Monday Morning Open Thread - What's on your mind?

How many of you coughed this morning just to have family, friends or co-workers crack a joke/comment about swine flu?

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I have my first ever case of poison ivy

Have never had to worry about it before. I could roll around in the stuff and not get an itch. My arms and legs are covered. Sigh. I guess I grew into a sensitivity to poison ivy. Greeeeat.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Hagan on Sebelius?

So Burr has come out in opposition to confirming Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of HHS. Unfortunate but hardly surprising. Has Sen. Hagan announced support yet?

Dan Besse

Her office says not.

I just called and spoke to Sen. Hagan's Washington office, and was told that she has not yet taken a position on the Sebelius nomination. I encouraged her support for Sebelius.

It would be intolerable for anti-choice radicals and their Republican sheep in the Senate to succeed in derailing the nomination of an outstanding governor like Sebelius, who has stood on principle in this matter in a very challenging state political environment. I encourage all of our readers to call Sen. Hagan's office, 202-224-6342, in support of Kathleen Sebelius.

Dan Besse

Maybe not

but with all respect to our Jayhawker friends, getting going on national health care is even more important. Plus, if the GOPs in the Senate were to actually succeed in blocking an HHS nominee (!) because she's a moderate on choice, we'd certainly be dealing with a filibuster from those idiots on every decent judicial nomination Obama makes. That nonsense has got to be smacked down from the start.

Dan Besse

Senator Burr and the flu

Do you think he sent Mrs. Burr out to buy up all the Tamiflu?

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Tamiflu, duct tape, and cash. He's ready!

Naturally, he wouldn't want to alarm anyone back in the ole home state so he's doing this covertly. I'm guessing we won't be seeing any Congressional junkets to resorts in Mexico this year. The only good news recently is that Chuck Schumer might get the swine flu. Wouldn't be much of DNA/RNA mutation to get him.

Stan Bozarth

Spector Changing Parties to Dem!

just reported at Kos linking to this story by Chris Cilliza!

W00T! 60 vote, filibuster proof majority in the senate! As said in the diary,

This is a nice icing on the cake for the first 100 days.

Glad to see this

I'm expecting more and more moderate R's are feeling like their party has crossed the line into anti-American hate.

Anti-American Hate??

Just curious as to what you mean by that. I would consider myself to fall into that crowd since I believe that the Federal Government is the biggest criminal organization in the history of the world having dropped two nuclear weapons on helpless civilian populations, betrayed and slaughtered untold hundreds of thousands (millions?) of natives, put American citizens in internment camps, provided armed escorts for slave ships, thrown millions in prison for drug offenses, invaded multiple nations to secure markets for multinational corporations, and thousands of other crimes against humanity that are ongoing to this day.

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"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

Do a poll

on each of those accusations, and I guarantee you that the vast majority of Conservatives would call each of them "good things", and the vast majority of Liberals would agree with you that they were "bad things".

You are a Liberal, Dr. Quigley.

Perhaps

I think you are right that most self-described "conservatives" would at the very least be apologists for the atrocities mentioned above, while self-described "liberals" would agree with me that they are crimes against humanity. The problem is that the labels of "liberal" and "conservative" tend to defy consistent definition.

I consider myself a true leftist. The radical left has always correctly identified the state as the most oppressive institution in the history of civilization, while the moderate left (ie progressives, socialists) seek to gain control of the state, and empower it for their own ends. I want to achieve liberal ends via liberal means (egalitarian wealth distribution, peace, tolerance, via dismantling of the state) while progressives/socialists want to achieve these same ends via conservative means (control of a powerful state/coercion).

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"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

Here's the problem:

when Leftist thought strays to the point where it no longer has any faith at all in Collectivist institutions (in practice or in theory), it has entered the realm of Anarchism. The underlying assumption (which is wrong) is that, when individuals trade their independence for the security of Collectivism, their good intentions are drowned out by the inhuman voice of the collective. Which eventually matures into the evil State to which you refer.

In reality, the moral filter of Collectivism works the other way, by focusing the good intentions of the group into action. The collective is also prone to be manipulated by dark-hearted individuals, but only for a time. Under anarchy, however, the options for the dark-hearted are limitless.

