of law in the name of "helping the economy," then so be it.

The next article is top flight, and almost redeems the site:

"Within the so-called American conservative movement intellectual and political confusion are today rampant. Hence the following attempt to sort out what is what.

"First of all, a conservative is acutely aware of the flawed nature of man. The capacity of human reason is limited. Our existence is ultimately a great mystery. Conservatives recognize that for these reasons we need the best of the human heritage to help guide us.

"The Jacobin suffers from no such humility. Who needs history when there are universal principles that are also self-evident? It’s all so clear. Traditions are but historical accidents, props for old elites that should be replaced by the enlightened and virtuous, people like him. Leo Strauss and his disciples have taught us to disdain "the ancestral" and heed only principles of reason.

"Conservatives and Jacobins differ profoundly on what ultimately commands our loyalty. Conservatives stand in awe of a higher power. The ancient Greeks spoke of it as the good, the true and the beautiful. Others refer to it as the will of God. This higher reality is, in any case, not some ideological blueprint. To feel obligated to look for and to do the right thing is not the same as to know just what it is in particular circumstances. The complexity and unpredictability of life disincline the conservatives to sweeping, categorical assertions.

"The Jacobin is a true believer. He has access to universal principles, you see, and they demand "moral clarity." You are either for his principles, which makes you virtuous, or you are against them, which makes you evil. It’s all so clear.

"To have unquestioning faith in one’s own moral superiority is for Christians the cardinal sin. Only a profoundly conceited person could think that for another to oppose him is by definition morally perverse.

"But the Jacobin assumes a right to have his way. Behind his moralism hides a desire to dominate. The hesitation or trepidation that may trouble men of conscience do not deter him. The will to power silences all doubt."

Read the entire article by Claes G. Ryn here. I wonder when it will be noticed that anarchocapitalists do in fact have their universal principles combined with an absence of any sense of complexity outside pure economic science (as they understand it), and so are considerably closer to the Jacobin spirit than they care to admit. They are unlikely to get us involved in unnecessary foreign wars, but are becoming unknowing dupes of the global elites.

Other worthy reads:

Joan Veon's latest on the Federal Reserve is stellar:

"It’s about time Americans woke up to the fact that their future is intricately woven into the web of a black widow spider called “The Federal Reserve.” Just as the black widow has jaws and fangs that spring out of it and inject a poison that is 15 times that of a rattle snake, so too does the Federal Reserve have jaws and fangs. The best way to explain it is that it is not federal (the jaws) and it has no reserves (the poison). The name, however, IMPLIES that it is federal and that they have endless streams of money to lend to the American government. They do not. "

Read the entire article here.

A question worth pondering:

"Why pay taxes?

"You can't decide how government spends your money, but you can choose not to send it

"Each year about this time, as many of us supplement our paycheck-to-paycheck giving unto Caesar, I raise this question. This year, let's start with the following observation from a reader, sent in the wake of the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. He notes that "terrorism" is defined, in Webster's, as "the systematic use of terror, esp. as a means of coercion," and provides a long list of examples, past and present, where the U.S. government has done exactly that. He then notes that under the current Patriot Act, it is now illegal to provide money to organizations that practice terrorism, and therefore concludes that as a matter of national security he must refuse to pay his federal taxes.

"Now, it's unlikely that any IRS or federal court will agree with that novel conclusion, but our reader has a point. Why do we continue to willingly pay for programs and policies that put ourselves and our country (not to mention countless people in other lands) in greater danger? The bloodshed and corporate welfare in our name and with our money -- and our kids' money, and their kids', and their kids' -- raises an obvious but seldom-asked question: why do so many of us pay our income taxes? "

Read the entire piece here.

More to come tonight.

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