Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Thumbnail Sketch of the Current Financial Crisis: Who is Responsible for It?

Beginning in the mid-1990's, the CRA and ACORN caused banks to make bad mortgages. The risk of these was too great to bear alone, so they were bundled together in large bundles called mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) along with sound mortgages, a technique pioneered by the Democrats' Fannie and Freddy (FMs). The risk was still too great, so these were insured by Credit Default Swap (CDS) insurance-like instruments. Banks started making tons of mortgages to fill up the MBSs, lining their pockets with the fees. They could easily pass mortgages along to the FMs, who were eager to receive them. Fannie and Freddy were lapping up the mortgages as they were required by the CRA to do and cooking their books to make the mess look possible and to line the pockets of their executives, under the protection of Congressional Democrats.

Bush, McCain, Greenspan, and House GOP repeatedly tried rein in the FMs. Democrats blocked the attempts. The FM execs got golden parachutes out of their sleaze.

The Bush administration failed to regulate the CDS market which would go on to trigger the bomb set by the system. AIG put a fuse in the CRA/FM bomb and lit it by concentrating the risk exposure in itself in the form of CDSs. The new Sarbanes-Oxley regulations forced the MBSs to be evaluated at market: which when values dropped was a few points lower than bought, thanks to the deflating housing bubble. CDS claims were triggered in order to cover the losses on bank balance sheets when their MBS values dropped a few points, causing a ratings change. The result was a "run on the bank" at AIG. Ka-blam! Credit crunch, looming depression.

Bush admin should have done something about what AIG was doing with CDSs: putting a fuse in the CRA/FM/MBS bomb and lighting it. The Democrats manufactured the bomb and blocked the GOP's repeated efforts to disarm it. Investors and bankers were too zealous in creating too many bad mortgages in order to make big bucks fulfilling the FM's lust for big MBSs; in any event they were forced to do this by the CRA. There is blame to go around on Wall Street and in the White House, but this is primarily a Democrat-caused disaster.

In short: The disaster was caused primarily by over-regulation of the market, in the form of the Democratic institutions: CRA, ACORN, Fannie, and Freddy, which forced banks to make bad loans and encouraged them to make more bad loans by offering to buy the bad loans from them. The GOP and Greenspan tried to revise these regulations in order to prevent the present disaster. Democrats blocked the GOP efforts. The disaster was also caused by under-regulation of the market, as the GOP failed to regulate the exacerbation of the Democrat-caused problem in the CDS market. The disaster was also caused by over-zealousness amongst lenders who, if they were sagely, would have refrained from making as many of the mortgages that their government's system was both encouraging and requiring them to make. Ka-blam!

Please correct this account in the comments. Thank you.

UPDATE: This post has just been edited for content (12:42 pm Sept 30). Special thanks to Charlie Martin for his comments. UPDATE: Thanks also to comments from Rick Ballard.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Illness of the Republic

The topic is the illness on the body politic which has been deepening for some time.

We are about to elect a man with no achievements on his resume, a Chicago Machine politician posing as a reformer. We will not elect the man who called the Surge right all along and who authored legislation to clean up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about four years ago, along with other GOP. It doesn't occur to you that this legislation was blocked by Obama and other Democrats. Obama sued banks (see 9/27/08) to make them give people mortgages who could not afford them. "As a young attorney in the 1990s, Barack Obama represented ACORN in Washington in their successful efforts to expand Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) authority." He looks in your eye and blames the crisis on the Republicans' philosophy of liberty. CRA and ACORN caused the bad mortgages, but you will put him in the White House.

McCain whom you will not elect also is widely knowledgeable about national and international affairs. There is no sign of his competitor's being in his league on that score, but you thought he looked smooth enough, even if oddly angry, at a debate with McCain, so you count them even on knowledge.

You believe that the GOP caused the current financial crisis by causing Wall Street "greed." It doesn't appear relevant to you that that the Democrats' Community Reinvestment Act and their Fannie and Freddy caused the $2T in bad mortgages and the resultant housing bubble that would pop, exposing the rot.

