The Failure of Democracy

Which is worse:  a democracy where minorities are oppressed or a dictatorship where minorities are protected?  Before you answer that question, do keep in mind that every single human being on earth is in the minority at some point – whether its because of your gender, skin color, religion, political beliefs or what have you, at some juncture in your life there are more of them than there are of you.  All of us are minorities and thus all of us are a potential target for a democracy ruled by demagogues – ruled by those who single out a minority as the source of evil which must be destroyed. 

In a very real sense, the primary purpose of government is to protect minorities – because only when minorities are protected can justice be said to exist to any extent, at all.  It doesn’t matter how democratic a nation is or how regularly it votes – if a minority is being oppressed, then it is an unjust society and the government is not carrying out its primary function.  Government must ensure that each of us – especially when we are in the minority – are as far as possible allowed to go about our lives without let or hindrance from anyone else.  Given this, better, say, a military dictatorship which will protect all the minorities than a democracy which deliberately attacks some minorities.

Of course, vastly better than either is a government of free people which also protects minorities.  Once upon a time, our government was the best example of that humanity had ever devised.  It is in tatters and shreds right now – so bad that the government is deliberately breaking the law in the matter of the debt limit, domestic spying, ObamaCare implementation and other matters and hardly a peep is raised about it.  But it is still to some extent in existence – we are still partially free; partially protected in our minority rights, that is. 

What is happening in Egypt should send a chill down our spines – because that is what democracy becomes when people are convinced that a vote of the majority rules all.  The Morsi government won the election fair and square and proceeded to do whatever it pleased – because “the people” had said so.  Of course, it wasn’t all of the people – the people will never be unanimous.  There will always be a minority which doesn’t agree – and the first duty of the government, even if supported by 99% of the people, is to ensure that the 1% disagreeing get what they want, even (and especially) if that is no more than to be left alone.  In the United States there are plenty of Americans who now think like the Morsi supporters:  they’ve won the election and so they get to do whatever they want and the minority must knuckle under.  That, however, is a failure of democracy – a failure to understand that we have a democracy not to determine what everyone must do, but to ensure that everyone can do as they wish, as far as practical.

For democracy to work there must be built in to it massive prohibitions against government action – for the very purpose of ensuring that a transient political majority doesn’t get it in their heads that victory at the polls is last word in government.  Our Bill of Rights is our primary bulwark against the failure of democracy.  What many people – mostly on the left – don’t understand is that if they don’t keep up the bulwarks, then the whole thing will come crashing down in to revolt and eventual civil war.  Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed – but, remember, only their just powers.  Just powers cannot be all powers because all powers cannot be granted to the government for the simple reason that not all people will consent to it.

I urge everyone not to tempt fate.  Do not push things too far.  Resign yourself to the fact that people will disagree and will have a right to disagree even to the point where you are offended.  We are straying very close to a precipice right now – our government has grown arrogant; our political pressure groups think they are invincible.  Some people are thinking that “history” is on their side, again (the Nazis and Communists thought that, too).  Democracy is failing – here and around the world – because in too many lands a temporary majority thinks it has the right to re-order everyone’s lives.  Stop it.  Now.  And let democracy be a success, again.

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70 thoughts on “The Failure of Democracy

  1. GMB August 16, 2013 / 1:29 pm

    “Resign yourself to the fact that people will disagree and will have a right to disagree even to the point where you are offended.”

    Maybe you ought to tell your moderator that.

    • M. Noonan August 16, 2013 / 1:48 pm

      You missed it entirely – this isn’t your blog. We get to do what we wish here and if you want to be right and proper about it YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH WHAT WE DO, especially when it irks you. In fact, the more it irks you the better you should like it…its people doing what they wish without let or hindrance from you…and our doing it doesn’t actually affect in any way your ability to do what you want.

      • neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 3:20 pm

        the middle east isnt about democracy, it is about the cut throat cult of islam gaining control through it’s usual ways…murder, mayhem, blood shed and mayhem.

      • neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 3:23 pm

        Mark

        I dont know but in my estimation GMB is one of the good guys not a troll I didnt see what he posted to be deleted so I cant talk about that.

    • neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 3:21 pm

      GMB

      good to see ya back Bro….. I dont think cluster moderates here any more….or maybe he does.

    • Amazona August 16, 2013 / 3:37 pm

      Well, Person A might be offended at being informed he is wrong, but that would not mean the statement should be deleted. But what if the statement not only claims he is wrong but does so using language that is racist, sexist, homophobic, vulgar or is otherwise offensive in and of itself, not counting the message that Person A was incorrect or that there is disagreement about what he says?

      Do you see the difference?

      And what does “offended” mean? I might be offended by something I think is simply a waste of blog space but that does not mean I think it should be removed.

    • neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 4:35 pm

      First we are NOT a democracy,,……we are a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC = BIG DIFFERENCE

  2. ricorun August 16, 2013 / 3:22 pm

    Mark: Which is worse: a democracy where minorities are oppressed or a dictatorship where minorities are protected?

    This is very clearly a false choice. More to the point, It is indicative of a yes/no, black/white, right/wrong, either/or, conception of real life. I’ve said this before and I will say it again: the world is one of technicolor. Why do you need to keep seeing it not only as one-dimensional, but as a strict dichotomy within one dimension? I honestly don’t get it.

    • neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 3:25 pm

      a democracy where minorities are oppressed or a dictatorship where minorities are protected?

      not completely following you on this one….

      • ricorun August 16, 2013 / 3:33 pm

        Let me spell it out for you neo: our forefathers envisioned a democracy in which minorities were protected. It opens up a whole can of worms to be sure (a technicolor can), but it is as it is. And if you really think about it, it is as it should be.

      • Amazona August 16, 2013 / 7:56 pm

        Yeah, you just spell that out for us, rico. Just be careful to use only current PC-accepted definitions, and to remain utterly ignorant of what the founders actually said and meant. But then, that IS your comfort zone, isn’t it?

