Posts Tagged ‘Charles Murray’

Do Liberals Believe in Any Limiting Power on Government Action?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Here’s a great description of natural rights from Judge Andrew P. Napolitano:

As we have been created in the image and likeness of God the Father, we are perfectly free just as He is. Thus, the natural law teaches that our freedoms are pre-political and come from our humanity and not from the government, and as our humanity is ultimately divine in origin, the government, even by majority vote, cannot morally take natural rights away from us. A natural right is an area of individual human behavior — like thought, speech, worship, travel, self-defense, privacy, ownership and use of property, consensual personal intimacy — immune from government interference and for the exercise of which we don’t need the government’s permission.

Read the whole thing, the main thrust of which is the role of the Second Amendment and the natural right of self-defense.

However, with so many of the Democratic Party’s urban elites embracing atheism, is it is even possible for them to comprehend, much less agree with, a natural rights framework for limiting the power of government? Why should humans have any rights at all if they are, in Charles Murray describing the viewpoint of European elites, “a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate”? (And if you haven’t read Murray’s entire piece before, I urge you to do so.)

There was a time when a good many patriotic liberal atheists believed in the Constitution as a sort of civil religion, even if they tended to ignore or downplay sections (such as the Second and Tenth Amendments) they weren’t wild about. But now a prominent liberal professor of constitutional law has just come out and said we should get rid of the Constitution because it doesn’t let liberals spend as much as they want, which is rather like a librarian endorsing burning books because they get dusty.

So too, many liberals wanted to believe in a framework very similar to natural rights in order to ensure their children lived in a strong, free and fair America. But, as Murray points out, our elite are increasingly childless, because children are a hassle. So why should liberals worry if they’re bankrupting their children and grandchildren when they have none?

Do modern American liberals believe in anything but their own smug sense of moral superiority? Or their own will to power? They seem distinctly uninterested in “a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people,” unless the people in question are their kind of people. Many see themselves as “citizens of the world,” with more in common with Eurocratic elites than with the working class lumpenproletariat shopping at Walmart. They seem uninterested in the baleful effects of welfare policy and unlimited illegal immigration on the poor as long as such policies continue to swell a permanent underclass of Democratic-voting dependents.

Conservatives believe that America is a nation of free citizens first, not a political entity embodied in an all-powerful federal government. By contrast, liberals did not seem to have any limiting power to their conception of the size and power of the federal government (at least beyond sex). Is there any limiting factor they are willing to accept as a bedrock principle rather than a temporary expedient?

LinkSwarm for May 12, 2012

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

All sorts of stories bubbling away in various states of completion. In the meantime, here’s a nice Saturday LinkSwarm that includes some (but not all) of the links I’ve put up on my twitter feed:

  • We’ve gotten use to Democratic office holders in Texas switching to the Republican Party, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen all the Democratic officeholders in a county switch at the same time, which is what just happened in Throckmorton County, including the sheriff, county judge, clerk, treasurer, justice of the peace and three commissioners.
  • Texas Democrats give up on Texas Democrats. “Of the $21 million Texas Democrats have given to candidates running for federal office, Super PACs and party political committees in the 2012 election, only $4.8 million has gone to candidates from Texas.”
  • Today’s Texas Democrat under federal investigation for corruptions comes to you from Cameron County DA Armando Villalobos, who’s also running for U.S. congress in the newly created 34th congressional district.
  • Could Wisconsin be the first domino to fall?

  • Speaking of Texas Democrats, a look at the fake Texans for Individual Rights, run Mark McCaig, the same person who runs the fake Conservative Voters of Texas and the legal associate of personal injury trial lawyer (and top Democratic Party donor) Steve Mostyn. McCaig has also been a constant foe of Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
  • Young Conservatives of Texas would like for former member McCaig to stop using their name to smear conservatives.
  • Texas tax revenue up for 25th straight month in a row, up 10.9% compared to April 2011.
  • Dick Morris: “Romney should win in a landslide.”
  • Slamming RINOs and referencing Forbidden Planet? I like the cut of Michael Walsh’s jib.
  • Claire Berlinski attends a Turkish dinner party.
  • In Argentina, as with everywhere else, nationalization sucks.
  • Obama can’t crack down on Wall Street fraud because his team is far too cozy with the perpetrators.
  • A look at how the Obama fundraising team operates.
  • Charles Murray gets a letter from a Fishtown school teacher.
  • Is Columbia getting ready to legalize drugs?
  • Germany considers banning Salfists. (Hat tip: Michael Totten sitting in for Instapundit.)
  • Old and busted: Objective-C. The new hotness:Objectivist-C, the programming language of rational self-interest.
  • LinkSwarm for January 26, 2012

