New cat. I'm stopping by the vet's office to pick her up on my way home from work. Brenda took this pic with her phone to let me know she was there.
Taliban, Russia Want U.S. to Withdraw From Afghanistan
8 minutes ago
"Emotionally, comedy will never have the same impact," former stand-up comic Allen told Reuters.
"You can take the greatest comedies, and it's never the same as the impact when a curtain comes down on 'A Streetcar Named Desire' or 'Death of a Salesman.' You're pulverized by what you've seen. Comedy is just fun and entertaining."
The one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators by party leaders, called the debate over Schiavo legislation "a great political issue" that would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters. The memo singled out Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who is up for re-election next year.
"This is an important moral issue, and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," said the memo, reported by ABC News and later given to The Washington Post. "This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a co-sponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats."
The distorted face of Terry Schiavo is now merely a canvas upon which ideology has been writ large, where the notion of "life" has been perverted to mean "a heartbeat," and where the cruel vicissitudes of politics now rear their ugly, hydra-heads.
Consider pornography: libertarians say it should be permitted because if someone doesn’t like it, he can choose not to view it. But what he can’t do is choose not to live in a culture that has been vulgarized by it.
one can be rich but as unfree as a Victorian tycoon’s wife.
Nourishing foods are good for us by nature, not because we choose to eat them.
Furthermore, the reduction of all goods to individual choices presupposes that all goods are individual. But some, like national security, clean air, or a healthy culture, are inherently collective.
Libertarians in real life rarely live up to their own theory but tend to indulge in the pleasant parts while declining to live up to the difficult portions. They flout the drug laws but continue to collect government benefits they consider illegitimate.
Libertarians need to be asked some hard questions. What if a free society needed to draft its citizens in order to remain free?
What if it needed to limit oil imports to protect the economic freedom of its citizens from unfriendly foreigners?
What if it needed to force its citizens to become sufficiently educated to sustain a free society?
What if it needed to deprive landowners of the freedom to refuse to sell their property as a precondition for giving everyone freedom of movement on highways?
What if it needed to deprive citizens of the freedom to import cheap foreign labor in order to keep out poor foreigners who would vote for socialistic wealth redistribution?
Like slavery, libertarianism would have to allow one to sell oneself into it.
And libertarianism degenerates into outright idiocy when confronted with the problem of children, whom it treats like adults, supporting the abolition of compulsory education and all child-specific laws, like those against child labor and child sex. It likewise cannot handle the insane and the senile.
But this refutes libertarianism by its own premise, as libertarianism defines the good as the freely chosen, yet people do not choose it. Paradoxically, people exercise their freedom not to be libertarians.
since no electorate will support libertarianism
But without a sufficiently strong state, individual freedom falls prey to other more powerful individuals.
Libertarians are also naïve about the range and perversity of human desires they propose to unleash.
Society is dependent upon inculcated self-restraint if it is not to slide into barbarism, and libertarians attack this self-restraint.
Yes, we have always had homes, retreats or places where we went to relax, unwind or shut out the world. But we didn’t walk around the world like hermit crabs with our isolation surgically attached.
The surplus collected into social security, which was supposed to be set aside and invested for the time when there'd be greater demands on it, was instead spent, replaced with an empty IOU.
Another point that's worth bearing is that these IOUs aren't just empty: they're meaningless. To understand this, we have to understand that people are not entitled to social security payments; it is not like a contract where you pay into the system, and then have a legal right to get something back out later on.
Nor is social security some form of insurance.
If we were to talk of real privatization, it would mean eliminating the program entirely, and allowing a combination of voluntary savings, voluntary insurance, and voluntary charity to work in the free market. However, what is actually being talked about is nothing other than the creation of a forced-savings program.
Social Security as it is currently structured has nothing to do with legally enforceable promises or guarantees. There is no "trust fund" as that term is commonly understood, no funded segregated accounts, no IOUs or bonds stored in some lockbox, or anywhere else for that matter. Social Security is neither solvent nor bankrupt.
Yet, the oddity of campaign finance regulation is that we have ended up in a place in which pornographers apparently have greater constitutional protection than political bloggers. It's like we live in the First Amendment's Bizzaro World.Fortunately, I see an obvious loophole. If the FEC starts restricting political speech in blogs, I'll simply start writing my political rants in the form of pornography.