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Technically open

Technically open

What little free time I have unexpectedly is being taken up with technical issues related to the blogs.

More on that in a few days.

So I’m just going to leave things open for the morning for you to run the blog for me.

Update 4:20 p.m. — Okay, who are the 11 people who gave a thumbs up to a blog post saying I wasn’t going to be doing any blog posts?  And why are there no thumbs down?


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    casualobserver in reply to Ragspierre. | February 5, 2013 at 10:21 am

    One summary of Horowitz’s pamphlet, that he gets right in my view, is how the progressives see government and the utility of law differently than perhaps all others, but especially different from conservatives. For many laws are the tools we use to protect individuals for certain reasons (security, ‘pursuit of happiness’, etc.). The lines are not perfectly clear, and laws are continually added that perhaps have crossed the imaginary line from day one.

    However, progressives, and especially those who speak publicly often (academe, elected class, others), openly express how law and government are cultural tools, to be used to force cultural shifts. Defining classes of oppressed peoples (real and imaginary), and use of terms like ‘collective’, give them the emotional power needed. ‘We’ must join to help ‘them’. Every real inequity and every imaginary or overblown ‘justice’ issue is the fulcrum around which they get voters and donors to rally.

    Some of the most radical progressives – those who might see the best position for us to be closer to Marx’s ideal culture – I’ve heard describe how the only manner to arrive at the better place is through a significant change, increasing the span of governance, in general. Using more than words to influence ‘the collective’. The softer words might be ‘fundamental transformation’.

    In my view, we really don’t have many in the political class who are willing to test, much less describe clearly, where they think the line should be. After all, lawmakers of all stripes don’t hesitate to use tax law as a way to change behavior, as one example. Others routinely pass laws in general (tax and regulatory) that favor certain people (cronyism). That is just a milder case of using tools of governance to change people. It’s hard to imagine the perfect GOP that Horowitz describes.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I agree with your first paragraphs.

    However, I think that that insight is hardly new or the most valuable Horowitz offers.

    Rather, what he says about our appeal to feelings seems to be at least somewhat novel. In fact, (which conflicts with “novel”) there seems to be a growing consensus around this idea, stated in terms of changing our messaging.

    Personally, I recognize that I have resisted this in some respects. “Out-caring” Collectivists has been a distasteful notion to me. I’ve always thought in terms of “out-thinking” or “out-using rational thought” against them. “Out-caring” has always implied a bidding war, and I am hardly alone in that.

    But that is not what Horowitz means. Instead, he simply means NOT couching everything we believe in rational expression. Conservatives DO care deeply about people, and our ideas WORK and are sound. We have to learn to SHOW that better, and somehow do it over the din of the Collective propaganda saying otherwise.

    I said it right after the election…
    We were given a choice between rational reforms and catastrophic failure.

    Catastrophic failure will hurt…even kill…huge numbers of people. Somehow CARING about that has to be what we primarily project to others.

      Bruno Lesky in reply to Ragspierre. | February 5, 2013 at 11:49 am

      Horowitz: “The weapons of politics are hope and fear.”

      Winning will require conservative candidates who not only can demonstrate caring, but also who can attack with effect. And still maintain a factor of likability.

      Who’s out there with these qualifications?

      casualobserver in reply to Ragspierre. | February 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I think emotion is an age-old component in politics. A generation back, I can recall the famous Johnson TV ad against Goldwater. Centuries ago, I’ve seen pamphlets and newspaper articles that were equally emotional and outrageous.

      Feelings = emotion. The mechanisms are the same.

      I’m not buying the argument that conservatives haven’t used emotion (feelings, caring, etc.) appropriately and it’s a primary cause to failed elections. It’s my take that the progressives are allowed, for a variety of reasons, to set the topics and the rules. The “War On Women” faux-campaign is a prime example. Too many conservatives get suckered into having to defend their position WHILE trying to show some sort of compassion. That’s the progressive playing field, pure and simple. It’s a fools errand to argue abortion, free birth control, equal pay, etc., on the progressive’s turf.