You are against the ticket with the reformer who straightened out a state on the bottom of the ticket, but you will support the ticket with the pseudo-reformer with nothing on his resume on its top. The VP candidate you disdain slashed earmarks and cleaned up the corruption in the state government caused by her corrupt co-partisans. The presidential candidate you prefer did nothing. He also mades tons of earmarks while McCain made none, but you read where somehow Palin has her hand in the earmark cookie jar more than Obama does if divide by the number of people in their respective states. Even though Palin slashed and Obama tucked in, you are satisfied that it was the reverse. And that McCain took none doesn't matter to you. Yet, he is the one at the top of the ticket; not Palin.

The McCain ticket VP has proven executive prowess: the power to make and execute the right decisions. The Obama ticket P has never demonstrated any of this prowess, although he did try once, frittering away $100M on nonsense for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

You will vote for Obama because it makes you feel pleasure to think of him, see him, or hear him. McCain and Palin make you feel cold. You find them too religious, for example, when Palin hoped that her government was doing God's will. Lincoln expressed this hope, but that's okay since he wasn't a back woods bumpkin who didn't go to a good eastern college. Wait, he was. But never mind that. You're in a stupor and lovingly dreaming that Palin's Christian life is deranged. That Obama went to a sociopathic and racist church for 20 years doesn't register with you.

The intellectual fabric of this political body has become so thin that the republic is in danger. Even the perceptual faculty called "the press" has gone dim, infected with leftwing and Democratic bias, and becoming largely an arm of the Democratic Party. There is still some good press, but it's survives amidst this widespread propaganda that merely passes for press.

You didn't even notice that I didn't mention Biden. That's another manifestation of the disease. Not only is your favored ticket without anyone in the P slot, but also it has no one in the VP slot. Without noticing, you proceed.

We have somehow lost our ability to elect good leaders, and we detest this situation but we don't see that we are the ones electing bad leaders because we have been spoiled, misinformed, and hypnotized into a stupor which enables us to accept that falsehoods are true and truths false. The moral fiber of the republic is still there. But it's been stricken with disease. It's up to Americans to lift themselves out of the funk.

In short, you have a possible depression looming and you have witnessed certain American leaders try to get America to accept a defeat in Iraq and turn Iraq over to al Qaeda, rather than go for the victory which we just achieved. You will vote for the man who was on the wrong side of both of these crucial issues and against the man who lead the way on the right side.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ten Reasons to Vote Against Obama

1. Obama has no substantive accomplishments on his resume.

2. His plan for withdrawal from Iraq would have handed Iraq and America a terrible defeat and given al Qaeda and assorted other miscreants a great victory. Suffering and oppression in Iraq would have been radically increased for the foreseeable future. Thank goodness we went with McCain, Petraeus, and Bush and crushed the enemy instead. Obama's mistake is disqualifying in a candidate for Commander in Chief.

3. He insists upon multiplying the size of government and transferring wealth from the rich to the poor (without admitting it but instead calling it a tax cut for the poor.) This clinging to the last century's now-discredited leftism shows that he has no understanding of the importance of liberty, self-reliance, and self-determination.

4. He told voters in a TV ad that John McCain was an anti-Mexican racist. With no evidence. In Spanish. Obama also claimed that his opponents would urge voters not to vote for him because he is black. Politicians simply don't come any lower than the level of the race pimp. Perhaps Obama learned this trade during his decades at the knee of his sociopathic preacher Jeremiah Wright.

5. Under the mentorship of sociopathic terrorist Bill Ayers Obama wasted $100 million of a foundation's money on stupid lefty pedagogy and other wasteful education industry nonsense for Chicago schools. No wonder this, his only executive experience, is left out of his bio; it's a disgrace.