        “technicolor can of worms” my donkey. You sure are proud of being able to misapply that word, aren’t you?

      • Amazona August 16, 2013 / 7:58 pm

        “If you really think about it” you will soon realize that rico is the Emily Litella of the blog.

        And it doesn’t really take that much thought to recognize the obvious.

        All he lacks is the intellect and integrity to finish with “Never mind…….” when his idiocy is corrected.

      • M. Noonan August 16, 2013 / 8:07 pm

        Mental change – don’t think of “minorities” as the liberals do. I’m Catholic. That is one of my many minority affiliations. As such, a just society must entirely protect my right to be as absolutely Catholic as I wish.

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 10:44 am

        I am a minority in many ways—gender, age, occupation, religion, football fandom —–but all I have ever asked is the ability to be whatever I am without discrimination against me for any of these identifiers.

        What I see on the Left is aversion to neutrality. So to the Left, freedom of religion, or the absence of discrimination based upon religion, is not enough—-many demand freedom FROM religion, where they actively discriminate AGAINST anything they see as religious in nature. They don’t say “You can’t refuse to hire this man because he is black…” they say “You MUST hire this person because he is black”.

        When you factor in their bone-deep conviction that every single thing in our lives must stem from government action, it is a toxic mix lethal to freedom.

      • watsonthethird August 17, 2013 / 2:02 pm

        It was in a comment that has since been deleted. So to be clear, Mark, if we substitute Muslim for Catholic in your statement above, we get:

        “I’m Muslim. That is one of my many minority affiliations. As such, a just society must entirely protect my right to be as absolutely Muslim as I wish.”

        Do you agree that society must entirely protect your right to be as absolutely Muslim as you wish? If not, in what ways would you limit such protection?

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 3:07 pm

        Though I know this is directed at Mark, and I know you folks get quite tetchy when someone else dares to violate one of your rules, I have my own response to this.

        And that is, as a Catholic, I know that “being Catholic” is a personal means of redemption and salvation, not in any way related to or dependent upon the actions or beliefs of anyone else. Because most religions are similar in their core belief that religion is a personal commitment to a means of salvation, the freedom to be “absolutely as Methodist/Catholic/Mormon/Hindu/whatever as one wishes” means that being so is not going to involve imposing one’s religion on anyone else.

        While some religions encourage the sharing of the religion, I can think of none but Islam which demand—and this is an important word, DEMAND—–that those who do not share one’s religion be killed.

        Oddly, the Left has simply chosen to overlook this little nugget of truth.

        Don’t go back into history to dredge up examples of any religion trying to force itself on others. We are talking the 21st Century, the here and now. And here and now, in this time, in this place, I cannot think of a single religion which has, as a basic tenet, the statement that those who do not share it are infidels and that infidels must be put to death.

        So my opinion is that if one wants “…the freedom to be as Muslim as one wants to be…” and he further defines “…as he wants to be….” as not including the edict to kill those who disagree with him, then this freedom should not be questioned. It is the crossing of the line into territory where being as Muslim as one wants to be includes eliminating non-Muslims that I think any reasonable person would find unacceptable.

        Furthermore, if any offshoot of Catholicism, or Lutheranism, or Wicca, were to have the same demand upon its followers, I would not agree that any of these followers should have “…the freedom to be absolutely as whatever they wish to be..” because what they wish to be would involve depriving others of something, if not their freedom of choice then their lives.

        The biggest problem I see with Islam is that it is a political movement disguised as a religion, or at the very least a hybrid of politics and religion, which makes it truly neither one, and therefore not easily defined by either set of criteria. When seen as a political movement based upon the goal of world domination and total power, it is easier to see its defects than when one is confused by its trappings of religion.

      • M. Noonan August 17, 2013 / 5:20 pm

        Amazona,

        Heck, I wouldn’t even bother a Muslim who is preaching the death of all non-Muslims. Now, if someone actually got out and kills some one because of that preaching, that is another matter. But these days I’m getting more and more towards being a free speech absolutist…in self defense before these junior-league Leninists clap me in a re-education camp.

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 7:57 pm

        Mark, I would “bother” ANYONE preaching the death of anyone because of a different religious belief. Or, for that matter, pretty much any other reason, either, other than execution for treason or murder after a sentence of such. Come on—you truly cannot condone incitement to murder just because it is cloaked in the guise of religious speech. You might as well say you have no problem with the New Black Panthers putting out a bounty on the head of George Zimmerman, because offering to pay someone to kill someone is just an exercise of free speech.

      • M. Noonan August 17, 2013 / 5:16 pm

        No limits, at all. I could care less what a Muslim wishes to do in being Muslim…up to the point, of course, where at least some of them figure its time to behead me because I’m not Muslim. But as far as being Muslim and preaching Islam – that is any Muslim’s absolute right.

        The trouble we have with you on the left is not whether or not a Muslim may be a Muslim; or a gay man a gay man – the problem comes in because you are, in various ways, insisting that I cease being fully a Catholic in order that the Muslim or the gay not be offended. I am not, as it were, allowed to point out that Islam is a heresy which often leads its followers in to doing quite horrible things. I am not allowed to say that homosexual sex is, per the Magesterium, an inherently disordered act. I, on my side, am doing nothing of the kind – a Muslim who wants to claim that Islam means “peace” will not find me in any way, shape or form trying to stop him from so stating. Nor will a gay man asserting that homosexuality is not disordered receive a demand from me that he stop saying that.

        The infamous “coexist” bumper sticker is a complete con and will remain so until it really works all ways…

      • 02casper August 17, 2013 / 5:36 pm

        Mark,
        ” I am not, as it were, allowed to point out that Islam is a heresy which often leads its followers in to doing quite horrible things. I am not allowed to say that homosexual sex is, per the Magesterium, an inherently disordered act. ”

        Except you just did and have said things like that for some time and I have a feeling you will continue to say things like that. So what’s your problem?

      • M. Noonan August 17, 2013 / 10:57 pm

        Casper,

        In an increasingly restricted space – more and more, such utterances are being forbidden.

