Progressive Thought, Updated

 
  • Gender is a social construct; there are no differences between the sexes. All men are bad.
  • Race is a social construct; there are no differences between the races. All white people are bad.
  • No culture is better than another. Western Civilization is bad.
  • Diversity of skin color is good. Diversity of thought is bad.
  • Religion leads to conflict and war. Islam is the religion of peace.
  • An especially harsh winter in one part of the globe does not disprove global warming. A single extreme weather event proves it.
  • Marriage is oppression. Opposing same-sex marriage is oppression.
  • There are no absolute truths. Absolutely.
  • The Left’s violence is free speech. The Right’s free speech is violence.
  • White silence is violence. White speech is violence.
  • Segregation is bad. Separate black college dorms and black graduation ceremonies are good.
  • Stereotyping people is wrong. All white people are racist oppressors.
  • “White flight” from inner cities is bad. White migration to inner cities (aka “gentrification”) is bad.
  • Diversity strengthens us by bringing in different viewpoints. Adopting diverse viewpoints is “cultural appropriation.”
  • Government must be directed by the will of the people. Government must be directed by a technocracy that is shielded from politics.
  • Merited success condemns merited failure, therefore no success is merited.
  • The Constitution is a living document. The Supreme Court’s “Roe v Wade” decision is carved in stone.
  • Raising the cost of cigarettes will discourage people from smoking. Raising the cost of employing workers will not discourage businesses from hiring.
  • Slavery – an economic system in which people can arbitrarily demand others’ time, labor, and produce – is bad. Social Justice – a philosophy that holds that “the oppressed” can arbitrarily demand others’ time, labor, and produce – is good.
  • Monopoly by corporations – which must satisfy their customers to survive – is bad. Monopoly by government – which can use deadly force to survive – is good.

Additions from comments:

  • Voter fraud is when Republicans get elected. We stuff ballot boxes to prevent voter fraud.
  • We must defund police departments that oppress left-wing rioters, looters, and arsonists. We must increase funding for police departments that protect our gated communities and that arrest Christians who refuse to wear masks while worshiping outdoors.
  • The ATF, CFTC, CPSC, DEA, EEOC, EPA, FAA, FCA, FDA, FCC, FDIC, FERC, FHA, FRA, FTC, NLRB, NRC, OSHA, SEC, and Federal Reserve regulatory agencies must be strengthened because unfettered capitalism is failing.
  • Nuclear, coal, hydroelectric, and natural gas power plants have been banned in California and must be banned throughout the country. Free enterprise has failed to keep the lights on in California.
  • We must teach our children that 2+2=5. Unemployment is rising among high school and college graduates, proving the failure of capitalism.
  • Our ideas are contradictory only in the light of Western logic – a patriarchal and racist tool of oppression.
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  1. MISTER BITCOIN Inactive
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    Asians are minorities but not persons of color?

     

    • #31
  2. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Asians are minorities but not persons of color?

    It seems to change from day-to-day.  Stay tuned.

    • #32
  3. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Asians are minorities but not persons of color?

    It seems to change from day-to-day. Stay tuned.

    Asians?  Do you mean Russians or Chinese?

    • #33
  4. MISTER BITCOIN Inactive
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    Labor unions are exempt from anti trust legislation

    Sherman and Clayton Acts

     

    • #34
  5. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Is it really good for us or anyone to focus exclusively on the worst of what comes out of the other side? In my opinion that’s a good way to make sure your own blind spots remain unexamined.

    • #35
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Is it really good for us or anyone to focus exclusively on the worst of what comes out of the other side? In my opinion that’s a good way to make sure your own blind spots remain unexamined.

    The worst? This is hardly the worst.

    • #36
  7. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Asians are minorities but not persons of color?

     

    As I understand it, yes. East Asians (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, etc.) do not count as “persons of color” because in broad generalities they act even more “white culture” than “whites” do: get married (and stay married), emphasize hard work and delayed gratification, value logic, discourage lawlessness.

    • #37
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Asians are minorities but not persons of color?

     

    As I understand it, yes. East Asians (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, etc.) do not count as “persons of color” because in broad generalities they act even more “white culture” than “whites” do: get married (and stay married), emphasize hard work and delayed gratification, value logic, discourage lawlessness.

    Asians are appropriating our culture?

    How inscrutable.

    • #38
  9. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Is it really good for us or anyone to focus exclusively on the worst of what comes out of the other side? In my opinion that’s a good way to make sure your own blind spots remain unexamined.

    Of the 26 items listed, I think that the 11 listed below are mainstream in the Left.  Virtually all of them are commonplace in our universities, and we’ve learned that what happens on campus doesn’t stay on campus.

    • No culture is better than another. Western Civilization is bad.
    • An especially harsh winter in one part of the globe does not disprove global warming. A single extreme weather event proves it.
    • Marriage is oppression. Opposing same-sex marriage is oppression.
    • Segregation is bad. Separate black college dorms and black graduation ceremonies are good.
    • “White flight” from inner cities is bad. White migration to inner cities (aka “gentrification”) is bad.
    • Government must be directed by the will of the people.  Government must be directed by a technocracy that is shielded from politics.
    • The Constitution is a living document. The Supreme Court’s “Roe v Wade” decision is carved in stone.
    • Raising the cost of cigarettes will discourage people from smoking. Raising the cost of employing workers will not discourage businesses from hiring.
    • Slavery – an economic system in which people can arbitrarily demand others’ time, labor, and produce – is bad. Social Justice – a philosophy that holds that “the oppressed” can arbitrarily demand others’ time, labor, and produce – is good.
    • Monopoly by corporations – which must satisfy their customers to survive – is bad. Monopoly by government – which can use deadly force to survive – is good.
    • The ATF, CFTC, CPSC, DEA, EEOC, EPA, FAA, FCA, FDA, FCC, FDIC, FERC, FHA, FRA, FTC, NLRB, NRC, OSHA, SEC, and Federal Reserve regulatory agencies must be strengthened because unfettered capitalism is failing.
    • #39
  10. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Is it really good for us or anyone to focus exclusively on the worst of what comes out of the other side? In my opinion that’s a good way to make sure your own blind spots remain unexamined.

    Out of the 26 items listed, about 12 of them are mainstream. Virtually all of them are commonplace in our universities, and we’ve learned that what happens on campus doesn’t stay on campus.

    Let me try to illustrate my point better. My criticism of this post is that each of these items reads as an excuse for conservatives to stop thinking, a version of the opposing worldview on the given topic that’s so over the top that we can rest assured that we’re on the side of the angels, or at least not on the side of the crazies. Factually it may be that most progressives actually do adhere to the over the top version of their sides argument. I’m not disputing that because that’s not my point. What is my point is that it’s very bad for our own intellectual fitness to rest on our laurels in that manner and assume that we will never have to combat stronger more grounded versions of these arguments

    A large majority of these can be rephrased in a way that I may still strongly disagree with but that’s meant to be the beginning of a conversation rather than the end of one. As practice for the ideological Turing test let me give it a try:

    -Gender roles likely influence how we treat people more often than we might think. The world would be a better place if we kept that in mind more often and tried to correct for it.

    -Ditto for racial stereotypes.

    -All civilizations tend to believe they are superior to all others. Due to a lucky confluence of guns, germs and steel in the 16th century the West has had its superiority complex seemingly validated and is therefore more in need of correction.

    -All cultures have taboos. We should do more to make racism one of them.

    -We tend to make allowances for religious violence when it is committed by our coreligionists while calling it out in others. Another bias to be aware of.

    -Global climate change is contributing to a wider variance of extreme weather events.

    -Religious conservatives preach the importance of family, but would rather a child stay with an agency than be adopted by a stable, loving gay couple.

    -The universe is too complicated for any one person to understand it completely. We should treat the views of others with respect and empathy.

    -Speech is speech and violence is violence, but when one section of society is listened to more than others violence can be the only way to elicit attention.