6. Obama didn't have the backbone to say this week, "My party is chiefly to blame for the financial illness threatening to ruin the American economy today. Democrats pushed Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac to make bad loans. We stopped Senator McCain and President Bush in their effort to clean the mess up three years ago." Instead, Obama claimed that McCain's philosophy of small government was at fault. This is a man who can't take responsibility for his failures. In fact, Obama sued (see 9/27/08) to cause banks to make the bad loans.

7. Obama told Americans that he hadn't heard Jeremiah Wright's sociopathic and racist lectures during his decades in the pews. Later he admitted that he had heard them. Obama subjected himself and his children to the filth in which Wright spewed upon his congregation of angry bigots. It's despicable and he lied about it because he knows it's despicable.

8. Obama finds it difficult to speak extemporaneously about policy. Although glib in casual conversation and narrative, he cannot hold forth on policy in fluent English prose. This is the telltale sign of a certain stupidity about ideas and reasons for them, a certain deficit in critical thinking skills. And there is no sign of common sense, life experience and executive talent to make up for this intelligence deficit.

9. He said that he would raise taxes on the rich even if this would decrease tax revenue. His reason was that he wants to make the rich pay more. So, Obama would increase the deficit in order to make rich people pay more, even though they already pay the overwhelming majority of the income taxes. This is unforgivably stupid and immoral.

10. Obama poses as a reformer, when in fact he is a Chicago Machine politician who looks the other way and plays along to get along. He is part of the problem and he lies about it, claiming that he is somehow the reformer who is going to clean up the problem.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Human Nature and Morality II

There are many ways of life, kinds of projects, and sorts of activity which will tend to contribute to happiness and promote justice. These ways, projects and activities are suitable to human nature. We ought to pursue them because we ought to strive to promote happiness and justice: the components of good lives.

There is a confusion lurking at hand, however. One cannot simply read in human nature a moral imperative. Human nature is not an harmonious bundle of desires and capacities. Rather, these are multifarious, manifold and often conflicting. There are desires that are inconsistent with our capacities, and there are desires that conflict with other desires, all subsisting within human nature. The goal of a human life is to find within it a set of desires and capacities that are mutually harmonious and viable for the individual to make the substance of his endeavors. There are many such sets of desires and capacities, many possible kinds of good lives, as well as many possible sets of mutually incoherent desires and capacities that will form the substance of a poor life if embraced by any individual. Therefore, the reason that there are no imperatives to read off of human nature is that if you merely read you derive only this:

Imperatives that rest upon a desire or capacity

Yet it is obvious that many such imperatives will be immoral and that no desire or capacity amounts to an imperative. Because there are certain ways of acting on desires or in fulfillment of capacities which are immoral.

No, in order to discover what is good or right by examining human nature, you need to bring along a coherent story, an elaborate description of a good life which uses components of human nature as its elements. This story or description will not be reducible to the elements of human nature. A common sense, a sensibility to a culture will also be necessary. In short, human nature is vitally important to understanding what is good. But you cannot derive what is good from human nature.

We'll take up an example or two in the next post in this series.
Responsibility When the State Has Rigged the Financial System

The state, through its instruments Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and the Community Reinvestment Act, caused a vast amount of bad loans to be made. Fannie was in part a sort of embezzlement scheme in which millions of dollars was funneled through to Democratic Party bigwigs, with Democrats in the Congress (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, etc.) providing cover for them and receiving big bucks in campaign contributions from the FMs. Link and link and link. McCain and Bush tried to clean the mess up with regulations. Obama and the rest stopped them. Your economy has been brought to a very dangerous place because of Obama and the rest of the Democrats who championed the FMs and the CRA during the last few decades.

Other entities - homebuyers, investors, short sellers, etc. - contributed to the problem's severity. But they have little of the blame. When the state causes the making of bad loans and provides private-sector lenders and investors with buyers of their high-risk mortgages, then assigning responsibility to those private-sector concerns requires the following assumption:

That private-sector investors and lenders morally should not make or buy high-risk mortgages even though there are two large and eager buyers of these to whom they could sell them.