      • neocon01 August 18, 2013 / 5:15 pm

        norma, watson, cluster slow day at the LOON echo chamber? or is the site dumping it’s garbage here?

      • neocon01 August 19, 2013 / 1:40 pm

        waspy
        Do you agree that society must entirely protect your right to be as absolutely Muslim as you wish? If not,

        muzzies should be “protected” right along with the Nazi party, KKK, NBBP……..as a TERRORIST group….

      • dbschmidt August 17, 2013 / 11:33 pm

        Ama,

        I can feel your pain in one minor area. From your post about being a minority in many ways including football fandom. Being a resident of NC with a Miami Dolphins (yes, I know they suck) plate on the front of my truck–I cannot drive around on any given Sunday because the police up here believe I must be intoxticated if I follow the Mighty Miami Mullets. Okay, that isn’t entirely fair because I have been stopped an equal number of times because they are also “closet” fans.

    • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 10:46 am

      Now don’t you be trying to lay claim to that as Irish-speak, laddy-me-boy, when it is what most of us say, or at least think, when Lefties start tap-dancing around questions, being coy and trying to answer questions with other questions,or just ignoring them and moving on to other nonsense.

  3. neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 3:52 pm

    reek-O
    Let me spell it out for you neo: our forefathers envisioned a democracy in which minorities were protected.
    I dont see that in the constitution, I see the government protecting our borders and states rights to protect everyone not special “minority groups” because as a white male I am among the most discriminated “MINORITY” in the US, and guess what I dont give a crap I can do very well by my self thank you.

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) August 16, 2013 / 5:30 pm

      Neo,
      In typical fashion, the libiots are using “minority” in terms of the framers incorrectly; read Jefferson’s inaugural Address vis-a-vis the “rights of the minority” and you can clearly see they are speaking of those of minority opinion. The founders would be flabbergasted at the idea of the United States as a haven for ethnic minorities all demanding preferential treatment under the law; in their lofty aspirations they may have envisioned a time when the American Experiment would embrace all ethnicities and cultures, but recognized that it was not their generation that would be that open-minded. The colonialists wanted Chinese silk and porcelain but they didn’t want the Chinese!

      The Founders sure as hell didn’t codify a nation predicated on all minorities being protected, or even believe that was possible; that’s simply an asinine statement devoid of any historical evidence (or common sense).

      What Mark is addressing (quite well in my opinion) is the original definition along with the expanded view of those among us that can be separated from the greater along many different lines using many different variables. It is a valuable read, and Mark has made many good points.

      • ricorun August 16, 2013 / 6:15 pm

        Beaner: In typical fashion, the libiots are using “minority” in terms of the framers incorrectly; read Jefferson’s inaugural Address vis-a-vis the “rights of the minority” and you can clearly see they are speaking of those of minority opinion.

        That’s some pretty fancy skating over some pretty thin ice. Let me get this straight… you’re saying our forefathers believed that as long as a person sufficiently looked like a WASP, any difference of opinion they might have was perfectly fine? If that’s not what you mean, then what do you mean?

      • Amazona August 16, 2013 / 7:51 pm

        “…you’re saying our forefathers believed that as long as a person sufficiently looked like a WASP, any difference of opinion they might have was perfectly fine?”

        Yeah, right, rico. Kudos on not missing that historic use of the acronym WASP in the foundational documents of the nation. And of course your razor-sharp analysis of what was said is so, well, razor-sharp. How clever of you to suss out that a commitment to protecting the right to have and express a minority opinion was really a statement that only white anglo saxon protestants could say anything they damned well wanted. I have a feeling that was completely missed by scholars over the past couple of centuries. You be sure and set them straight on that, m’kay?

        You seem to be trying to fill casper’s shoes, he of the inane “So what you are really saying is (fill in blank with something stupid and ridiculous completely unrelated to what was said…)” But you know what? No one misses him, so you really don’t need to jump in and try to fill the void. Though I have to admit, this gem actually out-caspered casper.

      • 02casper August 16, 2013 / 8:43 pm

        Amazona
        “You seem to be trying to fill casper’s shoes”

        Size 11, my shoe size that is.

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 10:31 am

        ..and you fill them, to overflowing, both physically and figuratively.

        Blog rules do not allow me to describe what overflows those shoes. Let it suffice to say that it often odorous and nearly always inane.

      • neocon01 August 17, 2013 / 11:45 am

        caspy

        Size 11, my shoe size that is.
        and a size 2 hat….. 🙂

      • neocon01 August 17, 2013 / 11:47 am

        Ama

        caspy for having a size 11 loafer is said to be rather light on his feet…LOL

      • ricorun August 17, 2013 / 4:55 pm

        Amazona: Kudos on not missing that historic use of the acronym WASP in the foundational documents of the nation. And of course your razor-sharp analysis of what was said is so, well, razor-sharp. How clever of you to suss out that a commitment to protecting the right to have and express a minority opinion was really a statement that only white anglo saxon protestants could say anything they damned well wanted.

        Actually, I didn’t attempt to interpret what our forefathers said. What I did was ask beaner what HIS interpretation meant. I put it in more colorful language perhaps, but it sure did sound like that to me. He expressly stated his opinion that our forefathers didn’t want the Chinese around. How much clearer could he be?

        So let’s get serious… how does one square the circle created by a supposed distinction between “minorities” on the one hand and “minority opinion” on the other? Said in another way, if “minority opinion” is valued (not here on B4V of course, but in government), but “minorities” aren’t, what makes “minorities” so objectionable? Is it just because they don’t look like you? Or is it because they don’t think and/or act like you? If it’s the former, isn’t that incredibly petty? If it’s the latter, what makes them think/act differently? Isn’t that the same thing as saying they have different opinions?

      • M. Noonan August 17, 2013 / 5:06 pm

        You’re just thinking in terms of the race-baiters on the left; that skin color or other externalities are all that matters. This is why your side thinks it is diverse if it has a black, a Latino and a homosexual even though all three of them think exactly alike. For us on our side, a diverse America is an America where all opinions are allowed to be brought in to the public square.