    (cont.)

    • #40
  11. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    A large majority of these can be rephrased in a way that I may still strongly disagree with but that’s meant to be the beginning of a conversation rather than the end of one. As practice for the ideological Turing test let me give it a try:

    Nah, that’s just an exercise in watering down the extremism to fool the rubes.  No thank you.

    • #41
  12. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    -Under segregation the black community the black community was too busy trying to get by in a hostile world to explore it’s own culture and sense of identity. A raceless future might be a worthwhile goal in a hundred years, but in the meantime we need space to reckon with history and figure out what it means to be black in America. Black dorms further that end.

    -Stereotyping is wrong. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t statistical variations between populations. One of those variations is that middle class suburban white people are more likely to lean on stereotypes.

    -Mediating institutions are more important than govt. in helping alleviate poverty. I thought conservatives believed that? So what’s wrong with trying to protect the integrity of black communities from gentrification. Whites are richer and more likely to get by in an atomized society.

    -We should give credit to other cultures when we utilize their distinct contributions.

    -Politicians should govern the way their constituents would want if they had the time to devote themselves to understanding the issues, which they don’t because they’re busy making a living. Didn’t conservatives use to quote some guy called “Burke” who wrote something to that effect?

    -Equality of opportunity is a goal we should strive for. That requires some top-down intervention.

    -We determine what constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. Why doesn’t that logic apply to the rest of the constitution?

    -Raising the cost of cigarettes will deter people from smoking. Raising the cost of labor will leave more people out of work. In a world of mechanization the latter out come is inevitable anyway, so we should institute a universal basic income and strive for a world in a few people have good jobs and the rest can look for other sources of meaning rather than trying desperately to compete with the machines. I’m an Asian guy so people assume I’m good at math.

    -Narrative is part of how human beings perceive the world. Denying the struggle to achieve justice for historically oppressed populations, even generations later ignores something fundamental in human nature. Again, I thought that was something conservatives tried to avoid.

    -Democratic power, through government is a necessary counterpoint to market power. The government monopoly has a moral legitimacy because it responds to the will of the people.

    ^Again, few of these come close to my own opinion, but when I reframe them this way, I’m forced to look back on my own opinion and ask if I’ve adequately answered the objections to it. I think that’s useful and important.

    • #42
  13. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    This conversation puts me in mind of a classic Monty Python sketch. John Cleese plays an obviously unstable martial arts instructor who insists on teaching his pupils how to defend themselves against fresh fruit rather than conventional weaponry. Eric Idle insists that he was promised to be taught how to defend against “point-ED sticks.” Idle’s told to shut up and Cleese proceeds to convince his students to charge at him with bananas, raspberries and apricots. After he shoots the first of them at point blank range he has to “promise, I won’t kill you” before finishing off the others by releasing the tiger and dropping the 50 ton weight. When asked how to defend against a banana without a gun he advises “run.” But people attacking you with fresh fruit are very easy to kill.

    We live in strange times and are often assailed with arguments that amount to a particularly soggy bunch of bananas.

    If you want you can sit comfortably behind a Gatling gun and mow down the left as they come at you with an entire discount produce section.

    But like Idle, I want to learn how to defend myself against people carrying pointed sticks. It’s good for the mind and the heart. Personally I think it’s more fun. And it might just come in handy some day.

    (Youtube sadly doesn’t have the original flying circus version, which probably has something to do with it showing up in my Netflix recommends to this will have to do.)

     

    • #43
  14. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Asians are minorities but not persons of color?

    It seems to change from day-to-day. Stay tuned.

    Asians? Do you mean Russians or Chinese?

    There you go using logic again. (And geography.)

    • #44
  15. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    -Gender roles likely influence how we treat people more often than we might think. The world would be a better place if we kept that in mind more often and tried to correct for it.

    -Ditto for racial stereotypes.

