Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

New website worth bookmarking

David Schaefer of Holy Cross and some colleagues have started a opinion website and newsletter. Among the current offerings are a piece by Schaefer on Supreme Court nominations, one by David Lowenthal on Intelligent Design,and Schaefer’s brief commentary on Spielberg’s Munich.

Here’s part of the mission statement:

We stand for the defense of constitutional self-government in opposition to the endeavors of judicial activists, self-styled “public interest” advocacy groups, and overreaching Congressmen and bureaucrats. We recognize the need for an effective social "safety net" and government regulations to effectively protect the environment; but, remain suspicious of overregulation and reject redistributive schemes of misguided egalitarianism.


Our guide is Alexis de Tocqueville, who endeavored to show how the principle of democratic equality can be harmonized with the spirit of political liberty and individual liberty under law without subjecting a democratic citizenry to bureaucratic or judicial despotism.

Looks like it’s worth a bookmark.

Discussions - 3 Comments

"We recognize the need for an effective social "safety net" and government regulations to effectively protect the environment; but, remain suspicious of overregulation and reject redistributive schemes of misguided egalitarianism."

Wouldn’t any true progressive philosopher circa 1900-1930 agree?

What is the "progressive" movement? I am not convinced that conservatives have not themselves swallowed the old style progressives, and all that remains on the left is a sort of radicalism.

Take Sumner a sort of pre-progressive classical liberal/conservative who argued that even "safety nets" mean A and B getting together and deciding that C should pay for D’s problems.

The way I understood it was the progressives "who endeavored to show how the principle of democratic equality can be harmonized with the spirit of political liberty and individual liberty under law without subjecting a democratic citizenry to bureaucratic or judicial despotism." While the old school classical liberals such as Bastiat always argued that Fraternity and "Egalite" were at odds with Liberty.

Maybe the Democrats are in trouble because Republicans have even co-opted progressivism, along with the attending welfare state. Maybe the democrats are in trouble because all the "great commissions" of progressivism have became "establishment" and all they can argue for idea wise is doing more of the same, but this doesn’t work because it is clear to everyone that we have too much "establishment". In other words, many pragmatic progressives think we have gone far enough.

I thought the commentary on Munich wasn’t very good. I have not seen the movie, but when Schaefer says, "to describe the film as not merely espousing a posture of moral neutrality as between Palestinian terror and Israeli response," I think it becomes quite clear there is more than just one category of bias operating in the article. I would think that "Israeli response" is as inadequate a phrase to describe the conflict as is a movie attempting to show a moral equivalence between the two (though the latter is more disgusting).

I wouldn’t have responded at all (having not seen the movie) until Scaefer discusses Empire of the Sun as "perhaps the most thoroughly anti-American movie ever produced by a major American filmmaker." This is simply untrue. The movie, in fact, is not anti-American at all. To have one major American character disply a nihlistic attitude is neither an endorsement of nihlism, nor is it saying all Americans are nihlists. In fact, if the "lesson" learned by the lead character, but tragically too late (a young boy) is that "Americans cannot be trusted," then it is strange that the movie comes to its essential end with the boy gratefully cheering as American planes bomb the internment camp headquarters and American soliders free the prisoners.

Human beings are complex. John Malkovich’s character in Empire of the Sun is representative of the not-so-angelic side of human nature when men become slaves. Power and struggle exist, and different people react differenly to it. Some people choose self-preservation over moral fortitude. It doesn’t make it okay, but it does show that not all men are angels.

There are other Americans in the internment camp that the boy recognizes, especially after witnessing the thinness of Malkovich’s character, as having good and strong moral fibers. The intended reaction of the audience to Malkovich’s character also serves a purpose. If we are all supposed to be disgusted and yet strangely sorrowful for Malkovich, then is Speilberg really saying that "All men are nihlists, and therefore no Americans can be trusted?" I find it difficult to buy.

The economics and medicine system of America are both in great periods of constraint. Regulation has hampered access to medical care and to financial options, such as short term installment loans. For emergencies, there should still be options open for both medicine and for finances. The Physician’s Foundation recently released survey information where 78% of those surveyed responded that there are already too few family practitioners, and half of those surveyed are frustrated and angry with both government and HMO regulation and are looking to close their practices. As the population grows, the doctor to patient ratio is diminishing, and it will reach a breaking point. In a similar manner, if bank and government regulation find a way to eliminate the only other legal alternative option to short term emergency financing – short term installment loans – then the consumers will be stretched to the breaking point. Already many are too far in debt with credit cards, and no one wants to seek out a loan shark. Studies have been showing conclusively that the absence of payday installment loan lenders has only produced negative impact, such as the one by Jonathan Zinman, Assistant Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College. Doctors and consumers should be contacting their representatives and establishing their right to put their decisions over their finances and their health in their own hands, where it belongs.

Click to read more on Short term installment loans

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/7881