Firing Line Friday: The Socialist Workers’ Party and American Politics

     In the hopes of encouraging a more civil, and illuminating, discourse, here is another episode of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s “Firing Line”.

     Considering the second of the back-to-back Democratic Presidential debates have just concluded, ‘twould be interesting to see an informative interview with the 1968 Socialist Workers’ Party Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, Fred Halstead and Paul Boutelle.

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Omnibus Blues For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms In Nevada

     The one lucky break those who cherish their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms in Nevada got when the omnibus anti-gun bill, AB 291, was passed, was that the repeal of state preemption over anti-gun local laws was dropped from the final bill. With the legislative session over, and the maximum 120 day time limit for said session reached, Nevadans are free from that particular threat to their rights at least until 2021.

     However, the omnibus bill still contains a plethora of different restrictions, some added in at the last moment. A summary of the horrid provisions:

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A Satire of Wokeness

     There is no finer satire than one the begs for the invocation of Poe’s Law. To properly satire, one must understand the target that they are satirizing. A perfect example of that is the Twitter account of Titania McGrath, which is a spot-on satire of a woke elitist. Douglas Carswell interviews the man behind the “Titania McGrath” twitter, Andrew Doyle, and between them present a far more informative picture of the modern Left than one gets from most other sources.

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The Political Age of Leeroy Jenkins

     If there is one thing that both sides of the political spectrum agree on is that Donald Trump has the knack for making people freak out and lose their s**t. Such was the case with a series of tweets attacking a quartet of Democratic members of Congress for being anti-American, and adding a dash of the “America: love it or leave it” attitude which pre-dates the age of Trump. Of course the Democratic quartet reacted and people accused Trump (who is married to an immigrant) of being anti-immigrant, a racist, the toenail of Satan, &c., because they’re already accusing him of all that simply for breathing. Of course, as well, this could have just been about the histrionics of the Democratic quartet, and others on the far Left of the party, self-destruction, if Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip tweeting didn’t go far beyond that to the point of referring to three of the quartet, who are natural born citizens, as having “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” now “telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government it so be run.”

     That he talked about three natural born citizens as if they were immigrants, unsurprisingly led to legitimate criticism of such statements for being factually inaccurate and wrong.

“The only member of the squad who ‘originally came from countries’ beside the U.S. is Ilhan Omar, born in Somalia. Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City, Rashida Tlaib was born in Detroit, and Ayanna Pressley was born in Cincinnati. Three of the four “originally came from” the United States of America, and presumably Trump doesn’t mean that our government is “a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.”

“It is fair to read his remarks as contending that Tlaib should return to the Palestinian territories (her parents immigrated from there), that Ocasio-Cortez should return to Puerto Rico (where her mother was born; Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917), and that Pressley should return to someplace in Africa, even though her mother and father were both U.S. citizens and, to the extent she has discussed her family, her ancestors ‘immigrated’ many generations ago — involuntarily if they were slaves.”

     It was also further pointed out that this was also a political “own goal” that protected the Democratic quartet not only from Democratic leadership trying to rein them, but also dampen criticism from the moderates (including suburban Women who swung enough seats in November 2018 to give the House of Representatives to the Democrats.

“Trump manages to focus in on the least-legitimate lines of criticism, that these women supposedly come from some other country and that they are ‘loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.’ They’re all elected members of Congress. Love them or hate them, they all legitimately won House races in heavily Democratic congressional districts. Each one has the same one vote out of 435 that every other member has.

“At the exact moment that Democrats are realizing the toxicity of identity politics, Donald Trump endorses the notion that these women are defined by where they come from.

“Not only did he attack the ‘squad,’ he managed to do it in a way in which no other prominent Democrat can continue to criticize them publicly, lest they be perceived as echoing the president’s contention that they should go back where they came from. At the exact moment the accusations and counter-accusations were set to do lasting damage, Trump just had to jump in and give them an attack that would unify them all. It often seems like Trump would rather have a bad news cycle that focuses on him than a beneficial news cycle that focuses on someone else.

“Trump could have and should have stayed quiet and let the Democratic infighting worsen and intensify. Failing that, it would have been easy to make a jab free of any xenophobia — something like, ‘Interesting to see “Progressive” Democratic congresswomen contending Nancy Pelosi is racist and that the Congressional Black Caucus doesn’t represent black voices. I’m sure Pelosi would be happy to send them on some long foreign trip to get them out of her hair and out of the headlines!’

