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Monday, April 21, 2008

Jerusalem Ahead

A great post (really a series) by Shrinkwrapped about the full meaning of Passover, which I believe can be summed up in this excerpt:
When freedom is valued less than short term security, one ends up with neither short term security nor freedom. When fear of the unknown outweighs the discomfort of the known, one has already made the decision to remain a slave.
My personal credo is that no such thing as assurance of personal security can exist, and so to build one's life on seeking that assurance is ultimately self-contradicting and a denial of one's life. All one can do is balance off risks, and never seeking positive expansion of possibilities pretty much dooms you to a declining future.

Ben Franklin would recognize the spirit of SW's post. Quotes:
Just more proof that there's a good reason to discuss traditions of culture and faith, but that our different cultures and faiths do have a meeting point in universals which can serve as a common understanding by which to direct our political future. To have been born at a time and place when this was so is the great blessing of every American, and one that we should pass to the next generation.

Comments:
From Walter Miller's great novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz:

"To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law -- a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security."
 
Ben Franklin would have gone along with that as well.

The alternative vision - that the law and governments are vehicles of naturally limited goods whose main purpose is to preserve the overall freedom of the individuals in the state - offers less scope for grandiose politicians but somehow seems to achieve a remarkable degree of human good.

It is completely depressing to contemplate our current presidential candidates. One seems not to have grown up yet. The next is aptly described in your quote. Apart from the economic oddity of believing that one can just pass a law and create the capacity to afford health insurance. The third is a genuinely dutiful man who believes that he has acted for the common good in attempting to set up a regulatory scheme which suppresses the right of the citizenry to comment upon their politicians during elections.
 
A child, a tyrant, or a grumpy old man who is stubbornly wrong -- what a great choice. Truly, the parties have outdone themselves this year (sigh).
 
"The third is a genuinely dutiful man who believes that he has acted for the common good in attempting to set up a regulatory scheme which suppresses the right of the citizenry to comment upon their politicians during elections."

And who does not seem to recognize (or care about) the burden he places on less-fortunate citizens when he mildly supports (or mildly accepts) illegal immigration in massive amounts.

I can't decide if this is failure of intelligence (i.e., not seeing linkeage between policies he supports and the problems it creates), inability/unwillingness to empathize with fellow Americans over citizens of other countries (my bet is on this one, aided and abetted by the MSM which has adulated him due to his stances on issues like this), or sheer self-interest as he seeks/receives financial support from large businesses dependent on serf-labor.
 
Every Passover my three girls perform the "Seven Plagues of Egypt All Catholic Schoolgirl Review in Three Part Harmony" for our friends who no longer have kids of the right ages in the house. They throw cotton balls at the audience for "hail," wear sunglasses for "darkness," rubber squeeze frogs, plastic flies, etc.

My summation is even shorter; Civilization is men of rules not rules of men.
 
Works for me too, Rob.

But a nation of people born and raised in a justly lawful culture produces people who know how to be men of rules.
 
Frank, I think McCain is an economic dunce. It's just that simple.

Of course Hillary seems to be completely oblivious to how things work also. You can see that in her medical plan. At a time when we really need to be considering raising food stamp allotments she wants to throw kerosene on the flames? It's some sick, strange parody of Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake".

Obama clearly doesn't get it either. We had better be worrying about how we are going to cover funding SS and Medicare before we expand entitlement programs.

As for the idea of forcing people to buy medical insurance, it is lunatic. It is especially lunatic if you don't have a very strong policy of preventing illegal immigration, because it is certain that the provision for the bulk of the recent immigrants will simply be that the government pays for care for them. Won't that sell well! Take a couple earning 50K and tell them to buy insurance at a cost of over $800 a month as a condition of remaining employed, while the government gives it free to the person who just arrived and is working down the road at the local restaurant. Oh baby, the country will be an extremely unpleasant place!

All three of these dunces are supporting carbon cap and trade regimes, which look to me to be the next Hawley-Smoot deal. All three of them are economically out of touch with reality, and all three of them are proposing something that amounts to economic warfare and will prove to be a disastrous foreign policy gambit.
 
MaxedOutMama writes:
Bob Dobb Nothing turns to slime like overcooked kale.

You've never gotten within spitting distance of okra, have you now?


There's a difference twixt boiled spit and boiled okra? Learn sumptin new everyday.

Man, tough crowd. The "All Catholic Schoolgirl Review" never before failed to get a laugh.

Yeah, I'm real uncomfortable with the choices of fuzzy socialist, ineffective liberal reformer and waffling opportunist centrist. Mix and match to personal taste.
 
Works for me too, Rob.

But a nation of people born and raised in a justly lawful culture produces people who know how to be men of rules.


Separate post to be deadly serious.

We've "raised" a financial generation with no values. I get into this all the time. It is far worse to be an amoral degenerate than a moral degenerate. A moral degenerate can be told "we don't do that." An amoral degenerate cannot be told anything. Think about Casey Serin. Tell him "we don't do that"and he correctly retorts "we are doing it and I am doing it and you are not lifting a finger."
 
Rob, it would be funny in any context EXCEPT when discussing presidential candidates. The agony and the sorrow of the current slate wipe humor from our minds. One's first reaction is "Gee, I wonder if we could run one of those Catholic schoolgirls on a third party ticket?"
 
Rob - yes, that's exactly it. It's not a surprise that Casey is what he is - he emerges from Communism, which emerged from a dialectic that expressly demanded ignoring fact and experience in favor of the politically correct belief system.

Communist countries are countries of rules, but the rules themselves are incapable of working, so the population unconsciously absorbs the idea that you do anything you can get away with. Communist societies devolve into a tribal set of mores. That's why you have the huge crime in Russia, and the contaminated foods in China. Moral utopias produce astoundingly immoral populations. It's also why you have such widespread harshness in legal penalties in Communist societies after the first two generations. They can only maintain order by fear.

It is a deadly serious topic. It's also the root problem with illegal immigration. By allowing this, we are generating a system of impossible rules. So then we adapt them to say "Well, not for the illegals". But in doing so, we are undercutting the very foundation of our society and the Constitution. They are at once beneath the law and above it.

The reason there is such widespread concern about the illegal immigration problem is not based on immigration, but that the rules system is breaking down under the weight of it. The average citizen does understand in some not-very-explicit way that this is a huge, huge problem. It's frightening that our politicians DON'T.
 
My personal credo is that no such thing as assurance of personal security can exist, and so to build one's life on seeking that assurance is ultimately self-contradicting and a denial of one's life.

Then what about the "Cult of Absolute Safety" all those spawn of Baby Boomer parents were raised in? "Keeper kids" who were completely hothoused and sanitized in conditions of perfectly assured personal safety and security?

What happens when they turn 18 and suddenly get full rights as adults outside the parental hothouse?
 
MoM, we are of like minds. I am more concerned that Casey was torn from the communist mold and found such a good fit in the US investment world.

Anon, yeah verily. "Hothouse Kids." That's a keeper. I just don't feel like I've done my job until at least one of them says "don't ever take me on a vacation like this again." or I have to say "It isn't that much blood and besides it'll mostly scab over before we get back anyway." Or as I said to my 8yo who slept overnight in the polar bear exhibit at Seaworld; "Don't sleep on the end. Seal meat is getting expensive."
 
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