Thursday, October 30, 2008
Obama The Communist, Part II
A Joke And What It Reveals
Speaking in front of a huge audience at downtown Raleigh rally yesterday, Barack Obama threw off a humorous line about John McCain's accusation that the Obama tax plan is redistributionist:
McCain has “called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class,” Obama said. “I don’t know what’s next. By the end of the week he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.”
Only, in this passage Obama revealed precisely why he is vulnerable to such charges: he can't seem to tell the difference between a gift and a theft. There is nothing remotely socialistic or communistic about sharing. If you have a toy that someone else wants, you have three choices in a free society. You can offer to trade it for something you value that is owned by the other. You can give the toy freely, as a sign of friendship or compassion. Or you can choose to do neither.
Collectivism in all its forms is about taking away your choice. Whether you wish to or not, the government compels you to surrender the toy, which it then redistributes to someone that government officials deem to be a more worthy owner. It won't even be someone you could ever know, in most cases. That's what makes the political philosophy unjust (by stripping you of control over yourself and the fruits of your labor) as well as counterproductive (by failing to give the recipient sufficient incentive to learn and work hard so he can earn his own toys in the future).
Government is not charity. It is not persuasion, or cooperation, or sharing. Government is a fist, a shove, a gun. Obama either doesn't understand this, or doesn't want voters to understand it.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Obama the Communist?
The Second Bill of Rights
Re Sunstein, Obama and Euro-style rights, they may be here sooner than you think:
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers.
[UPDATE: A reader writes:
I think adding "The right to an attractive and compatible mate who satisfies one's physical desires" to the list would generate a lot of enthusiasm for socialism among unattractive people. If Paul is entitled to some or all of Peter's earnings, why shouldn't he be entitled to some or all of Paula's assets as well?
Almost right. To be truly "redistributive", it should read "the right to attractive and compatible mate(s)." Another reader felt the US Second Bill of Rights rang a vague bell:Etc.]
Article 40. Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society...Article 41. Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure...The length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.Article 42. Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The Mask Slips
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.How, after reading this, can any self-described conservative or libertarian vote for Obama? Can you imagine the damage that will be done if he appoints Supreme Court justices that follow this judicial philosophy?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
A Series of Shidduchim Posts: Setting Up
Thursday, October 23, 2008
A Series of Shidduchim Posts: The First Phone Call
In a sane world, this would be a non-issue. If you call and it's a bad time, she won't pick up the phone, you'll leave a voicemail with your number, say that you'll try her again later, or she wants, she'll call you back.
But instead, many people have poor cellphone eittique, and they'll answer their phone while they're shopping for grocieries, at a party, or in shul. It's annoying.
So what I've been doing lately is simply sending a text message, asking her when is a good time to call. It's quick and painless and she doesn't have to spend the night looking at her phone waiting for a call.
When I mentioned this at a recent Shabbos meal, a girl recoiled in horror. She thought it was an (for lack a better word) looserish thing to do. I countered that I've had dates thank me for doing it.
What do you think?
It's Not Fun When Your Side Is Losing
So what else is there to talk about? Law? Not much going on right now. Sports? It's another year without the Yankees in the World Series, and the Jets are a team that needs another month of jelling. I'm a lapsed Islander fan, and the Nets are in a rebuilding year.
One thing on my mind though is shidduchim. Yes, shidduchim. I don't usually blog about the topic, but I've got all these thoughts and questions percolating in my head and I've got to get them out.
My next several posts will deal various shidduchim issues but will not be about anything to do with the "shidduch crisis". I'm just sick and tired that topic.
Your feedback will be appreciated.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Obama's Trickle Up Economics
Friday, October 10, 2008
Why Rezko, Ayers and Wright Matter
Why are these associations important? Do I think Obama is as corrupt as Rezko? Or shares Wright's angry racism or Ayers's unreconstructed 1960s radicalism?
No. But that does not make these associations irrelevant. They tell us two important things about Obama.
First, his cynicism and ruthlessness. He found these men useful, and use them he did. Would you attend a church whose pastor was spreading racial animosity from the pulpit? Would you even shake hands with -- let alone serve on two boards with -- an unrepentant terrorist, whether he bombed U.S. military installations or abortion clinics?
Most Americans would not, on the grounds of sheer indecency. Yet Obama did, if not out of conviction then out of expediency. He was a young man on the make, an unknown outsider working his way into Chicago politics. He played the game with everyone, without qualms and with obvious success.
Obama is not the first politician to rise through a corrupt political machine. But he is one of the rare few to then have the audacity to present himself as a transcendent healer, hovering above and bringing redemption to the "old politics" -- of the kind he had enthusiastically embraced in Chicago in the service of his own ambition.
Second, and even more disturbing than the cynicism, is the window these associations give on Obama's core beliefs. He doesn't share the Rev. Wright's poisonous views of race nor Ayers's views, past and present, about the evil that is American society. But Obama clearly did not consider these views beyond the pale. For many years he swam easily and without protest in that fetid pond.Until now. Today, on the threshold of the presidency, Obama concedes the odiousness of these associations, which is why he has severed them. But for the years in which he sat in Wright's pews and shared common purpose on boards with Ayers, Obama considered them a legitimate, indeed unremarkable, part of social discourse.