Obama vs 70%
2010-04-25 at 01:01:01

2010-04-28 06:41:41

...but probably not the 53% of those polled who "are concerned that efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants also will end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens."

2010-05-05 09:30:37

It's been a bit since this was introduced and there has been much discussion in the news. I'm wondering if you're still willing to abandon your desire for smaller government or lower taxes by supporting bills like these.

2010-05-06 17:54:05

First off, there's good news: you don't have to choose between a republic or a democracy because a republic is a democracy -- could you have meant direct democracy vs. representative democracy?

Second, I'm much relieved to hear you stick to your conservative principles and reject oppressive policy in the face of frustration over immigration!

But I find your last paragraph troubling. I do not agree that the framers expected moral leadership (though I imagine they would certainly say they preferred it). Our entire system is set up with the expectation of corruption and the need for new laws and oversight. Furthermore, it suggests that these 'framers' were somehow above politics and finance in their own day -- perhaps an easy mistake to make given the interval, but it comes off a bit naive.

2010-05-07 01:09:27

The only problem I have with the law in Arizona is the same problem I have with the death penalty ... it will likely be abused by those in power, be it the right or left side of the political spectrum. That potential is so great and worrisome to me that although I agree in principle with the idea behind it, I am highly reserved about it actually being a law.

However, according to this law, police aren't supposed to ask a law-abiding citizen if they have "their papers." They are supposed to ask only those committing illegal behavior and suspect of being here illegally if they can prove their right to be in the states. Don't think I don't recognize the thin blue line here; I do. But I would refrain from suggesting that this bill is nefarious and is some semblance of a Nazi-like state.

I also suppose one could argue that the increase in cost and size of government to manage this bill would be offset by the decrease in cost and size of government to incarcerate or provide civil services to illegal immigrants. Whether that is backed by the statistics, I don't know. But it is a fair argument.

This isn't to say I have problems with illegal immigrants working in this country. I appreciate them and wish there was a way they could be here without fear as documented legal workers who have the protection of basic human rights.

--- On a Moral Government and People ----

I like how John Adams supposedly put it: "Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral ... people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Even if he didn't actually say it, I think it is likely true when thinking about the structure of this nation.

First and foremost, it's the people electing the leaders of that government who need to be moral. Moral people will be inclined to choose leaders who restrain themselves from evil while holding great power. Moral people will also tend to restrain themselves and, therefore, require less policing and even less entitlement by the state.

What I find depressing is that, well, the more I read about it, the country started to go down the toilet even before the ink on the constitution dried! I agree that part of the solution is to enact term limits.

--- On Democracy vs. Republic: Addressing The Least Important Point ---

I contend that this is a democratically elected republic, not a "democracy" in light of the way many of our Founders used the word. Now I understand that "democracy" is used broadly by many educated, well-read people to describe a government whose leadership is elected by a popular vote. But it isn't really fair to dismiss CK's use of the term as if he is ignorant when he is using it in the same context that Franklin and Adams and many of the Founders used it -- or even Lenin or Marx for that matter! When talking about a republic, they often directly compared it to a "democracy" without clarifying that a republic is a form of "representational democracy." CK's context is quite clear, no? The definition of democracy in any given passage should be understood by the context of the passage.

Besides, doesn't a direct democracy and a representative democracy have the same inherent problem the potential tyranny of majority rule, either by the direct will of the people or through their elected legislative body? Whether it comes from the direct vote of the people or through their legislative body, in a democracy, the vote is beyond legal reproach. That's why it is clearer to say that the United States is supposed to be a constitutional republic; our democratic system is meant to subdue the inherent dangers of a democracy. It is not left to the vote of the people or legislators to tamper with our constitutional rights.

It should be clear why many people like to put democracy and republics in separate containers. I know it's fun to chat about these issues, or label them as semantics, call people out, or staunchly defend that one definition is by nature superior to another. I know I am guilty of all these things ... but I am also certain we can agree that CK made perfect sense in the context of what he was saying.

2010-05-18 06:24:17

First off, regarding the term democracy: Well put, and your point that I knew what CK meant is correct, so consider me admonished. But this is a pet peeve of mine and I consider revisionist history important so I do not fully retract my statement.

Your contention that the founders used the term democracy to mean direct democracy is only partly correct, but a popular meme among conservatives on the Internet nowdays. The problem is that it seems to stem from the fact that most people have only read quotes (and often misattributed ones) from these worthy writers and not the sources. The word democracy had the same connotations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it has now, or very nearly so. Though I haven't read every single writing by the men we are talking about, I am willing to bet that in EVERY case the distinction is laid out earlier in the text with distinctions like *pure-* or *direct-* democracy, then sometimes shortened in subsequent uses to just 'democracy.' For example, Madison in The Federalist #10 is often quoted:

"The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended."

But few people using the quote mention (or probably even know) that preceding this paragraph, Madison points out twice that he is talking about pure democracy:

"From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction."


"A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union."

But even if they did have a different definition of democracy than we do, what does it matter? This is the twenty-first century and language changes. Surely it would be preferable to use modern definitions when writing for a modern audience!

I'll have to get to the other points later -- I'm out of time for now.

2010-08-03 14:11:21

I hope you realize that the law is completely racist. It's completely discriminating, and everyone knows it. It's probably just going enable already-racist people to be more racist AND give a racist-cop the ability to act upon that racism for NO REASON except for his RACISM.


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