    Thursday, January 26th, 2012

    LinkSwarm, or EuroDoom? LinkSwarm, or EuroDoom? Well, the first link has some of each, but with Davos just starting up, I imagine their will be a nice helping of EuroDoom ready to serve tomorrow, so let’s put up a LinkSwarm today:

  • Mark Steyn looks at the Costa Concordia sinking and smells a metaphor.
  • Myth: Newt Gingrich told his first wife he was divorcing her on her hospital deathbed. Fact: They had already agreed to a divorce, Newt was just visiting her, the tumor was benign, and Jackie Battley Gingrich is still alive. But who are you going to believe: Online liberal trolls, or the daughter who was actually in the hospital room at the time?
  • Borepatch says that Gingrich is particular effective at demolishing the Left’s Thought-terminating cliches.
  • Larry Elder lists all the things Gingrich can nail Obama and the media on.
  • Jonah Goldberg discusses Newtzilla, but his best barbs are reserved for his opponent: “Romney seems like a creature put on Earth to blend in with the humans and report back what he finds. He clearly likes earthlings, and they in turn find him pleasant enough and surprisingly lifelike.”
  • Maureen Dowd on on Obama’s cocoon of self-aggrandizing victimization. Like all Dowd’s columns, it focuses on the trivial minutia of the-personal-as-political…and is all the more devastating for it. “The man who came to Washington on a wave of euphoria has had a presidency with all the joy of a root canal…The Obamas, especially Michelle, have radiated the sense that Americans do not appreciate what they sacrifice by living in a gilded cage. They’ve forgotten Rule No. 1 of politics: No one sheds tears for anyone lucky enough to live at the White House. And after four or eight years of public service, you are assured membership in the 1 percent club.”
  • After 12 months, what has the Arab Spring wrought in Egypt? Cairo Winter: “The reality of the past twelve months, however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule. And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop the coming disaster.” (Hat tip: Michael Totten, who adds: “I know a few Egyptian intellectuals and activists who are authentic liberals, but they’re not remotely a majority. The percentage of Egyptians who genuinely support most or all the tenets of Western-style liberal democracy is in the high single digits at best.”)
  • An interesting quiz that ties in to Charles Murray’s new books asking how thick is your bubble?
  • A roundup of State of the Union reactions from the Texas congressional delegation.
  • Japan suffers its first trade deficit since 1980. Remember all those stories from the 1980s about how Japan was going to take over the world? They were very similar to the ones we were getting about China just a few years ago…
  • Hat tips: Ace, Insta, The Corner, and the usual suspects.

    LinkSwarm for December 29, 2011

    Thursday, December 29th, 2011

    The year winds down, and I have a bunch of more-or-less lengthy posts in various stages of completion. You know what that means? That’s right! LinkSwarm!

  • Even profitable firms are leaving California for Texas.
  • Charles Murray concludes that more prisons means less crime. “Higher imprisonment was the necessary condition for 100 percent of the reduction in violent crime.”
  • Riot at the Mall of America.
  • My amazing psychic powers prove accurate again.
  • Some good news: ethanol subsidies have finally expired. Now let’s make sure to keep them dead.
  • That’s a Heller of a lot of money.
  • Michigan men: Are you living with someone who’s pregnant? Congratulations! If this proposed law passes, you’ll be a slave.
  • “”The Occupy movement is alive and well and kicking, and doing precisely what it was intended to be: The Re-Elect Obama Campaign. Period.”
  • Hat tips: Insta, and a smattering of others.

    Linkswarm for Monday, November 29, 2010

    Monday, November 29th, 2010

    Like everyone else, I’m a little slow getting back into the post-Thanksgiving swing of things, so here’s a collection of links: