Posts tagged ‘Pat Robertson’

Happiness Is: Being Allied With Neither Political Party, And So Not Having to Comment on Ann Coulter

So I won't.  Which doesn't mean I haven't found all the squirming on multiple web sites immensely entertaining.  Jeff Goldstein, as is often the case, is perhaps the most entertaining.  While Jeff will never be invited to speak at a MoveOn rally, on the other hand it is about as easy to lump him in with Pat Robertson as to group "Little House on the Prairie" into a double feature with "Team America World Police."

Though I am not convinced it is an especially apt comparison for the Coulter remark, I did particularly note one observation.  Goldstein's commenter said, in part, this:

I am reminded of the whole "niggardly" thing.  Of course, we KNOW what
it means.  But, you cannot really use it unless you want to be
misunderstood and have your message distracted.

Jeff responded:

This is, of course, quite stunning and more than a bit dangerous to the cause of liberalism.

I mean, look again at what Steve just argued:  "Of course, we KNOW what
it means.  But, you cannot really use it unless you want to be
misunderstood and have your message distracted."

Translation: We know what it means, but we must assume nobody else does.  Therefore, their misunderstanding is to be countenanced and massaged"”which, in effect, empowers ignorance
rather than treating it as ignorance.  It is the perfect example of the
intellectual welfare state:  rather than working to force people to
break out a dictionary, we'd rather provide them with succor because,
well, they can't really be expected to learn things on their own,
right?  Those kinds of people?

I don't read Protein Wisdom all the time, so I am not sure if "intellectual welfare" is a term Goldstein uses a lot.  I coined it independently a few years ago, when discussing social security.

Scary Stuff

Most of you know I tend to avoid the topic of religion like the plague on this blog, but suffice it so say that I am a secular guy.  But that doesn't stop me from being scared of this guy (Chris Hedges at the Nation Institute):

This is the awful paradox of tolerance. There arise moments when
those who would destroy the tolerance that makes an open society
possible should no longer be tolerated. They must be held accountable
by institutions that maintain the free exchange of ideas and liberty.

The radical Christian Right must be forced to include other points
of view to counter their hate talk in their own broadcasts, watched by
tens of millions of Americans. They must be denied the right to
demonize whole segments of American society, saying they are
manipulated by Satan and worthy only of conversion or eradication. They
must be made to treat their opponents with respect and acknowledge the
right of a fair hearing even as they exercise their own freedom to
disagree with their opponents.

Passivity in the face of the rise of the Christian Right threatens
the democratic state. And the movement has targeted the last remaining
obstacles to its systems of indoctrination, mounting a fierce campaign
to defeat hate-crime legislation, fearing the courts could apply it to
them as they spew hate talk over the radio, television and Internet.

Whoa, Nellie.  The "forced to be free" thing never really works out very well, I promise.  I find the outright socialism preached by much of academia to be scary as hell and an incredible threat to me personally as a business owner, but you won't catch me trying to get the government to muzzle them.  Hedges attitude is consistent with opposition to school choice discussed here by Neal McCluskey of Cato:

Another frequent objection to letting parents choose their kids'
schools is that American children need to be steeped in a shared
worldview, lest they be in constant combat as adults. This arose as a
major line of argument in a Free Republic discussion about Why We Fight,
and is very similar to the "Americanization" mission given to
industrial-era public schools, where immigrant students were taught to
reject the customs and values of their parents' lands "” and often their
parents themselves "” and adopt the values political elites deemed

Now, if one were willing to accept a system that would, by
definition, quash any thoughts not officially sanctioned, then in
theory one would be okay with a public schooling system intended to
force uniform thought. In the context of an otherwise free society,
however, getting such a system to work is impossible, because
it would require that incredibly diverse and constantly combative
adults create and run an education system that somehow produces uniform
and placid graduates. It's no more realistic than hoping a tornado will
drop houses in a more perfect line than it found them.

The practical result of our trying to make uniformity out of diversity has, of course, been constant conflict, as Why We Fight
makes clear. Moreover, there is another by-product of this process that
no one mentions when they weave scenarios about choice producing
schools steeped in ignorance: our schools right now teach very little, especially in the most contentious areas like evolution and history, because they want to avoid conflict.