        Think of it like this – its why there cannot be such a thing as a “hate crime”. What a person thinks is entirely irrelevant; only what he does matters in the commission of a crime. Doesn’t matter if the criminal beats the man because he wanted to rob him or because he was gay..the fact that he beat the man is all that is of public concern. Once you start getting in to trying to punish people for thinking differently, then you’re heading straight towards fascism.

      • 02casper August 17, 2013 / 5:47 pm

        Mark,
        “For us on our side, a diverse America is an America where all opinions are allowed to be brought in to the public square. ”

        That sounds like my side. I guess we agree on some things.

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 8:12 pm

        “Beaner”???? You are trying way too hard to be cute, rico, and falling far short.

        “……how does one square the circle created by a supposed distinction between “minorities” on the one hand and “minority opinion” on the other? blahblahblahblahblah, etc.”

        But rico, you have already made it clear that you define “minority” in terms of a superficial characteristic not shared by the majority of Americans——you focus on how people look, or act. Of course, for one who not only has no real political opinion but who then expends vast numbers of words trying to explain that this is a virtue because it is not squishy, it is “pragmaaaaaaatic”, I guess it would be pretty hard to understand the concept of having a political belief and then having the guaranteed freedom to express it even if it is not the prevailing political belief in the country. I can see how that would completely baffle you.

        I can see why your comfort zone would be the superficial, such as appearance. Now THERE’S a definition of “minority” you can wrap your head around. You can actually SEE it and don’t have to waste time thinking about it, or coming up with terms like “squaring the circle”.

        I wonder if you think the defense of the filibuster as a means of assuring the minority a voice in legislation really means it is designed to let Latinos or homosexuals talk. Given the odd things you post, I would not be the least bit surprised.

        But really, the Count was quite concise and easy to understand, and he made it quite clear that the founders used the term “minority” in precisely the way he explained. We do understand that you still don’t get it, Emily, but that’s not his fault.

      • dbschmidt August 17, 2013 / 11:40 pm

        Ricorun,
        You do realize that there were minotirties in the colonies and no one had a real issue with that. As a matter of fact, IIRC, there were two considered today as African-American at the Constitutional Convention and, no, they were delegates not manservents. Minority opinion has nothing to do with your version of “minorities.”

      • ricorun August 18, 2013 / 3:20 pm

        Mark: This is why your side thinks it is diverse if it has a black, a Latino and a homosexual even though all three of them think exactly alike. For us on our side, a diverse America is an America where all opinions are allowed to be brought in to the public square.

        For the record, I disagree with the way you ascribe group ownership of opinion. You sound like the “Pitchfork brigade” in reverse when you do that. I presume that’s not your intention. So let’s ignore that and take what you said at face value: you suggested that blacks, Latinos, and homosexuals THINK alike. While that’s a pretty laughable assertion to make on just about any single issue, let’s assume it’s true on whatever level you prefer: saying they think the same is the same as saying they share the same opinion. Lots of people share opinions, so that’s not the problem, right? The problem is, it is an opinion which diverges from your own. But even that’s not a problem either, right? Because, as you said, “a diverse America is an America where all opinions are allowed to be brought in to the public square.” So what’s the problem?

        Mark said further: Once you start getting in to trying to punish people for thinking differently, then you’re heading straight towards fascism.

        You mean like deleting comments just because you disagree with them? 🙂

        Okay, that was petty. Obviously there are plenty worse punishments than preventing a person from posting on B4V. In fact, most punishments would qualify. But even excepting B4V moderation policy, you’ve made many comments in the past which contradict that thought on far more substantive issues. You’ve even gone so far as suggesting that Republicans should expand and pack the Supreme Court if and when they manage to control the executive branch and both houses of the legislative branch. That really does sound like a major contradiction to what you said in this comment. In the interests of brevity I will limit the many possible examples to that.

        DB: Ricorun, You do realize that there were minotirties in the colonies and no one had a real issue with that.

        Uh… Well, I’m pretty sure a considerable majority of at least one minority had some real issues with how they were treated, the two representatives of the Constitutional Convention not withstanding. Considering that, perhaps you should revisit your follow-up comment, “Minority opinion has nothing to do with your version of “minorities.” My question is again what it has been since the beginning of this thread: WHY DO YOU THINK THAT??? That’s what I’m trying to get at. And it seems your comment, like others, don’t possess any sort of logical consistency beyond, “because it just is.”

        Amazona: But rico, you have already made it clear that you define “minority” in terms of a superficial characteristic not shared by the majority of Americans——you focus on how people look, or act.

        Boy, you really do have a reading comprehension problem, hon. I did nothing of the sort. Beaner made the distinction, not me. I only asked him to clarify what he meant by the distinction. He has thus far not done that. So again I ask how one distinguishes between “minority opinion” on the one hand and “minority” on the other. And again (now with the help of Mark), I am trying very hard to point out that the two logically converge WHEN ONE IGNORES SUPERFICIAL DISTINCTIONS, rather than dwell on them. I’m sorry if that has been too hard for you to understand so far. Is it clear now?

        And I think the question is especially important because if the Republican party continues to adopt the attitude that “minority opinion” is fundamentally different than the opinions held by any given group just because they happen to define themselves (or are defined by others) as a “minority”, the party will continue to contract. It’s pointless and ridiculous not to try to understand what those opinions are, and to address them in an affirmative, actionable sort of way. So far it’s as if the Republican party is perfectly fine with whatever definitions of “minority” the Democratic party comes up with. And of course it goes without saying that the Democratic party will ALWAYS define things in such a way as to benefit them. In an adversarial environment (which politics will always be) they’d be stupid to do otherwise. The more extreme elements, in particular, of the Republican party thus far seem to be perfectly content to simply react to whatever definitions the Democrats come up with, thereby validating them, rather than challenging them in a substantive, constructive, forward-thinking way. Worse, (and on this site especially) it’s gotten so that anyone who dares to point such things out is buried in a mountain of personal attacks. This thread is not that exceptional, but it is telling that despite the many questions raised as to my intellect and/or my person, NO ONE has tried very hard to answer my very simple question: WHAT MAKES THE NOTION OF “MINORITY OPINION” FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT THAN THE NOTION OF “MINORITY” IN ANY TRULY LOGICAL WAY?