      Even Romney tried a tack where he showed ‘compassion’ for every single working person and how his view of economic policy was good for all without singling out a progressive defined “oppressed” group. But there is so much imbalance in the media, all a progressive had to do was find the famous “47%” comment and provide it for the media to derail that effort.

      Conservatives and libertarians alike will always fail, in my opinion, so long as they play by those rules. They need to find a way to shun/resist/redirect the whole notion of caring for any particular group, as defined by progressives. The more appropriate stand should be find the best ways (multiple) to turn the divide-and-conquer on its head and make the message uniting in deeds, not just words. They need to show how government needs to work WITH the culture and not DIRECT the culture. Using the “War On Women” silliness, why not present as many cultural solutions to an equal pay issue as you can define? The power of social views of the consumers is strong in the business world. Auto manufacturers and even coffee houses do really care how they are perceived. There is as much or more power perception than in a new regulation or law about pay.

      Meanwhile, conservatives take the bait and get stuck on a discussion around, say, rape and abortion in the context of the “War On Women”. Progressives pass legislation taking the rights of parental consent away while everyone natters on the wrong part of the debate in public.

        Ragspierre in reply to casualobserver. | February 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

        Do you see how circular that post is?

        Mostly-to-all true, but you wind up in the same place. The point of the Horowitz piece is about breaking the circle.

        And NOT by pandering.

          casualobserver in reply to Ragspierre. | February 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

          Not circular.

          Politics is historically emotional (earlier post was just a statement of fact to counter your point). Both sides. Competing on purely emotional grounds will almost assure progressive wins in modern times. Heavily targeting ‘compassion’ included.

          The only way for conservatives or any non-progressives to win is to avoid, if not change the game rules set by progressives.

          Oddly, Horowitz only goes half way in his argument. He wants conservatives to be more populist/emotional, but along the lines (rules) set by progressives. Why appeal to the fabricated-oppressed groups, for example?

          Sadly, what may be confusing is that I honestly don’t believe anyone, conservative or not, who has been in the political class is capable of setting and playing by different rules. They all seem to fall into the routine that includes cronyism, ‘compassion’/emotion, letting rule of law dictate culture instead of the reverse. I guess only those who are really dedicated are able to resist the accouterments of power (letting law lead culture).

      lightning in reply to Ragspierre. | February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      The problem, the idea of expressing more concern by the Republican party, is a multifaceted one. First, Bush and McCain were often given the moniker of the “compassionate” conservative even by the mainstream media. Didn’t do them much good because the policies espoused (that liberals liked) were minimized or ignored by the press (ie, Africa, land conservation, and the development of homeland security, etc.). So, in the public’s eyes, compassionate conservatives are still facists, but not as bad as a true “right wing nutjob”. Another problem is that conservative politicians have deeply damaged the Republican brand. The creation of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, executive order 51, not having any fiscal restraint, and TARP violated basic conservative principles. Thus alienating the left AND the republican base (as well as conservative independents). That trend still continues with stories of Rove and the Speaker taking congressional positions away from “Tea party” congressmen and working against them in elections. The most glaring issue with this approach is who relay’s this more caring/compassionate message? Who is the conduit? The mainstream media is not about to let any good message by conservatives be broadcast. The house speaker has some opportunity, but unfortunately, he and McConnell are not the most articulate speakers and often spend way too much time attaking Obama. I feel the need to yell at Obama too, but know it has about as much effect as p*ssing in the wind. My solution for Repulicans (given that they only control the House) is to focus on our problems. IGNORE Obama, the democrats, and the media. Make that focus on national problems like a laser. Pass a budget, present spending cuts that include some defense, bills to reform SS, Medicaid, & Medicare. When the president does his spoiled kid routine, DO NOT RESPOND. If a reply is needed simply say, “The House of Representatives is working on the problems that face this nation and will continue to do so, in the hopes that our children will not be faced with a future that is marked by high taxes and diminished/non-existent services.”