    True.  However, free markets penalize prejudice.  If I choose to hire only those people who look like me, I’m going to lose out to my competitors who choose to hire the most qualified people regardless of what they look like.  Progressives want to correct discrimination by mandating discrimination.  This strategy, which has been tried for over 50 years has made things worse rather than better.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -All civilizations tend to believe they are superior to all others. Due to a lucky confluence of guns, germs and steel in the 16th century the West has had its superiority complex seemingly validated and is therefore more in need of correction.

    There is a big difference between teaching our children to understand and value other cultures and denigrating our own as evil. 

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -All cultures have taboos. We should do more to make racism one of them.

    Government mandates have made things worse rather than better.  Antiracist seminars have been shown to make workplaces more toxic.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We tend to make allowances for religious violence when it is committed by our coreligionists while calling it out in others. Another bias to be aware of.

    Mandating reverse discrimination and ignoring reality don’t help.  The Obama Administration’s refusal to blame radical Islamism for incidents in which Muslims indiscriminately shooting, stabbing, or bombing innocent people while shouting “Allah Akbar” became a joke.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Global climate change is contributing to a wider variance of extreme weather events.

    I agree that anthropogenic CO2 emissions contribute to global warming.  My point here was to highlight the left’s hypocrisy.  Their exaggerations, cherry-picking of data, attempts to shout down reasonable debate, attempts to criminalize dissent, and rejection of any solutions short of deindustrialization have done more to discredit the science of global warming than anything that “deniers” have done.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Religious conservatives preach the importance of family, but would rather a child stay with an agency than be adopted by a stable, loving gay couple.

    This is projection.  There is room in this country for both Christian and secular adoption agencies.  The Left is actively shutting down Christian agencies that do not serve gay couples even though there are plenty of secular agencies that will.  The result is fewer children being adopted.

    • #45
  16. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We determine what constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. Why doesn’t that logic apply to the rest of the constitution?

    There is a means for amending the Constitution so there is no need to reinterpret what the words in it mean. Furthermore, we should not determine “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. That can and probably will eventually lead to depriving citizens of their freedom being determined to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”

    • #46
  17. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -The universe is too complicated for any one person to understand it completely. We should treat the views of others with respect and empathy.

    Agreed.  That’s why classical liberals don’t want to give our lives over to central planners.  

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Speech is speech and violence is violence, but when one section of society is listened to more than others violence can be the only way to elicit attention.

    You’re justifying violence.  Martin Luther King was able to get Civil Rights legislation passed without turning to violence.  The riots in the late 60s and early 70s resulted in urban deserts, not progress.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Under segregation the black community the black community was too busy trying to get by in a hostile world to explore it’s own culture and sense of identity. A raceless future might be a worthwhile goal in a hundred years, but in the meantime we need space to reckon with history and figure out what it means to be black in America. Black dorms further that end.

    What’s next?  Separate bathrooms and water coolers?  The way to stop discrimination is to stop discriminating.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Stereotyping is wrong. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t statistical variations between populations. One of those variations is that middle class suburban white people are more likely to lean on stereotypes.

    All people stereotype, not just suburban whites.  Thinking in patterns is necessary for survival.  If my wife has to look exactly like she did yesterday for me to recognize here, life would be a bad rerun of 50 First Dates.  No situation or problem will be exactly like similar ones that I’ve already faced.  If I was unable to see the similarities, I would have to solve the problems from scratch each time.

    Moreover, evolution has hardwired us so that threats go right to the top of our mental in-boxes. So, if 100 purple people walk peacefully by me but the 101st punches my lights out, that 101st purple person is going to make a much bigger impression on me (both literally and figuratively) than did the other 100. So, when I see the 102nd purple person and alarm bells go off, does that make me racist or simply human?

    • #47
  18. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Django (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We determine what constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. Why doesn’t that logic apply to the rest of the constitution?

    There is a means for amending the Constitution so there is no need to reinterpret what the words in it mean. Furthermore, we should not determine “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. That can and probably will eventually lead to depriving citizens of their freedom being determined to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”

    Scalia thought otherwise. He might have been wrong, but not a left wing nut, I think.

