Max's Dad commits vivisection on newer extremist trends in contemporary conservatism, including attacking the President's children. You get a quick sense of where he's heading at the first sentence: "Can these paranoid freaks shoot themselves any more without dying?"
A few months after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, future President Ronald Reagan gave a speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater in which he characterized supporters of the Kennedy administration as making certain public statements: "peace at any price" and "better Red than dead" and, (this last Mr. Reagan swore he'd heard in a statement from an unnamed public figure) "he’d rather 'live on his knees than die on his feet.'". I was pretty young, but I do believe I would have heard of such positions taken by Kennedy, anyone in his administration, President Johnson, or any of their more prominent supporters. T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, proudly revisits portions of the Reagan speech.
I do confess some interest in Mr. Paine's reaction to another Reagan statement, 30 years later. After, presumably, growing in wisdom while serving in office, President Reagan joined with President's Ford and Carter, together sending this to every member of Congress:
While we recognize that assault-weapon legislation will not stop all assault-weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals.
We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.
The Heathen Republican features a Fox News personality who essentially argues that American revolutionary forces must match the armaments of US military forces. The analogy is that colonists would have lost had they faced the British with only crossbows.
I dunno. It seems to me that such brave revolutionary talk provides pretty thin cover for a cold blooded ideology. The argument accepts that the killing of dozens of little kids at a time is undesirable. It is an unfortunate, but necessary, collateral cost of the actual objective. That actual objective is the killing of multiple members of the of US Marines, infantry, and other military personnel in the coming armed insurrection. Heathen is featuring a prominent conservative who regards as oppressive the inadequate protection by the government of his future right to carry out such killings.
That strikes me as unrealistic.
The apparent position by conservatives is that it is unreasonably oppressive to require a shooter to reload after firing the first 10 shots at little kids. Tommy Christopher of Mediaite quotes a televised question posed by Martin Bashir that illustrates why that number is important.
Rumproast reports on the NRA attack on the President's daughters for not rejecting Secret Service protection, and the an under reported near deadly shooting during a road rage incident by the son of ... well you've got to read it. Sounds like some of these folks ought to either give up firearms or stop consuming bath salts.
Ryan at Secular Ethics looks at arguments for three different approaches to taxation and finds there is little room for argument about any of them beyond a restating of subjective standards of fairness.
There is a segment of Serious People, somewhat insulated from the rest of us, for whom federal deficits are not a problem: rather they are THE problem. S.W. Anderson at Oh!pinion suggests that timing is the real priority. Starving the patient back to health is not always practical.
Conservative James Wigderson says the closing of a long time dairy plant illustrates the danger of state anti-trust laws. The Governor's office says anti-trust actions have nothing to do with the closing, and the attorney for the company says the move was caused entirely by market forces. What those forces were, what the anti-trust actions were, and just how each set connects to the newly empty buildings, is left frustratingly unclear. One available insight is unintended, with apologies to James. If you want to know why voter frustration tends toward a pox on all houses, ambiguous reporting obscures responsibility. Who do you blame when you can't tell who to blame?
At Dreg Studios, Brandt Hardin has apparently been stopped and fined for failing to buckle up. This week, he rants that, while such laws may save lives, the only motivation for seat belt laws is state revenues. Okay, Brandt, there is no safety consideration. It's all a scam. Now buckle up and be safe from being penalized by court, fines, delays, and ... you know ... death.
Mad Mike's America reports on the Obama administration's reply to a petition to build a Death Star using the Empire's Star Wars model as a design prototype. Michael John Scott carries the Empire's reaction.
Trackback address for this post
Debates over fairness in taxation are pointless if people do not agree on the meaning or application of fairness. I have no problem understanding how any of the three tax scenarios I presented could be considered fair, so it seems to me that the debate has to shift to less abstract concerns: What are our needs? How much do they cost now and how much will they cost in the future? How can we pay for them while minimizing the harm done to the public? Our answers to these more utilitarian questions should be the primary guide for our tax policies. Fairness is a secondary concern.
I support progressive taxation because it best balances our need for revenue with our desire to minimize the negative impact of taxation on individuals and the economy, not because it is the "fairest."
Your point still strikes me as being that differences based on internal standards of fairness are largely impervious to argument.
Your further point, the one I see in your reply, seems to be that such values, being out of the reach of argument, should therefore not be a primary concern.
I'm not prepared to make that leap.
As a hypothetical example, let's take a look at the argument the Heathen Republican makes by proxy, quoting a Fox News personality.
For the sake of debate, let's suppose that the Heathen Republican really believes in his future right, come the conservative revolution, to kill neighborhood police officers and US military personnel. Let's further suppose he believes this right to kill government employees must be protected by the government.
I would probably not convince him that his future right to shoot at the young Marine in our family is less valuable than the lives of those small children killed in their classroom.
The fact that Heathen's opinion about the lack of value of those young lives is beyond my poor rhetorical reach does not mean it has to be secondary consideration for me.
The "subjective standards of fairness" bit is fine, but the first part suggests that there is nothing else to say in support of any of the tax policies. If that's not your meaning, never mind.
"The fact that Heathen's opinion about the lack of value of those young lives is beyond my poor rhetorical reach does not mean it has to be secondary consideration for me."
Nor would I argue the point. The reason that fairness in taxation should be a secondary concern is not that others don't agree with your notion of fairness, but that there are more important concerns. If we need to pay for X, then our priority should be paying for X, not risking our needs in favor of fairness.
However, as it happens, the notion of fairness used to support the progressive tax fits neatly with this sort of utilitarian thinking. If we need to pay for X and we want to minimize the harm caused by taxation to individuals and the economy, it makes sense to first tax those who would be least affected. So, you may have your cake and eat it too.
You crack me and The Heathen Republican up. The Heathen and I think it is hilarious, but …
Despite your humor, in all seriousness, we don't want our assault weapons taken from us. As you noted, we find it easier to kill more people faster with the appropriate Constitutionally-sanctioned tools. The Founding Fathers, blessed be He, wanted us to be able to overthrow the government, clearly. And if the government has tanks, then we need tanks. If the government has missiles, we need missiles. If the government as the ability to push a button and destroy planet earth, then we need that same ability. How else can we fight the government on equal terms? I don’t know why the Heathen and I have to explain the obvious to you, but the U.S. Government is head-quartered on Earth, you know.
That's the same argument other countries use to justify their development of nuclear weapons.
The Heathen and I fully support the rights of other countries to have complete nuclear arsenals at their disposal.
You are right!
Then we could roll back the tax hike on the half-millionaires we just created. After this additional burden was again removed from them, their lives could get back to normal and they could have the kind of lives they had before the new tax burden.
Leave a comment
|« Introduction - Sanctus||President's Credit Card »|