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Let me point to something I personally know, and with which many of you will resonate.

    I LOVED Reagan and Milton Friedman.

    Why? In part because (in addition to all their OTHER attributes) they exuded a love of people. Friedman was as hard-headed a rationalist as I can think of. He also based a great deal of his thinking on a fundamental, glowing love of people, and his faith in their ability to order their own lives.

The inmates get to run the asylum?


southcentralpa | February 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

Orange? What, are you nuts??

Okay, boys, back up the aquamarine!

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

I sense Glenn Greenwald is in the process of writing another article that I will mostly agree with about the Obama Imperial Presidency who claims a legal right to assassinate U.S. citizens because they have been known to associate with Al Qaeda – whether they are a current threat or not.

Maybe its the libertarian side of me, but it annoys me that conservatives do not seem to be as upset by this policy as left wingers (at least based on the Memeorandum thread which is mostly left wingers writing about it). This is another unconstitutional power grab in the name of security perpetrated by this president. It seems like restraining unconstitutional excessive executive power would be one of the few areas where we share common ground.

    We all DO care about it. It is a matter of being under constant bombardment. It is hard to have one’s hair on fire over any one SINGLE Obamic affront to our values. There’s a new one every day.

      Exactly! This is what Obama wants…everything being thrown at us…almost like dodgeball if you will. We must prioritize. This drone issue is one where we can find some common ground with our Democrat friends and we should not let up. Seriously, I cannot believe we’ve come to these discussions!

What conservatives are often missing, is that the “Target audience” for most of the progressive left is not the educated, reasoning masses, but rather the “Obama phone” and career welfare masses that vote for complete self-interest, not realizing that by doing so, they are impairing the nation’s ability to subsidize their greed. Eventually the gravy train will run out, and these uneducated people will get angry that their promised subsidy will no longer be available. Will we have a civilized discussion then? Perhaps this is the reason for a 2nd amendment, not to protect ourselves from the tyranny of an oligarchy, but rather the tyranny of a pure democracy, which the founders predicted would end in mob rule.

    lightning in reply to Paul. | February 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Not true. I have met many who believe the media spin about Republicans being closet Facists. Republicans have damaged their brand in a big way by sacrificing principles for imagined safety. Like many of you, I have tried to talk to others about the issues facing our country and how much damage the democrats/Obama are doing. What is the response (from people who don’t want Obama phones and are self-sufficient)? “Vote Republican? Why? Bush wasn’t for limited government and I am tired of being the world’s policeman. I am also sick and tired of bailing out Wall Street and then being told by Republicans that MY benefits need to be cut.” There is a lot wrong with this point of view, however, I am sure we can all see how this view was created. Bush, the mainstream media, and ignorance regarding the financial crises are all contributors. Republicans need to replace Bush’s mistakes not with verbal promises or compassionate statements, but with congressional actions to address the problems facing this country. Until they can point to actual behavior by the party, they will not be trusted.

listingstarboard | February 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

Mark Kelly on Fox News Sunday with Commie Chris Wallace admitted he had not looked at statistics showing if the assault weapon ban had worked. Ted Cruz spent many minutes explaining that the assault weapon ban had done NOTHING , but remember Mark Kelly got up and scurried off during the hearing. Slimy rat deliberately skipped that part so he could plead ignorance. So Mark Kelly , you have no knowledge if a ban works but you start up a gun control group and testify that guns should be banned. Would love to know how much fatter Mark Kelly’s bank account has gotten–Mark is the new Sarah Brady.

I live in a district of California that is majority democrat in state and federal elections. My candidates never win. The people whose candidates DO win are steeped in the lefty logic that thinks equality of outcome is fair and good but equality of opportunity is inadequate. It occurs to me that by their logic I am not represented. Sure, I have an equal opportunity to vote for representation but I never get an equal outcome in my voting. I never get a representative that represents my interests. At what point will lefty logic be so pervasive that I can sue and win on the basis that my right to vote has effectively been denied to me?