    • #48
  19. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    -Gender roles likely influence how we treat people more often than we might think. The world would be a better place if we kept that in mind more often and tried to correct for it.

    -Ditto for racial stereotypes.

    True. However, free markets penalize prejudice. If I choose to hire only those people who look like me, I’m going to lose out to my competitors who choose to hire the most qualified people regardless of what they look like. Progressives want to correct discrimination by mandating discrimination. This strategy, which has been tried for over 50 years has made things worse rather than better.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -All civilizations tend to believe they are superior to all others. Due to a lucky confluence of guns, germs and steel in the 16th century the West has had its superiority complex seemingly validated and is therefore more in need of correction.

    There is a big difference between teaching our children to understand and value other cultures and denigrating our own as evil.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -All cultures have taboos. We should do more to make racism one of them.

    Government mandates have made things worse rather than better. Antiracist seminars have been shown to make workplaces more toxic.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We tend to make allowances for religious violence when it is committed by our coreligionists while calling it out in others. Another bias to be aware of.

    Mandating reverse discrimination and ignoring reality don’t help. The Obama Administration’s refusal to blame radical Islamism for incidents in which Muslims indiscriminately shooting, stabbing, or bombing innocent people while shouting “Allah Akbar” became a joke.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Global climate change is contributing to a wider variance of extreme weather events.

    I agree that anthropogenic CO2 emissions contribute to global warming. My point here was to highlight the left’s hypocrisy. Their exaggerations, cherry-picking of data, attempts to shout down reasonable debate, attempts to criminalize dissent, and rejection of any solutions short of deindustrialization have done more to discredit the science of global warming than anything that “deniers” have done.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Religious conservatives preach the importance of family, but would rather a child stay with an agency than be adopted by a stable, loving gay couple.

    This is projection. There is room in this country for both Christian and secular adoption agencies. The Left is actively shutting down Christian agencies that do not serve gay couples even though there are plenty of secular agencies that will. The result is fewer children being adopted.

    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    • #49
  20. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We determine what constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. Why doesn’t that logic apply to the rest of the constitution?

    There is a means for amending the Constitution so there is no need to reinterpret what the words in it mean. Furthermore, we should not determine “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. That can and probably will eventually lead to depriving citizens of their freedom being determined to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”

    Scalia thought otherwise. He might have been wrong, but not a left wing nut, I think.

    Would he have supported ruling the death penalty to be cruel and unusual punishment even though the constitution mentions it? Others have, but the way to make it unconstitutional is to amend the constitution, not with legal fictions. 

    • #50
  21. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Django (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We determine what constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. Why doesn’t that logic apply to the rest of the constitution?

    There is a means for amending the Constitution so there is no need to reinterpret what the words in it mean. Furthermore, we should not determine “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. That can and probably will eventually lead to depriving citizens of their freedom being determined to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”

    Scalia thought otherwise. He might have been wrong, but not a left wing nut, I think.

    Would he have supported ruling the death penalty to be cruel and unusual punishment even though the constitution mentions it? Others have, but the way to make it unconstitutional is to amend the constitution, not with legal fictions.

    A certain amount of legal fiction is necessary to fill in the gaps. The left wing argument is that if a little fiction is good a lot must be better. I think that’s daft, but there’s a huge field for legitimate debate about where the gaps end and where the clear text begins.

    • #51
  22. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Mediating institutions are more important than govt. in helping alleviate poverty. I thought conservatives believed that? So what’s wrong with trying to protect the integrity of black communities from gentrification. Whites are richer and more likely to get by in an atomized society.

    I believe in freedom.  People should be free to buy or sell their own property to whomever they choose without government interference.  The federal government has been subsidizing “gentrification” in its attempts to correct the problems it created decades ago with its discriminatory “red lining.”  They’re now subsidizing home purchases in previously red lined areas without regard to whether the purchaser is rich or poor, black or white.  When government goes into the business of selling special privileges, wealthier people are better able to do the buying.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We should give credit to other cultures when we utilize their distinct contributions.

    Agreed.  But giving credit to other cultures does not require damning our own.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Politicians should govern the way their constituents would want if they had the time to devote themselves to understanding the issues, which they don’t because they’re busy making a living. Didn’t conservatives use to quote some guy called “Burke” who wrote something to that effect?

    Agreed.  But that should not include delegating authority to act as legislator, enforcer, judge, and jury to regulatory agencies that are not accountable to voters.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Equality of opportunity is a goal we should strive for. That requires some top-down intervention.

    Equality of opportunity is humanly impossible to achieve.  I grew up in a small mining camp in New Mexico.  How could “top-down intervention” have given me the same opportunities as someone who grew up in Los Alamos, where everyone’s parents were PhD scientists and the schools were incredible?  At best, the ideal we can hope to approach – if not fully achieve – is equality under the law.  In order to achieve the impossible, the Left is destroying that which is possible.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -We determine what constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” by the standards of the day. Why doesn’t that logic apply to the rest of the constitution?

    That’s a red herring.  Vague phrases like “cruel and unusual punishment” require judicial interpretation and interpretations will change as customs and morality change.  What judicial conservatives (judicial, not political) complain about is “reinterpreting” passages that have plain meanings – finding, for example, that the “spirit of the law” or the law’s “emanations and penumbras” require ignoring the letter of the law.  In such cases, the Constitutions provides a clear process for amendment.

    • #52
  23. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Raising the cost of cigarettes will deter people from smoking. Raising the cost of labor will leave more people out of work. In a world of mechanization the latter out come is inevitable anyway, so we should institute a universal basic income and strive for a world in a few people have good jobs and the rest can look for other sources of meaning rather than trying desperately to compete with the machines. I’m an Asian guy so people assume I’m good at math.

    The assumption that increased automation will result in increased unemployment is just that – an assumption.  And it’s an assumption that has been proved wrong for over two centuries.  Increased automation has eliminated the need for some jobs, while creating the need for new ones.

    “Smart” machines, such as 3D printers and computer-driven embroiderers, allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of the trend of “radical customization” that has revolutionized everything from coffee houses, micro-breweries, and clothing.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Narrative is part of how human beings perceive the world. Denying the struggle to achieve justice for historically oppressed populations, even generations later ignores something fundamental in human nature. Again, I thought that was something conservatives tried to avoid.

    Justice is giving to each his due.  Social justice is giving to each what is due another – the opposite of justice.  Your “narrative” doesn’t justify theft or exploitation.

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Democratic power, through government is a necessary counterpoint to market power. The government monopoly has a moral legitimacy because it responds to the will of the people.

    Monopolies in free markets don’t last long without government intervention. In his book, The Progressive Era, Murray Rothbard documents post-Civil War efforts by large companies to create cartels that would fix prices and limit competition. Such attempts always failed because they couldn’t keep out new competitors and because members of the cartel had a huge incentive to grab market share by “cheating” and dropping their prices below those set by the cartel.

    The problem was “solved” by the creation of federal regulatory agencies like the Interstate Commerce Commission that, in effect, created cartels, established and enforced high prices, and blocked new entrants from competing with the status quo. All, of course, in the name of “protecting” consumers from “ruinous competition.”

    As for your justification of government monopoly, who gets to decide what the “will of the people” is?  And much of “government” is carried on by federal agencies that are insulated from voters and the “will of the people.”

    • #53
  24. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Sorry.  When I see this craziness and stupidity taking over our institutions, I call it out.  I believe that your claim of “nothing to see here, folks” is wrong.  We’ve got to point out how ridiculous these beliefs are and ridicule is a potent weapon. 

    • #54
  25. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Doesn’t your defense of these “crazy” positions imply that they are more mainstream on the Left than you claim?