        As an aside, some folks have wondered how I came up with the “beaner” moniker for “Count d’Haricots”. The number of question marks after the question hAll I can say is, get out your English-French dictionary and look up the word “bean”. Not much of a stretch. But there were so many question marks after they asked the question… (they looked like this: “beaner????”) that I got the impression they thought it was some kind of insult. What’s up with that? Okay, I’ll admit that I have this mental image of the guy counting the beans as he snaps them, and imagining that when he’s they don’t amount to even a hill, but that’s pretty benign.

      • M. Noonan August 18, 2013 / 11:37 pm

        Ricorun,

        No, I did not say that all blacks, Latinos, etc think alike – I say that you think that a group is diverse if people have different skin colors though they think alike.

        As for packing the court – I go even further as I become more Jacksonian and wish to revive his reform proposal of “rotation”: that no one shall remain in any particular government job for more than 4 or 5 years in a row. No career bureaucrats, at all. Go in, serve a bit, and then get out – no pensions! Government is not a career – can’t be; mustn’t be. Career government officials – elective or appointive – are just corruption in prospect.

      • Amazona August 18, 2013 / 5:09 pm

        rico, you never cease to amaze. Sometimes I wonder if your posts are really Phil Hendrie-type put-on, designed to be so completely ridiculously outrageous you can get attention by having them addressed.

        For example, there is this gem: “So let’s ignore that and take what you said at face value: you suggested that blacks, Latinos, and homosexuals THINK alike.”

        No, he did not. He did not even come close to saying that, or suggesting that. I’ve gone back and read what he did say, several times, and for the life of me I can’t see how anyone, even you, could come up with such an insane conclusion as you did.

        However, if this is an accurate example of how information gets processed in your mind, it does explain a lot about your other posts. It might even explain your whine about posts being deleted just because someone does not “agree” with them, when the criteria have been discussed and explained so many times.

        Then you smirk, “HON”, that no sir, you fur durned shure did NOT define minorities by any such criteria as appearance. Nope. You just said “Let me spell it out for you neo: our forefathers envisioned a democracy in which minorities were protected. It opens up a whole can of worms to be sure (a technicolor can), but it is as it is.” Oh, you meant a different kind of “technicolor” than what might be seen. Uh-huh. And while you were scornfully spelling things out, you somehow never got around to actually DOING anything about illustrating just where and how the Founders, or even one of them, fretted about (plural) “minorities”.

        Your plaintive bleat of “WHAT MAKES THE NOTION OF “MINORITY OPINION” FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT THAN THE NOTION OF “MINORITY” IN ANY TRULY LOGICAL WAY?” is not what you said, but………..the question has been answered, just not according to your highly individual concept of “logic”.

        The Founders were dealing with politics. I know,this is where you always wander off into the weeds, so baffled by the very concept of political philosophy that you have to go work out an excuse for your ignorance, an excuse which you grandly label “pragmatism”. Tough. They had a coherent political philosophy—that is, a formula for government—which included the belief that people who had a different formula, or philosophy, or concept, had to be guaranteed the right to express that. Anyone who has taken the time to read their writings, and study the foundation of the country, can see that. To avoid creating a governing rule of law which would allow only those with the prevailing political opinion to voice their views, they were careful to ensure that those who did not share the prevailing political opinion could also speak their minds.

        An opinion which differed from the prevailing political opinion would be considered a “minority opinion” and the right to express it was very important to the Founders.

        A couple of hundred years later, it became fashionable to refer to people—that is, to people themselves—-as “minorities” if they were not the same as the majority of people in the country. Even this was misleading, as women were considered a “minority” though if there were fewer women than men at any given time it was not by a large margin, and during times of war when so many men were killed the ratio changed. But the term “minority” became shorthand for any of many different demographics—ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, citizenship status, etc. It’s a misleading term, selectively applied. For example, Baptists are not considered a minority, though there are more non-Baptists than Baptists in the country. Agri-Americans are not considered a minority though there are fewer farmers than people in other areas of employment. But the term was coined to aid in the Divide and Conquer tactic of the Left, or at least popularized and brought into use by them, and its main appeal is to the gullible and the non-analytical and the easily confused.

        You are a perfect example of this, completely bumfuddled by your inability to tell the difference between “minority opinion” in the political sense, as addressed by the Founders, and the opinions of some people who have been designated to be a minority, such as those who think “Titanic” was a good movie.

        But we already know that once you get off into the weeds, no one can talk you out of them, so you are just stuck in your own little maze of bewilderment.

        And by the way, I did not ask where you got the reference to “bean”. Once again, you just can’t make words mean the same thing in your head as they do to everyone else. Yes, I know the meaning of “haricot”—I knew it in the restaurant business, I knew it in cafes in France, and I knew it when the Count ran it past some of us before he put it on the blog. I know you must be tickled pink to be able to believe, even for just a fleeting moment, that you know something that someone else does not know. But the moment has fled.

        I’m sure you did have to bring it down to a level you could understand, though it is gibberish to the rest of us— “….imagining that when he’s they don’t amount …” but it’s a play on words relating to what he does for a living. Or perhaps you have never heard the term “bean counter”.

        My comment was not that I didn’t understand your effort to stretch the name into something you could find darling, just that it didn’t work because is was not darling, it was dumb.