Well, of course.

So is MoooOOOchelle’s fat butt.

MLK never got around to hoping for a time when we would be able to note the obvious… I’m sure he would agree on the broadness of that beam, however.

Henry Hawkins | February 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Had a 5 1/2″ Subway sammich, Chicken Bacon Ranch with maters, onions, grated cheese, cucumbers and a bag of Sun Chips. Urrrp. So, in one lunch, I’ve eased world hunger, worked locally on the obesity crisis, sparked the economy, and contributed .27 in taxes to state and local coffers for redistribution.

What have YOU done for your country today?

Henry Hawkins | February 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Had a 5 3/4″ Subway sandwich, a Chicken Bacon Ranch with swiss cheese, maters, onions, grated cheddar cheese, cucumbers and a bag of Sun Chips. Urrrp. So, in one lunch, I’ve eased world hunger, worked locally on the obesity crisis, sparked the economy, supported employment, and contributed .27 in taxes to state and local coffers for redistribution.

What have YOU done for your country today?

Does anybody remember the movie Disclosure? It was not a great movie, but the ending is germaine to this thread. In the movie Douglas is being sued for sexual harassment, which messes with his head. He is a manager, and at the same this charge comes up, his computer division has a problem with a product line. An secret friend in the movie continually prompts Douglass to “Focus on the Problem” and stop giving so much attention to the sexual harrassment claim and the woman who made it. In the end, he followed the advice, and by fixing the problem, ended the sexual harrassment suit. This is exactly what I believe the Republican party needs to do. The left will trot out a bunch of emotional crap designed to deflect attention to the problem. We need to stop feeding that beast and focus on the problems. If Republicans would focus soley on the countries problems and ignore/not respond to the President, the left, or the media, their lack of response along with actions by the House, would show up the left in ways that no pre-planned speech or message ever could.

for you to run the blog for me.

I’ll need the admin passwords 🙂

This is cool…. kind of like recess without a teacher present.


Congratulations! LI is #48 of 200 on this list:

Keep up the great work.



BannedbytheGuardian | February 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm

My contribution – another month & no details of Sandy Hook other than the
Ilist of the 4 guns found at the scene ( one in car ).

We still do not know which were fired.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

This will not be popular.

The bi polar position of the USA military in American society. On one hand they are lauded ,yet on the othe they are seen as a charity concern eg Michelle Obama virtually creating a special disadvantage category .she then swoops in from on high to bring some care & attention .

The superstar status of the former Seal is in stark contrast to SAS or Commando units elsewhere who are often sworn to secrecy during & after service. I have been told her is an actual club in London where ex SAS types can visit .

Of course this may be rubbish because everyone now claims to have been part of this elite strata. it is a fact that the units have expanded rapidly however & the James Bond thing is over.

The particular publicity sought by a sniper is troubling. I can recall the death of. Korean veteran when it was revealed he was the actual famous sniper of that war – relatives & neighbors were extremely surprised .

Of course the shooting by a decorated Marine of this Seal ( & the other gentleman who also counts ) is extremely troubling on many levels. So much can be made of this because this is made of so much.

Is the US military imploding ? Are political tensions tearing it apart? To think the unsayable – is the victim R & the shooter D ?

I have been following this on blogs & everyone is thrown .

BannedbytheGuardian | February 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm

On the good news –

King Richard 111 – we salute you.

A King who dies on the battlefield is indeed a King to behold.

The Right Stuff.

I’m sorry to say that most of you people are behind on the curve. Miss Eric Cantor demonstrated the new GOP strategy today: groveling.

What losers. By what perversion are these guys still being tolerated at the helm of the GOP? (The GOP has 26 percent approval rating.)