This is an untenable assumption. If there are companies in town who want to assume the high-risk responsibilities I create for myself, and will pay me to transfer these responsibilities to them, and are not obviously crazy or intoxicated, then I am morally blameless for continuing to create and sell these high-risk responsibilities to those companies.

And to blame the illogic at the ratings firms, the existence of naked short-selling, the demise of the uptick rule, etc., is even more to lose sight of who is really responsible for this mess. It may be that these are problems that needed to be fixed. But it's like blaming a deadly accident on the only slightly loose brakes and steering of the car, when in fact the driver's decision to take the curve at twice the viable speed that caused the accident. You were a passenger in the car. McCain and Bush told the driver not to attempt the stunt and sent a message to the police asking them to stop him. Obama and the rest cut that message off and threw it in the trash. Obama's rich. Dodd's rich. They got $100K+ from the FMs. Raines and Gorelick got rich from the deal. You? You got taken to the cleaners.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama is a Racist and a Liar

Let's get one thing straight after all these years of race pimps like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton:

Race-baiting is a form of racism.

Racism tears at the social bonds amongst us by igniting racial divides and hatreds. Race-baiting does this, too, and is therefore a form of racism.

Obama is a racist. This should not be surprising, given that he went to a racist church for twenty years. He is also a liar. This should not be surprising, given that he lied about whether he had heard any anti-American or racist verbiage in that church over twenty years, lied about his vote for sex education for kindergartners and lied about his role in the recent stimulus package.

So, what else about this liar and a racist? He is a slimy product of the Chicago Machine. He pretends to be a reformer, when in fact he is just a cog in the same old narcissistic machine. He has no achievements on his resume which make him qualified to be president. He is neither an honorable man nor a man of excellence. He has surrounded himself with other miscreants, such as Tony Rezko and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. Yet we are about to install him in the White House.
Human Nature and Morality I

We know that human nature has some significance or role in morality. It's not clear how so, so let's take a look.

There is a well-beloved theory (Aquinas, for instance) about all this which derives moral obligations from human nature. This derivation seems dubious in its supposedly inferring ought from is, since just because something is the case doesn't seem to entail anything at all about what ought to be the case. Why should we follow human nature's cues, after all? So, this standard theory includes God as the normative power in human nature. We can read in our nature a way for us to live. It is as though there were a sweet spot in human nature where one is said to be doing God's will and following the plan for us God has written in our nature.

So the theory goes. But it was proven long ago in Greece that morality is not dependent upon God's will. Socrates's argument was that since God loves certain things because they are good, his command is based upon their goodness, rather than determining their goodness. So, this theory won't do. (You may want to review this.)

We know human nature matters, but not in the old sense of the theory about God's plan. Here is the right theory.

We have a nature: desires, dispositions, inclinations and also abilities of certain kinds and degrees. We thrive only if we live in large measure in accord with the preferences determined by our desires; otherwise we are miserable. Morality is a component of our thriving. Therefore, morality is largely dependent on our inclinations and abilities. After all, morality cannot be something we find repulsive to our preferences upon cool and thorough reflection. We wouldn't recognize anything like that as morality.

Human nature is in the story of human virtue. What makes up good lives is closely dependent upon our inclinations and capacities. A deep understanding of human nature - wisdom, common sense - helps one to make judgments about goodness and rightness and to give advice about how to cultivate the virtues; it helps one to have moral wisdom. The excellences for human beings to strive for are dependent on our generic and individual natures, and the virtues are amongst those excellences. This is how human nature plays a central role in morality, and not as a plan someone else has given us. It is our preferences which are at work, and not someone else's. Also, notice that human nature inclines one to have a desire for the welfare of oneself and others (a fact which makes sociopathy and depression dysfunctions.) These natural desires are the substance of preferences which determine justice amongst competing interests.

