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LeftishBrit

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Oxford
Home country: England
Member since: Thu Jun 24, 2004, 06:32 AM
Number of posts: 39,582

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It's not a choice between Paul and Cheney

And the difference between 'words' and 'dead bodies' is basically the difference between 'not in power' and 'in power'.

People don't only die in wars. They die from poverty and lack of healthcare. Look up the life expectancy statistics in countries that have Paul's desired lack of public services, social safety nets, and protection against extreme poverty. Look up the life expectancy statistics in the USA, at the beginning of the 20th century, a time to which Paul would clearly like to go back. Yes, medical advances have improved life expectancy, but medical advances are no use to those who are deprived of access to them - and Paul explicitly states that just because someone needs healthcare doesn't mean they are entitled to it.

As regards racial issues, Jim Crow was a lot more than 'words' to people who lived through it; and Paul seems quite happy to reverse laws such as the Voting Rights Act, and leave decisions on racial matters to the states.

But I think that some of the arguments about the level of responsibility that Paul did or didn't have for material in his newsletters have obscured the evil of some of the opinions that he has undoubtedly stated and proudly owns. From his speech 'A Republic if You Can Keep It':

'In truth, the amount of taxes we now pay compared to 100 years ago is shocking. There is little philosophic condemnation by the intellectual community, the political leaders, or the media of this immoral system. This should be a warning sign to all of us that, even in less prosperous times, we can expect high taxes and that our productive economic system will come under attack. Not only have we seen little resistance to the current high tax system, it has become an acceptable notion that this system is moral and is a justified requirement to finance the welfare/warfare state. Propaganda polls are continuously cited claiming that the American people don't want tax reductions. High taxes, except for only short periods of time, are incompatible with liberty and prosperity....

We will, I'm sure, be given the opportunity in the early part of this next century to make a choice between the two. I am certain of my preference.

There was no welfare state in 1900. In the year 2000 we have a huge welfare state, which continues to grow each year. Not that special-interest legislation didn't exist in the 19th Century, but for the most part, it was limited and directed toward moneyed interests--the most egregious example being the railroads.

The modern-day welfare state has steadily grown since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The federal government is now involved in providing health care, houses, unemployment benefits, education, food stamps to millions, plus all kinds of subsidies to every conceivable special-interest group. Welfare is now part of our culture, costing hundreds of billions of dollars every year. It is now thought to be a "right," something one is "entitled" to. Calling it an "entitlement" makes it sound proper and respectable and not based on theft. Anyone who has a need, desire, or demand and can get the politicians' attention will get what he wants, even though it may be at the expense of someone else. Today it is considered morally right and politically correct to promote the welfare state. Any suggestion otherwise is considered political suicide.

The acceptance of the welfare ethic and rejection of the work ethic as the accepted process for improving one's economic conditions are now ingrained in our political institutions. This process was started in earnest in the 1930s, received a big boast in the 1960s, and has continued a steady growth, even through the 1990s, despite some rhetoric in opposition. This public acceptance has occurred in spite of the fact that there is no evidence that welfare is a true help in assisting the needy. Its abject failure around the world where welfarism took the next step into socialism has even a worse record...

With the modern-day interpretation of the general welfare clause, the principle of individual liberty and the doctrine of enumerated powers have been made meaningless. The goal of strictly limiting the power of our national government as was intended by the Constitution is impossible to achieve as long as it is acceptable for Congress to redistribute wealth in an egalitarian welfare state. There's no way that personal liberty will not suffer with every effort to expand or make the welfare state efficient. And the sad part is that the sincere efforts to help people do better economically through welfare programs always fail. Dependency replaces self-reliance while the sense of self worth of the recipient suffers, making for an angry, unhappy, and dissatisfied society. The cost in dollar terms is high, but the cost in terms of liberty is even greater, but generally ignored, and in the long run, there's nothing to show for this sacrifice.

Today, there's no serious effort to challenge welfare as a way of life, and its uncontrolled growth in the next economic downturn is to be expected. Too many citizens now believe they are "entitled" to monetary assistance from the government anytime they need it, and they expect it. Even in times of plenty, the direction has been to continue expanding education, welfare, and retirement benefits. No one asks where the government gets the money to finance the welfare state. Is it morally right to do so? Is it authorized in the Constitution? Does it help anyone in the long run? Who suffers from the policy? Until these questions are seriously asked and correctly answered, we cannot expect the march toward a pervasive welfare state to stop, and we can expect our liberties to be continuously compromised.'


Evil evil evil.


All right-wingers are dangerous monsters!

Great article

'If atheists are bemused by the latest attacks on secularism, spare a thought for Britain's Christians. Most agree with equality for homosexuals, support the separation of church and state, and share the basic principles of humanism. Many of the comments supposedly made on their behalf must be as alien to them as they are to the rest of us.

The 'war on secularism' is a battle over privilege. On one side, secularists whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist or other believe in freedom of (and from) religion; that faith is a personal choice and the state should be neutral in such matters. Opposing them, an elitist minority of Christians believe that one group themselves should enjoy privileges that others do not share.'


Agreed.

In the UK, it's not even as simple as 'the religious vs the atheists' on secularism. Until recently, religious intrusion into politics in the UK was not for the most part based much on the content of religion, but was mainly a matter of the struggle for power between Protestants and Catholics, which was linked to much of our history since the 16th century, and was particularly ugly with regard to Ireland. This had partially died down, but in the last few years - possibly mainly since the Internet made international commuications easier - I think there has been more communication between the British and American Right. (E.g. recently a Torygraph journalist called David Cameron a 'RINO' - WTF!) This, IMO, has contributed to an increased tendency for some people to attack secularism and support the preservation of British 'Christian traditions' , because they see such traditions as supporting right-wing politics. Indeed, just as you don't have to be Jewish to be a Jewish mother, in Britain you don't actually have to be a Christian to be a Christian-Rightie! Some are atheists/agnostics (e.g. Norman Tebbit) or members of religious minorities (e.g. Melanie Phillips is Jewish and Sayeeda Warsi is Muslim). To them, preserving Christian privilege is basically one part of preserving general social and economic privilege against uppitty types who want greater equality.

But some of the local anti-secularists really are religious fundies. For example, if you want to feel sick, look up 'Christian Concern for Our Nation', founded by Andrea Minichiello Williams, who thinks that the world is 4000 years old; and which now has links with the Alliance Defence Fund. I think that some of the resurgence of the British anti-secularist minority stems from recent battles within the Anglican Church, where some right-wing clergy here and abroad have rebelled against the liberal church leadership. They are particularly preoccupied with being anti-gay, though the ordination of women also features in their complaints, and I think some of them are trying to have a more general baleful political influence.


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