It all kind of makes a mockery of the left's favorite word "diversity."  One suspects what they want is for people of all color and backgrounds to come together and... think just like they do.  This seems to be part of the same strategy here to bring back the fairness doctrine.

PS- Remember, before you flame me, I am a secularist here defending the right of everyone to speak.  I am not defending Pat Robertson per se, because I almost never agree with the guy, but I am defending his right to say whatever he wants on TV.

Free the Hookers

The other day, I saw Coyote Blog grouped into a category of "conservative blogs".  I know a lot of folks tend to immediately shorthand free market economics to "conservative", but I bristle at the tag, particularly given the knife sticking out of the free economy's back right now with Republican finger prints all over it.  Therefore, I have decided that it is time to take one of those wildly unpopular libertarian stands that will help ensure that I don't get lumped in with Pat Robertson any more, while simultaneously guaranteeing I will never be able to hold elective office or survive a Senate confirmation.

For some reason, perhaps because of the recent Hollywood movie on the topic, there seems to be a lot of talk and concern in the press about white slavery and forced prostitution.  To which the general legislative response is "Let's crack down on prostitution".

The reason women get used and abused in the prostitution trade is because the trade is illegal, not because we aren't tough enough on it.  If a woman working at Wal-mart has part of her pay stolen by her boss, or is required to pay sexual favors to hold her job, she has legal recourse, both to the police and to civil court.  In fact, walking into an attorney's office and declaring "I work at Wal-mart and my boss forced me to have sex and stole my pay" would likely result in her becoming a millionaire some day.  On the other hand, a prostitute today who walked into a police station and declared "I work as a prostitute and my boss stole my pay" would likely result in her arrest.  Women get abused precisely because their trade is illegal, giving them no real recourse to the legal system.  Making prostitution legal would give thousands of abused women their first chance ever at freedom from their tormentors.

I think the time is right to revisit the subject of legalized prostitution.  America, for all the talk of a Republican-led theocratic state, has continued to relax itself on enforcing moral norms between consenting adults.  Forty years ago, the majority of Americans opposed legal homosexuality, legalized gambling, and even interracial marriage.  In many states, even tattooing was illegal.  Today, though we still suffer through some tortured ethical logic (e.g. gambling is moral as long as it is on a boat but not on land) these practices are legal in many parts of the country.  Its time to recognize that consensual sex between adults should be legal in all its forms, including those forms where money is exchanged.  By the way, speaking of bizarre ethical logic, today, in most states, exchanging money for sex is illegal EXCEPT if the act is filmed and the film is distributed widely.  Then the sex act for money is no longer prostitution but is pornography, which while frowned upon by many is generally legal.

Interestingly, feminists tend to be split on this issue, in part because feminists tend to split into at least two camps.  The first camp is the libertarian-feminist, who honestly want to empower women, and who try to be consistent to the "women should be able to make decisions for her own body" argument used in abortion and which leads them to support legalized prostitution as well. I can imagine these feminists saying "Hey women out there, if men could
make $500 an hour having sex, does anyone doubt that it would be legal?"

The second camp is the sort of uber-gender feminists, whose agenda is more about molding all women into their idealized female.  These feminists, who seem to control many women's organizations today, have created a whole new kind of morality that women must follow, a morality that seeks to ban breast implants since they are a trivial pandering to male aesthetic norms and to keep prostitution illegal because they see it as degrading to women.   These women use the language of choice in their abortion politics, but they are more about a new form of master-gender (rather than master-race) fascism.

By the way, when I say "free the hookers", I really mean free them.  Several countries in Europe have partially liberalized prostitution, but have reported there is still a lot of sex industry underground.  The reasons is that these countries have applied typical European economic policy to the fledgling industry, meaning they regulated the crap out of it.  Specifically, they tend to put extreme licensing requirements that artificially limit the number of people who can perform the trade legally, much like New York artificially limits the number of cab medallions.  And they get the same result as with cabs in New York - a large gray market is created, and the benefits of bringing the industry out in the open are thwarted.  More on the problems with licensing here and here and here.