Thanks for writing this

I've been looking for the right way to respond. This is right on the money. Dr. Q., appears to be an ideological purist with little or no practical sense about the consequences that would ensue. The free-market fanatics have a similar blind spot.

What do they all have in common? One hundred percent confidence that their ideas will never be put to the test ... which means that can never be proven wrong. Indeed, the desire to be "right" is one of the most fundamental forces in human nature.

Ideology

Utilitarianism or pragmatism is just an empty husk waiting to be filled by whatever ideological perspective might come along. Ideology is the bottom of every belief, and is most dangerous when it goes unrecognized and unchallenged.

I'm extremely cognizant of consequences. Specifically, the consequences of mass-acceptance of an ideology that claims a single institution is vested with a monopoly on the moral authority to use violence. This is the ideology that establishes two alternative sets of ethics: one for the rulers, and one for the subjects. This is the ideology that is responsible for over 100 million deaths in the past century alone, and thousands of years of oppression and tyranny by the few over the many. It's called statism.

If you want to argue that having a parasitic, criminal gang rule over society is a necessary evil, that's one thing. But to delude yourself into believing that the state is anything other than such is a different argument entirely. Let's recognize the state for what it is, and get past all of the statist mythology (that it was created by a "social contract", that it exists to serve "the people", that "the people" control it by voting, that is a voluntary institution, that it possesses some supernatural 'authority' to rule over us, etc).

I'm not an ideological purist - I'm extremely open to a variety of beliefs about how society ought to be structured, what values are most important, etc. The only thing I'm adamant about is rejecting fundamentalist statist mythology. I'm a political atheist.

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"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

Collectivism

I wholeheartedly embrace leftist tendencies towards anarchism. Anarchism is not the same as anti-collectivism - just ask an anarcho-syndicalist like Noam Chomsky. A vitally important distinction must be made between voluntary collective organizations and fictitious, involuntary, and oppressive institutions such as the state and corporation. A collective is legitimate when it exists to serve the individuals that comprise it, and is illegitimate when the individual is forced to serve the collective. Mutual aid societies, neighborhood groups, consumer/labor unions, and most enterprises are voluntary collectives.

On the other hand, the state is nothing more than a criminal gang that rules over society through brute force and ideological indoctrination. This has been documented throughout the history of civilization. So long as there is a state, there will always be class warfare between two classes: those who control/comprise the state, and those who don't. The state has been and always will be manipulated by the dark-hearted individuals who have no qualms about employing violence to pursue their goals. Even in a stateless society there would be a certain portion of individuals who decide to use violence to get what they want. But this problem is only amplified when an institution is created that is given the power and permission to wantonly employ violence supposedly in the name of protecting us from those who wantonly employ violence. Sure, the state half-heartedly goes after the petty criminals in society (and unsurprisingly punishes those who commit crimes against the state much more harshly - treason, stealing from the government, killing an agent of the state, etc) but the truth is that the biggest criminals of our society are the ones in positions of authority. It's the emperor chastising the pirate for molesting the seas when the emperor extorts tribute from entire nations.

Belief in the legitimacy of state power and authority is just a quasi-religious myth that keeps us enslaved by the most wicked among us. Divine right was replaced by democracy, but democracy is just a face-lift on an ancient system of oppression. They claim that "we are the government" but clearly we are not, since I cannot do the things that agents of the state can do. Wars are not conflicts between societies, they are conflicts between the ruling classes of two or more separate power structures competing for turf. But the government insists that "we" are under attack so that the peasant must go fight and die in order that his master retain power. It's so disgusting.

Until we throw away this myth that one single institution has the "right" to rule over us, the progressive aims of equality, tolerance, and peace will never be accomplished. The state is the antithesis of all of these things, and must be replaced by a decentralized network of voluntary collectives.

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"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

Is Virginia Foxx really that stoopid

or does she just believe that if you lie and repeat it often enough it becomes the truth? Today she denied that Matthew Sheppard was a victim of a hate crime while his mother was sitting in the balconey!

Instead she said,

"I also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. This -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills," said Foxx.

Virginia Foxx worst person in the world

Keith calls for her to step down.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.