      • dbschmidt August 18, 2013 / 10:56 pm

        Ricorun,

        By your definition there is always going to be a minority which I have no real disagreement with; nevertheless, I have never been drawn by what you may consider “minority traits” but rather follow the beliefs of my Creator, his Son and in the latter era MLK who spoke about his dream which is mine that “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

        Your comment about my posting still has me doing a WTF are you talking about with “I’m pretty sure a considerable majority of at least one minority had some real issues with how they were treated, the two representatives of the Constitutional Convention [sic] not withstanding.

        Maybe, just maybe, you were thinking what I was which would be better termed as a dissenting opinion rather than a “minority” opinion. You seem to attribute a great deal towards the Republican party without knowing very much about the same. First, and foremost, I am neither a Republican— nor am I defending them but there is a great deal more that needs defending if you are, or claim, the moniker of Democrat.

        Finally, your (all CAPS) question of WHAT MAKES THE NOTION OF “MINORITY OPINION” FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT THAN THE NOTION OF “MINORITY” IN ANY TRULY LOGICAL WAY? is a false query in many respects which of several you had answered in your own post. If you cannot figure it out—I will be more than glad to help you.

        BTW, your comment “You mean like deleting comments just because you disagree with them?” is not only a falsehood but bordering on outright slander. No, I am not a “moderator” of this blog but I can read and understand the rules of a private establishment—can you?

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) August 19, 2013 / 4:47 pm

        Amazona,

        Thanks for the wonderful clarification that started, “The Founders were dealing with politics“. I though that was the best analysis I’ve read on the rights of the minority and original intent.

        This is why I’ll never respond to ricorun; he’s either dumb as a sack of hammers or he’s deliberately obtuse.

      • Amazona August 19, 2013 / 5:07 pm

        Thanks, Count. One thing about dealing with people like rico, whose “thought” processes if translated into physical action would remind one of someone trying to run as fast as he can with one foot nailed to floor, resulting in a flurry of noise and action but going only in circles, is that it forces me to look at what is obvious to me and find a way to express it as clearly as I can .

        It can be annoying, yet sometimes I welcome the challenge to distill a pattern of thought into a concise statement. It was this process that led me to the realization that while I do have a coherent political philosophy, the Left (at least those here on the blog) don’t seem to, and that led me to first asking them if they do and then challenging them to produce and then defend one.

        And that led me to the conviction that if we can only explain and defend our political philosophy, and encourage others to do so as well, instead of following like sheep into the various tents of various issues, lured by hucksters appealing to emotion, we will find a lot of people who agree with us once they have been asked to think it through instead of emote it out.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) August 19, 2013 / 7:36 pm

        Amazona,

        Liberals are simply incapable of having an honest discussion without plying the emotion maxim. My response to neo was to point out that they typically predicate a position on feeling good about themselves, pose the Hobson’s choice, and then defy us to argue an unsustainable position based on a false dichotomy.

        Jefferson wrote that the rights of the minority must be protected, we all agree that the grand compromise and every large and small decision by the Framers was designed to insure the will of the majority will always prevail provided the rights of the minority are also protected. By simply changing “minority” to “minorities” ricorun presents us with the absurd conclusion that Jefferson and Madison wanted to join hands with all the colors of the human rainbow and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

        These were practical men who saw every legal determination as a majority viewpoint and a minority viewpoint. You’ve read enough of the Federalist Papers to see this played out in print quite specifically.

        To point out that the Founders didn’t waste time trying to divine how a homosexual would feel about property rights, or how a Hispanic would feel about eminent domain. They made the natural and correct decision to draw up a set of rules which assumed the majority would be for it and a minority would be agin it. Mechanisms developed which allowed for peaceable resolution provided one plaintiff is not being unreasonably driven by some perceived persecution or special privileges due them because a man finding another man to be his husband is problematic.

  4. neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 4:42 pm


    ‘Dozens’ of Phone Calls from Obama, Hagel and Kerry Ignored by Top General…

    but but but

  5. neocon01 August 16, 2013 / 4:54 pm

    Pa. judge bars ID enforcement in Nov. election

    The republic is already dead time to tell these Fn cretins to puff off and follow the laws made by our legislatures………

    Here’s an extremely basic summary:

    1) The states preceded the Union. The Declaration of Independence speaks of “free and independent states” that “have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.” The British acknowledged the independence not of a single blob, but of individual states, which they proceeded to list one by one. Article II of the Articles of Confederation says the states “retain their sovereignty, freedom, and independence”; they must have enjoyed that sovereignty in the past in order for them to “retain” it in 1781 when the Articles were officially adopted. The ratification of the Constitution was accomplished not by a single, national vote, but by the individual ratifications of the various states, each assembled in convention.

    2) In the American system no government is sovereign. The peoples of the states are the sovereigns. It is they who apportion powers between themselves, their state governments, and the federal government. In doing so they are not impairing their sovereignty in any way. To the contrary, they are exercising it.

    3) Since the peoples of the states are the sovereigns, then when the federal government exercises a power of dubious constitutionality on a matter of great importance, it is they themselves who are the proper disputants, as they review whether their agent was intended to hold such a power. No other arrangement makes sense. No one asks his agent whether the agent has or should have such-and-such power. In other words, the very nature of sovereignty, and of the American system itself, is such that the sovereigns must retain the power to restrain the agent they themselves created. James Madison explains this clearly in the famous Virginia Report of 1800.

    http://www.libertyclassroom.com/nullification/

    • Amazona August 16, 2013 / 8:05 pm

      “After legal jousting that reached the state Supreme Court, a judge blocked enforcement in last year’s presidential election and again in this year’s municipal and judicial primary because of lingering concern that it could disenfranchise voters who lacked a valid photo ID.

      Yet a valid “voter” has to be defined, right? Not everyone in Pennsylvania is a legitimate voter, so to discern who is and who is not a “voter” should be the first order of business. Then and only then can anyone determine if an actual “voter” is being disenfranchised.

      They just skip over this step, and move on to the assumption that merely wanting to vote makes one a “voter”. If they don’t want to use a state-issued photo ID to help determine who is and who is not a “voter” then maybe they ought to come up with a different, and presumably better, way to do so.