“Instead, Trump made a comment that unites Democrats of every stripe and reminds them of their primary objective in the 2020 cycle, winning back the White House. The biggest change from the 2014 and 2016 elections and the 2018 midterms is that the suburbs, and in particular, suburban women, recoiled from Trumpism. Trump fans can argue, ‘ignore the tweets, focus on his policies,’ until they’re blue in the face. Significant numbers of voters in key demographics in key states aren’t willing to compartmentalize like that. Everyone around the president can read a poll and knows that his rage-tweeting is a liability; it is perhaps the biggest liability in a presidency that, with prosperity and a perception of peace, ought to be comfortably cruising to reelection.”

     Likely due to more reserved and reasoned heads, Trump tweeted out a more measured, yet still harsh, attack on the Democratic quartet, that quoted Sen. Linsay Graham:

“… we don’t need to know anything about them personally, talk about their policies. I think they are American citizens who are duly elected that are running on an agenda that is disgusting, that the American people will reject…”

     It is as if each side was going out of it’s way to rile up the other side’s base while using that to drive their own base into a frenzy, both ignoring the moderates, and even many on both the Left and the Right who don’t need to seek emotional catharsis from political rage. We are living, as the following image macro originally posted at RedState indicates, in a political age of Leeroy Jenkins, based off of a meme of a “World of Warcraft character that is known for screaming out his name before ignorantly charging headlong into battle, killing everyone in his party.”

Meme posted on RedState by poster “Bonchie”.

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News of the Week (July 29th, 2019)

 

News of the Week for July 29th, 2019


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Firing Line Friday: The Economics and Politics of Race

     In the hopes of encouraging a more civil, and illuminating, discourse, here is another episode of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s “Firing Line”.

     The question of racism and who is to blame for racial inequality is an old one. When one thinks of two persons of different races discussing the topic, one usually pictures two people shouting past each other and perhaps racial invectives. However, Buckley demonstrates that two serious minded individuals can have an insightful and illuminating discussion and exploration of the topic, even if they are not of the same race. Case in point, his discussion about the economics and politics of race with the brilliant Thomas Sowell.

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Quick Takes – Gallery of Suicide: Canada Harvesting From The Living; Swiss Expanding Euthanasia Clinics; France Killing The Non-Terminal

     Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.

     The focus this time: One way or another, they’re gonna find ya, they’re gonna getcha!

     First, a little mood music:

     Carrying on…

Canada seems increasingly inclined to treat a patient to be euthanized less as a way to end pain and more a way to begin organ harvesting.

“Canada has enthusiastically embraced euthanasia and all of its implications.

“For example, following the crassly utilitarianism of Belgium and the Netherlands, the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association has published guidelines — written by a ‘blue ribbon panel,’ don’t you know! — to govern when organ donation follows death by lethal injection euthanasia, a bureaucratic procedure that I bluntly call ‘kill and harvest.’

“…

“From, ‘Organ Donation After Medical Assistance in Dying Offers Possibilities:’

A new approach discussed in the commentary makes possible organ donation after MAID at home. The death occurs at home after which anesthesia drugs and life support are used to maintain the body during transport to hospital for organ donation.

“In other words, the patient would be killed — and then resuscitated — not to save his life but maintain the viability of the organs.”

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Loyalty And Nationalism

     The difference between a “nationalist” and it’s purported antithesis of “globalism” (said boogie-man being variously trans-national corporations, international Communism, the Stonecutters, &c.), is for many, more of a proxy for the division of the hoi polloi and their populist white knights vs. elites who are seen as conspiring against the people.

     An interesting example of this come from Glenn Reynolds (AKA “Instapundit”) and his response to a quote by Congressman Justin Amash, who quite the Republican Party over Trump. Amash is quoted as saying:

“I started to hear [the word] nationalism more and more. And that’s a concept that really is about a love for your people simply by virtue of being your people, not related to any principles you hold or what your country stands for, what ideals you’re striving for.”

     Clearly, Amash is denouncing a collectivist form of nationalism that substitutes unity of a people through common mores, folkways, traditions, and heritage (that is, the American Essence) with a blind loyalty based on mere common government or, worse yet, blut und boden. In that vein, he is right to condemn those who eschew defining traits to settle into an intra-tribalism wherein one defends one’s own defined “tribe” be they right to wrong. The irony that those who push this are seeking to divide and destroy the nation by destroying the common society and community is lost on them, but then that is why they need a globalist conspiracy to blame rather than admit that they see tens of millions (if not a hundred million or more) of their fellow American as an enemy to be crushed, and who in turn would crush them first.

     Mr. Reynold’s response seems to miss Rep. Amash’s point.