Can you see how this might be so? If not, I'll fill you in in the next post in this series.
Sarah Palin on AIG

AIG will be rescued and its parts slowly auctioned off by the federal government, in order to avoid profound upheaval in the national and global business world. Government needs to reform itself so that it refrains from screwing up businesses and it needs to institute regulations that prevent companies that are of AIG's pervasive importance from being led into dead ends by ratings changes or foolish risk-taking. We need smart, tight, streamline regulation with minimum meddling by busybodies, such as Eliott Spitzer or the politicians whose toys are Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

In any event, Palin Gets the Financial Crisis, While Obama/Biden are Clueless. Palin:

"Dissapointed that taxpayers are called upon to bailout another one,” she said. “Certainly AIG though with the construction bonds that they’re holding and with the insurance that they are holding very, very impactful to Americans so you know the shot that has been called by the Feds its understandable but very, very disappointing that taxpayers are called upon for another one.”

It's regrettable and necessary, and we need to reform government to help reduce the likelihood of similar problems in the future. Palin is going to be a great vice president, one with a role in conservative government reform.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You Are Losing Your Republic

You no longer have a press corps. You no longer have a sound body of journalists. Without such a thing, you cannot have this republic.

The news media are deeply beholden to the Democratic Party. There is no investigation of Barack Obama's record. When John McCain points out that Obama supported a bill prescribing a sex education curriculum for students including kindergarteners, the news media ran with the Obama camp's story that the bill was only for helping kids avoid sexual predators. This story is false. McCain was right. Go read the bill. Reasonable people may disagree and argue over this point. (This thread suffices for that.) But there is no denying that the news media were on Obama's side. It reported as a matter of fact that McCain had lied.

By the same token, the news media do not investigate Obama's record and interrogate him about their findings. Instead, they leave it hidden. They stay silent.

The news media worship Obama and interrogate Palin. She has substantial experience in the executive branch of government. He has none. She is a genuine and accomplished reformer. He is a pretender. The media stay silent.

The news media will make Obama the next president. You will have a man in the White House who has accomplished nothing in his life. A man who pretends to be a reformer on your side but who is nothing more than a garden variety Chicago Machine politician, an easily discoverable fact which your news media refuses to disclose to you.

Of course, Obama is on the left. This dovetails with the other ailment your republic suffers. That is that it is a democracy - a democratic republic. But as Alexander Tytler said, "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury." This is where we find ourselves.

As Franklin said, you have "a republic, if you can keep it." But we can't keep it. We are wealthy and slothful. The poor amongst us have multiple cars and air conditioning. We have more opportunity for good lives than any society in history. Instead of living such lives, we prefer to complain. Fewer than half of us love liberty and virtue more than comfort and pleasure. Our Congress is run by crooks who do not love liberty and virtue.

You can't easily tell when you've turned the corner into the final chapter, because the corner isn't sharp but smoothly gradual. In fact, though, you've turned the corner. We are slothful, uninterested, and misinformed. Crooks are now able to have their way with us by becoming elected officials.

The only question now is whether the process is reversible. A lengthy and bitter economic depression might result in a subsequent chastening, sobering, and recovery of self-control and common sense in the body politic. I know of no other hope.

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are institutions of the Democratic Party the function of which is, in large measure, to provide poor people with houses they can't afford and to provide Democrats with an opportunity to cook the books and reap a large income. Bush and McCain tried to clean the mess up but the Democrats stopped them. You've been ripped off. Go find out for yourself. You won't read it in your "news media."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin and Press Bias: You're Losing Your Republic

The biased portrayal of Palin by the press is nothing to get exercised about. Of course, the press will grill her ruthlessly. No one can complain about that. They will distort her actions and positions. One objects to it, but one takes it as almost a matter of course these days.

However, the press also refuses to subject its preferred candidate to scrutiny and so seems about to succeed in installing this nothing, and his nothing running mate, in the White House, defeating two solid characters of evident promise for reform of our sick federal government.

If the press has this power, you've lost your republic.
Palin, Bridge to Nowhere

Palin comes into office as Governor of Alaska. She supports her constituents' reasonable interests in infrastructure development. She also countenances the use of federal funds to this end. A link to an island facing the city of Ketchikan was amongst the reasonable interests. An earmark for the bridge is already place when Palin is about to taking office. Palin accepts this fact but states that it isn't clear what sort of link should be built with these funds. In office she talks and budgets as though to Bridge to Nowhere is imprudent. So goes her moment of entering office in 2006.