      Otherwise they are saying that anyone who shows up ought to be able to vote, legally qualified to do so or not.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/16/pennsylvania-judge-bars-id-enforcement-in-november-election/#ixzz2cBDPQouW

      • Amazona August 16, 2013 / 8:16 pm

        Does anybody ever have to prove anything? Well, to get a student discount at a bookstore or to buy software, you have to show a student ID. Not everyone who says he is a student is a student. To get a senior discount, you have to prove that you are old enough. To get an alumnus license plate in Colorado, you have to prove that you attended the school in question. To qualify for in-state tuition at a college, you have to prove that you have satisfied residency requirements. (Or, in Colorado, be an illegal immigrant.)

        To do any number of things, you have to provide proof that you qualify for whatever criterion there may be for that particular category.

        Legally, to vote, you have to be a citizen, and in some states also not a felon, and you can only vote in one jurisdiction in any one election. These are the criteria of being a legally qualified “voter”. Yet for some unfathomable reason, many find this objectionable. For some unfathomable reason, they seem to like the idea that non-citizens can vote, and people can vote in more than one jurisdiction. Or even that they can vote after they are dead.

        When asked why they take this bizarre position, the response is always that they fear—deeply and profoundly fear, to the core of their beings—-that perhaps someone who really IS a citizen, who is registered in only one place, might not be able to cast a vote because he or she does not have a valid state issued photo ID.

        But do they focus on helping people like this GET state-issued photo IDs? Of course not, you silly bunny. To expend some volunteer labor and some money to help these people obtain something that, by the way, would be a benefit to them in ways other than allowing them to vote, would bring them “out of the shadows” of being unidentified persons in a world in which identity is crucial, seems quite unreasonable to them.

        No, they prefer to howl at the moon, invent all sorts of scenarios in which people who respect the rule of law are really malignant manipulators angling for advantage, and in general carry on like brainless and spiteful lunatics.

      • neocon01 August 17, 2013 / 11:43 am

        seems a WHOLE LOT of poor, elderly, down in their luck manage to get welfare, food stamps, rent assistance and of course those credit cards to buy louie purses and lap dances…yet just cant seem to be able to get one to vote…yet they still find their way to the poles….
        Hmmmmm how can that be???

  6. Norma Stitz August 17, 2013 / 7:13 pm

    I could have sworn I saw everyone here working as hard and loud as possible to stop a mosque/Islamic Center being built in an old Burlington Coat factory a few miles from Ground Zero.

    • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 7:53 pm

      I’m sure you could, Norma. After all, you can swear that a look of thoughtful evaluation on the face of George W Bush was really one of a deer caught in the headlights.

      Are you contending that objecting to a mosque built, not as you swear. “….a few miles from Ground Zero….” but close enough to have airplane parts falling on it after the crash, was based on a desire to inhibit the ability of Muslims to practice their religion? Because I would swear that objections were based on the callous indifference to the feelings of those who found it grossly insensitive and even insulting to flaunt symbols of a religion which had been used by radicals to excuse the slaughter of thousands of innocent people.

      You obviously thought that building a testament to Islam so close to the site of an atrocity of Islam was just fine and dandy, if you found it necessary to come here and bring it up. That’s fine. You are entitled to your own opinion. But to many millions of people, a few who were represented here on this blog, building an Islamic center so close to Ground Zero, the site of an attack by Islamists, excused by Islamists, and openly and gleefully celebrated by Islamists, was nothing but part of the ongoing celebration of 9/11 by Islamists. It was intended to be an in-your-face spiking-the-football FU to America, a constant reminder of what they had done and how the Muslim world thought it was absolutely wonderful.

      Hard telling if you are really so dense you never grasped that, so dishonest you don’t mind misrepresenting it, or so silly you find it darling to “stir things up” by stating utterly stupid and irrelevant nonsense.

      • Norma Stitz August 17, 2013 / 8:51 pm

        Yes, I am dense enough to believe preventing the building of a mosque is inhibitive of a religion’s practice. Silly me.

        Watch this imitation of a typical Amazona response, I’ve been practicing it.

        Word word word word silly word word word wordword word word WORD word word word radicals word word word word word word word word word word leftost word word word word word word word Obama word word word word word word word word word word word tyrant word word word word word word word contstituional construct word word word word word word word word word word silly word word word word word word word word word radicals word word word word word word word word word word leftost word word word word word word word Obama word word word word word word word word word word word tyrant word word word word word word word contstituional construct word word word word word word word word word word silly word word word word word word word word word radicals word word word word word word word word word word leftost word word word word word word word Obama word word word word word word word word word word word tyrant word word word word word word word contstituional construct word word word word word word word word word word silly word word word word word word

        I know, I repeated myself a few times, but like I said, it is an imitation of Amazona.

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 9:04 pm

        Awwww, ain’t Norma just the cutest little thing? All that work, and for her I am sure it was a LOT of work, just to show off what is, even with all that effort, just some petty cattiness. But thanks, Norma, for the lengthy admission that you can’t address what I say and can just snipe at it.

        Now go off and have a nice saucer of milk while the adults discuss the fact that no one said the Muslims in New York could not build a mosque. Duh. They merely did not want it at that precise spot. There were many other locations near enough to be equally convenient but just not in the same place.

        I know, that’s pretty complicated, but if you work on it you might figure it out, or then you might just get stuck on trying to be funny again. BTW, I don’t share your problems with spelling, but thanks for the admission that you follow my work enough to know that I do use words that were not in anything posted here for quite a while. Maybe some day you’ll be able to discuss actual facts and not just play word games. (Got that? “WORD” games. I made a funny.)

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 9:18 pm

        “Sure–it’s just like how you object to Catholic churches being built near playgrounds. It’s just pretty insensitive to the many, many, many victims of Catholic pederasty.”

        Except there are very very few “victims of Catholic pederasty”. First, you are including all Catholics instead of just predatory homosexual priests, second you are playing the game of pretending that the sexual abuse was pedophilia when few if any of the assaults were on pre-pubescent children (the actual inconvenient definition of pedophilia) and third you are trying to smear the Church while at the same time pretending that the real problem was not homosexual predation on post-pubescent boys.