“Yes, Justin. Voters like the idea that the people who govern them are loyal to them”

     The loyalty of the people who govern us ought to be not to some majority, or plurality, of voters, but to those common social norms and beliefs that define us as a united people. An elected representative, judge, or executive officer work on the behalf of all Americans they represent, rather than be a promise list that some subset of those people wanted to inflict on the rest. No, they have no duty to be loyal to any trans-national governance or globalist ideology, and would disserve the people they represent or govern for if they had such loyalties just as much as if they let factionalism denigrate the common and beneficent governance of all the people they represent or govern for; it is not, then a manichean choice between the two.

“Nationalism is unpopular with elites because it involves such loyalty, and loyalty to one’s own people limits one’s options in ways that our governing class finds unacceptable.”

     Nationalism does not equate with loyalty to those common social norms, traditions, and heritage that defines us. The reason that the term patriotism is superior to nationalism is because the former necessarily elevated those common elements that defines us as a people, while for the later it is ancillary. After all, a nationalist could very well demand a fundamental transformation of America if that is what the “nation” wants (or what the leaders decide the collective will demands). A patriot would defend those beliefs and traditions that are part and parcel of what makes America America. A nationalist, on the other hand, may very well also be a patriot and hold those things sacred, but then one could be an American Nationalist and believe in collective ownership, lack of basic civil liberties, or of disenfranchising those they deem enemies of the nation and “outside of the body politic”.

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Rights And Obligations of Adulthood

     The age of majority in the United States is, for the most part, recognized as eighteen, this being de facto enshrined in the Constitution via the 26th Amendment which guarantees the right to vote at said age of eighteen. As had bee noted before, if one can be trusted to wield the vote, and the power over others that it carries, then one can be trusted to exercise any and all other rights and privileges that those twenty-one years of age or older may. However, the flip side of the consequences of being an adult is that they have all the obligations and duties of any other adult, including the obligation of accepting and owning the consequences of their actions in a way that a minor, who is not competent enough to be held fully responsible for their actions and the choices they make. After all, if one is not competent to run their own affairs and live their own lives with the capacity to understand what they are doing and the consequences thereof, then why should they be considered competent to run the affairs and lives of others via the ballot box?

Pictured: Typical 20 Year Old According To The State of Vermont (And Soon According to Other States).

     Massachusetts, following the footsteps of Vermont, wants to relieve minors under the age of twenty-one of the responsibility for their own criminal actions.

“In Massachusetts, suspected criminal offenders are typically prosecuted as adults if they are 18 or older. Last year, state lawmakers tried without success to raise the age to 19. And now there’s an attempt to go even further and raise the age to 21.

“It’s part of a small but growing effort, rooted mostly in the Northeast, with lawmakers in Connecticut, New York, and Illinois filing similar bills that they say would keep young offenders out of the adult criminal justice system, helping with their rehabilitation.

“In 2016, Vermont became the first state to pass such a law, allowing those under 21 to be treated as juveniles.

“Advocates say that teenagers and young adults do not yet have the brain development to allow them to fully gauge their actions, so they should not be held to the same level of responsibility as adults.”

     Let alone vote, how could someone that the state can not trust to be responsible for breaking the law be trusted to sign contracts, get a loan, or otherwise do anything that requires the person in question to be responsible for violating their lawful agreements?

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The One That Got Away From The NHS’ Infanticide Fetish

     The United Kingdom’s NHS (National Healthcare Service) is well known for it penchant for killing off patients via the “Liverpool Care Pathway”, especially when it comes to children. As had been seen with the cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, the NHS will declare a child incurable and then prevent parents from taking their children to other countries for private care. It is a miracle, then, that a child who the NHS deemed incurable was able to go to the Unites States to receive life-saving surgery that left the child happy and healthy.

“Most parents would readily cross oceans to save their child’s life, with no thought as to the cost or distance. But for some children in the UK, like Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, that simply wasn’t an option they were given. Oliver Cameron is one of the fortunate ones, though, and thanks to the tireless efforts of his parents and doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital, Oliver is alive and thriving today.

“When Oliver was born in the United Kingdom, he had a large, non-cancerous tumor in his heart, called a cardiac fibroma. It was so rare that doctors in the UK weren’t able to treat it. Only a handful had even seen it.

“…

“The Camerons were exceedingly fortunate that they were able to bring Oliver to the United States to receive treatment. It’s a blessing not given to everyone, denied most notably to toddlers Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans. The parents of both boys were told that treatment was futile and that they should just be allowed to die; when the parents raised money to seek treatment outside of the United Kingdom, hospitals and courts refused to allow it, and forced both boys to be removed from life support.

“In Oliver’s case, had his parents not fought for him to go to the United States for treatment, he would have needed to wait for a heart transplant — and as infant heart transplants are exceedingly rare, there is a good possibility he would have died waiting. It stands to reason that parents should have the right to seek medical care outside of the United Kingdom for their children, even if the NHS thinks treatment will fail or is futile.”

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