Right away Palin pushes forward a steep reduction in earmarking and in the Alaska budget. Her budget eschews the Bridge to Nowhere and she gets it through the state legislature. In Washington, Congress has killed the Bridge-to-Nowhere earmark but left the funds still in place for Alaska. But Palin doesn't use these funds to build the Bridge to Nowhere.

Some say Palin killed the Bridge to Nowhere only after Congress did. That's incorrect. Congress never killed the bridge. Palin did. She removed it from the Alaska budget she inherited from her predecessor.

Obama and Biden voted for the Bridge to Nowhere before Sarah Palin came onto the scene and quickly killed it without ever supporting it.

Go here, here, here, and here, here, and here for more. None of these links gives any evidence that Palin ever supported the Bridge to Nowhere. Of course, Palin saw a link of some kind from Ketchikan to the neighboring island as a reasonable interest to consider funding. But this is very different from supporting the Bridge to Nowhere, a particular way of fulfilling this interest which Palin did not see as reasonable. I don't even see any evidence that Palin is not on record as having moved the link idea from "reasonable interest worth considering" column to the "we must do this" column.

If any evidence comes to light that Palin supported the Bridge to Nowhere, then I'll update this post with the correction.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Long War

The War on Terror will last for decades. But not many decades. Al Qaeda is reeling. My sons, now well under ten years of age, will probably fight in this war. We will still be losing soldiers fifteen and twenty years from now, even when the Iraq War is but a memory.

We will still be operating under Bernard Lewis's paradigm that we must liberate them or they will destroy us. This is the only paradigm that plausibly allows us to prevent all future attacks by al Qaeda that involve the destruction of entire American cities. If we do not liberate them, they will be unable to interpret their scriptures loosely enough to reject their prophet's jihadism or to grow out of their tribalistic contempt and hatred for other societies. And where there is a will to destroy an American city, there is a way.

George W. Bush will be known fifty years from now as little more than this: the first Commander in Chief in the War on Terror, who liberated 50 million, knocked al Qaeda back on its heels and never backed down amidst the hateful vitriol dumped upon him by the loud and deranged American left. Twenty years from now, many of these leftists will select Iraq as vacation spot, as a way to demonstrate their taste for the exotic, their heady attraction to advertisements for archaeological tours of Mesopotamia, and the superiority of their sensitivity to the life of the Iraqi to that of his liberator George W. Bush.

The fearless and pure of heart will calmly persist in smiling in the face of the evil and the deranged, displaying the heroism that comes naturally to them. These are the heroes of September 11, 2001, the men and women of the U.S. military, and the few political leaders who support them here at home by handling the pushback by the unhinged American left with equanimity, firmness and pity.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hating Sarah Palin

If you are animated, excited and indignant at the presence of Sarah Palin, if you wish for her candidacy to crash and burn in a shameful spectacle, then you resent and hate Sarah Palin.

This is a problem for you. It's a problem within you. You are hypnotized by an impulse to rage against people who stand up to you politically and morally and who are calm, confident, unafraid of you, unashamed of themselves, and aware of your own craven state. She shames you. This feeds your rage. It's a vicious circle.

The reptile brain within you, the part of the brain responsible for stupidly driving you forth in rage an resentment, is running the show within you. The higher-order intellectual faculties, those responsible for formulating political and moral stances, are beholden to your reptile brain's bidding because you have relinquished control of the ensemble. You have relinquished control because you are stricken by your anger and resentment and have allowed those impulses to control you. You are mesmerized by them. You don't realize this, on one level. On a deeper level, of course, you do. You mourn the loss of your composure and decency. The pain of this mourning feeds the resentment, unfortunately. You are left angry, unhappy, and dimly aware that things are not right for you.