        In other words, a lie with many layers, all of them false.

        Come back when you can discuss the fact that Vatican II liberalized the Church so that the priesthood became a hunting ground occupied by predatory homosexual men intent on using their positions of trust to engage in unnatural acts with trusting young men.

        Please do not respond to trolls who will have their posts removed. //Moderator

      • M. Noonan August 17, 2013 / 11:06 pm

        Amazona,

        Something I found out recently does go to that – and not just to that, but all the sorts of nonsense we saw among some in the Church starting in the 60’s and going on through the 80’s. It appears that just as the communists attempted to infiltrate the governments of the West so, too, did they attempt to infiltrate the Church…as people were ordered to, say, join the United States State Department and work from within to change American policy in a pro-Soviet manner, so were others ordered to become priests and undermine the Church from within. When I heard it, I was not actually shocked – the communists is Russia did the same thing once they found out they couldn’t entirely suppress Christianity (and the confessional appears to have been a some-times gold mine for Soviet security apparatchiks…and a “mole” in the confessional wouldn’t be averse to spilling what was said, now would he?); I was only surprised that I hadn’t surmised it, before. Naturally, these bogus priests were not exactly willing to follow Church teachings in matters of morality…nor were they likely to be of assistance to any other real priest who was struggling with immorality.

        We Catholics believe that Our Lady of Fatima said that the poison planted in Russia in 1917 would spread far and wide. Indeed, it has – and it is still spreading (most of what the left considers to be the “latest thing” in social change is stuff the communists in Russia were on about 100 years ago).

      • Norma Stitz August 17, 2013 / 9:33 pm

        I see. Not having a mosque in any place available for public purchase is NOT infringing upon a religion.

        Not to bring up those ole Nazis gain but they kinda said my relatives could only live and worship in one locale…but that had nothing do do with hatred of Jews, it was only to not enflame those gentiles living around them.

        You are on the right side of history, clearly.

        And silly me, I used less than 5,000 words to make my point.

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 9:42 pm

        Meow

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 9:55 pm

        Cluster, keep in mind that Norma would have no problem at all with a NeoNazi “community center” built next to Auschwitz. Nah, no problem at all.

        And remember, after all the lies about this just being a “community center” to help with “healing”, blahblahblah, it turns out that it would not allow homosexuals, it would maintain the same discrimination against women and, oh, yeah, it would CONTAIN A MOSQUE.

        To the Stitzes, calling it something else that oh by the way just happens to include a mosque is just so so different from actually building a mosque.

      • Norma Stitz August 17, 2013 / 10:06 pm

        Cluster

        Well now, if the overall number of mosques has increased then clearly the suppression of one mosque can’t be considered…uh, suppression.

        Then again, I heard a statistic that worldwide Islam is the fastest growing religion so maybe that ccounts for the 74% increase.

        Anyhoo, the point ws that Mark asked for an example where he supported inhibiting a Muslim’s religion and, for the members of that New York flock, he dd support such suppression.

      • Norma Stitz August 17, 2013 / 10:07 pm

        Amazona, I applaud your one word response. I didn’t read it, but I applaud it.

      • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 10:12 pm

        “Amazona, I applaud your one word response. I didn’t couldn’t read it, but I applaud it.”

      • Cluster August 17, 2013 / 10:26 pm

        Norma,

        Objecting to the construction of a Mosque on sensitive grounds is NOT suppressing the practice of their Faith. Good gracious I can’t believe you actually said that.

      • M. Noonan August 17, 2013 / 11:12 pm

        Cluster,

        That is the point I made back in 2010 – that the building of the mosque, in and of itself, is not a problem, but the perception among that element in Islam which does seek our deaths would be that we’re craven. Allowing the Ground Zero mosque is less an exercise in tolerance than a device almost certain to increase the confidence of the Islamists…and thus their attacks upon us. If it is built, it will eventually be paid for in blood – the blood of Muslims and the blood of non-Muslims. Wise Muslims who do wish to live in peace can see this.

        There is never any sense in giving gratuitous insult – or in inciting passionate feeling. In the end, no one can really stop such a mosque from being built, but to build it is an act of unwisdom.

      • Norma Stitz August 17, 2013 / 10:40 pm

        The Romans didn’t allow Christian churches for the good of the Roman people, making them create churches in catacombs. I wonder if St. Peter would have agreed with you that suppressing churches for “sensitive grounds” was not suppressing his religion.

        After seeing the blog dominated by pointless bickering and posts by people who offered no real point of discussion but who merely wanted to fight with conservative blog posters the decision was made to delete posts which do not contribute to discourse but which are merely argumentative. Some posters have earned a reputation which means they are automatically deleted. Your recent efforts put you very close to this category. Try to contribute to discussion and not just attack and insult. //Moderator

  7. Cluster August 17, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    Watson,

    Following Amazona’s response on your Muslim assertion, which was well done, I would add that the Muslim religion DEMANDS that women serve in a secondary role in society, and are subject to sometimes horrible treatment. Do you think that should be allowed in America?

    • Amazona August 17, 2013 / 9:48 pm

      But….but…but…we can’t address the harsh reality of Islam. We have to hum softly to ourselves and gaze off into the distance when women are stoned to death because some man has accused them of being “unclean” or if they are victims of rape. We have to change the subject when faced with ugly facts such as Muslims butchering other Muslims. We have to avoid calling them gutless cowards for using bombs to kill and maim innocents, or for hiding behind women and children in schools and hospitals—it is so insensitive, doncha know. We have to ignore everything about Islam except their plaintive whines that “Islam is the religion of peace”.

      THAT gets repeated ad nauseum.

  8. neocon01 August 18, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    In an increasingly restricted space – more and more, such utterances are being forbidden.

    marxism 101
    see hillary, kerry, barky and now most of the donk party.

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