    • #55
  26. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    -Raising the cost of cigarettes will deter people from smoking. Raising the cost of labor will leave more people out of work. In a world of mechanization the latter out come is inevitable anyway, so we should institute a universal basic income and strive for a world in a few people have good jobs and the rest can look for other sources of meaning rather than trying desperately to compete with the machines. I’m an Asian guy so people assume I’m good at math.

    The assumption that increased automation will result in increased unemployment is just that – an assumption. And it’s an assumption that has been proved wrong for over two centuries. Increased automation has eliminated the need for some jobs, while creating the need for new ones.

    “Smart” machines, such as 3D printers and computer-driven embroiderers, allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of the trend of “radical customization” that has revolutionized everything from coffee houses, micro-breweries, and clothing.

    For example, check out this article about the future of electric vehicles that can be easily customized and turned into mobile offices, shops, and fast food stands:
    https://www.fastcompany.com/90562654/car-design-is-about-to-change-forever-this-video-encapsulates-how

    Here in Houston, we’ve got a lot of microbreweries.  For a long time, most used glass bottles because the startup cost of canning is so high.  An entrepreneur solved the problem by building a canning factory on wheels.  He drove around to the various breweries and packaged their beer for them.

    • #56
  27. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Sorry. When I see this craziness and stupidity taking over our institutions, I call it out. I believe that your claim of “nothing to see here, folks” is wrong. We’ve got to point out how ridiculous these beliefs are and ridicule is a potent weapon.

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Doesn’t your defense of these “crazy” positions imply that they are more mainstream on the Left than you claim?

    I think you’re still missing my point. I’m neither defending the crazy positions you describe in your op nor the not-crazy-but-still-mostly-wrong versions I offered in my original comment. My point is that we should address the latter not the former for our own practice and edification.

    Ridicule isn’t a potent weapon, it’s a potent drug that leaves us intellectually lazy.

    • #57
  28. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Sorry. When I see this craziness and stupidity taking over our institutions, I call it out. I believe that your claim of “nothing to see here, folks” is wrong. We’ve got to point out how ridiculous these beliefs are and ridicule is a potent weapon.

    Also, for ridicule to be a weapon, doesn’t your enemy have to be standing close enough to be on the business end of it? Your audience here is entirely people who agree with you. No one is feeling the sting of your ridicule. 

    • #58
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Sorry. When I see this craziness and stupidity taking over our institutions, I call it out. I believe that your claim of “nothing to see here, folks” is wrong. We’ve got to point out how ridiculous these beliefs are and ridicule is a potent weapon.

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Doesn’t your defense of these “crazy” positions imply that they are more mainstream on the Left than you claim?

    I think you’re still missing my point. I’m neither defending the crazy positions you describe in your op nor the not-crazy-but-still-mostly-wrong versions I offered in my original comment. My point is that we should address the latter not the former for our own practice and edification.

    Ridicule isn’t a potent weapon, it’s a potent drug that leaves us intellectually lazy.

    Reread Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Ridicule is the most potent weapon. When they are mocked, they have no defense.

    • #59
  30. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Inactive
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Percival (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Sorry. When I see this craziness and stupidity taking over our institutions, I call it out. I believe that your claim of “nothing to see here, folks” is wrong. We’ve got to point out how ridiculous these beliefs are and ridicule is a potent weapon.

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    I agree with most of your responses. I think honing those arguments is a better use of our time than gawking at left wing craziness.

    Doesn’t your defense of these “crazy” positions imply that they are more mainstream on the Left than you claim?

    I think you’re still missing my point. I’m neither defending the crazy positions you describe in your op nor the not-crazy-but-still-mostly-wrong versions I offered in my original comment. My point is that we should address the latter not the former for our own practice and edification.

    Ridicule isn’t a potent weapon, it’s a potent drug that leaves us intellectually lazy.

    Reread Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Ridicule is the most potent weapon. When they are mocked, they have no defense.

    Learning who Alinsky was, is the worst thing that ever happened to the American right. Somehow the message we’ve taken away is “we should BECOME this.” 

    And again. No progs are hearing your mock them. The ridicule here is entirely for internal consumption. 

    • #60
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