The reptile will drive the intellect to reply, "Nonsense! I detest Palin because she is against everything I stand for politically." The insanity of this reply is twofold. First, that you should find it worth boasting about that you think political disagreement is grounds for hatred is insane. You do not believe it. You are being driven to speak and act as though you believe it by the rage within you. Second, if you are an ordinary American - neither a communist nor a nihilist - then you agree with Palin on most issues, rather than disagreeing with her on everything. It is a form of insanity to overlook this agreement, perceive only disagreement, and beat the drum of rage.

Palin is an exemplary person and a maverick reformer. She is brilliant, strong, and good.

The way out for you is to sit quietly, with eyes closed, and observe the waves of anger and resentment as they rise up. Do not react to them in any way. Do not resent them. Do not attempt to stifle or stop them. They will subside. Recognize that you've been lashing out in the most petty ways for the sake of gratifications which you hope will supplant inner longings and hurts within you. Forget about those inner longings and hurts, too, because they, too are stupidly regressive mechanisms meant to hold you back from acting in a decent, kind, respectful manner to build a good life for yourself. Do this meditation twice every day until you get better.

When you've calmed down, take a moment to recognize that you don't have the talent to be the governor of Alaska, let alone an excellent governor of Alaska. You wouldn't have had the wherewithal and courage to be a reformer, as Palin was. Take a minute to notice that you support her opponent, a Chicago Machine politician who falsely claims to be a reformer and who has accomplished nothing in his life. Observe the depth of resentment and and rage harbored by the people with whom he has surrounded himself for many years.

There are many millions who are as ill as you in America. They have a lot of sway in the political forum. The country is suffering from this endemic mental illness. Each victim can heal himself, but it isn't likely that many will. More likely is that they will grow old and die angry. Save yourself.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Except in the Case of Incest, Rape, or a Threat to the Life or Health of the Mother

These exceptions don't hold water. It's rather easy to prove this.

Suppose you had been impregnated by rape or incest and were living in a mountain cabin with the child, now two months old. It's just the two of you, isolated in a remote and rugged region. Winter sets in. You decide you don't want to care for the baby, so you take it out of your cabin and leave it there. It dies of exposure. That's murder. Also, there is no relevant distinction between this case and the abortion of the same organism when it is a six-month-old fetus. Your child has a right to your care. If you cut it off, foreseeing its resulting death, this is murder.

Suppose instead that you are ill up in the cabin and the baby is not the product of rape or incest, but the result of sex with your ordinary boyfriend or husband. Since you are ill, caring for the baby during the rough winter has a 50% chance of killing or crippling you. If you don't have to care for the baby, you will certainly survive. So, you take the baby out of your cabin and leave it there. It dies of exposure. That's murder. Again, there is no relevant distinction between this case and the abortion of the same organism when it is a six-month-old fetus. Your child has a right to your care. If you cut it off, foreseeing its resulting death, this is murder.

It's not morally permissible to crush your child's skull, chop him into pieces and throw the corpse away. He has a right to your body. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is an exception when the fetus does not yet have a brain, because then, the person that will inhabit it does not exist yet. But this is for the most part a pro-life position, as it allows only this single exception.
The Palin-Reagan Comparison

Calm down. It isn't good to get excited or enthusiastic in politics, except for the odd brief moment here and there. These are states which inhibit cool deliberation. Hooray! Okay? That's it. Now calm down.

I've already seen "Palin" and "Reagan" issue forth in the same sentence from excited conservatives a time or two. But her remarkable goodness, inner strength and executive talent aren't enough. They understandably make one think there may be a new Gipper on tap. But Palin needs to do two more things to get into the Reagan league.
  1. Demonstrate a command of international and national affairs.
  2. Demonstrate a command of the Constitution, including its philosophy.
If she does the first, McCain will win, and Palin will take her place as a national leader. If she does the second, as well, then, yes, you're looking at one of the next great statesmen. Even so, to be a Reagan, you need in addition the luck of historical moment. So, just calm down.