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608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - As Far As Internet Phe... · 0 replies · +1 points

What about "All Your Base …"?

608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - quote of the day · 0 replies · +1 points

As I Notre Dame graduate, I've been feeling a bit torn about all of this. I also feel so very qualified (Ha!) to write on this. Expect something from me in a few days about this whole embarrassing situation. I may find myself with virtually no allies on the issue by the time I'm done!.

Thanks for this thoughtful excerpt.

608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - In Defense of Corruption* · 0 replies · +1 points

I'll grant, borderline quasi-anarcho-localist that I am, I may buy a little too naïvely into the A-Fs; however, I'm not sure that you're not too pessimistic.

1. I'll concede, at least ninety percent, the first point. However, had bicameralism been established at the state level, with a more aristocratic upper house, it's possible, though, I grant, by no means necessary, that some of these effects may have been mitigated.

2. I'm not so sure at all that, at least in the early days of the confederation, the banding together of states to force legislation through would have been too problematic, simply because the national government would have had far fewer legislative powers under the A-F's vision than we're accustomed to its having. Moreover, under their vision, any state no longer satisfied with the course followed by the confederation certainly would have retained the right to secede and to try its luck on its own or aligned in some way with another nation (Vermont + Quebec = New France?)

3. I never meant to suggest that particular kinds of corruption would vanish, although, certainly, some way. That the state governments, instead, would be those in need of being bought is, doubtless, true. However, at least at the time, with smaller populations, state governments could have been held much more accountable than the far-off national apparatus. Also, the vision of the A-F's was not merely state-oriented (I don't mean to suggest that this is your claim; I'm merely elaborating and expanding), but localist in nature. That, within their states — at least those with stronger A-F decentralist/localist proclivities —they could further have limited government through subsidiarity, so that direct local democracy, based on something akin to Jefferson's ward republics, were the most active source of everyday governance, is certainly plausible

608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - In Defense of Corruption* · 2 replies · +1 points

I must respectfully demur, Joseph. I specifically said "equal representation to all states" for a reason: The Anti-Federalist vision was one in which the national government, in what little role it played, was for the States, and not for the people. The state governments existed for the people.

Bribery, though certainly not wholly escapable, becomes a much smaller problem when the delegations in Washington vote on behalf of their states (That is, the State is the constituency, and not any one person or group of people, other than the State's population, indirectly, through the State government.) and are paid by the state governments, and thus can be removed thereby.

608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - Pop Christianity · 1 reply · +2 points

"Some of the best examples of mainstream Christian thought, rather than pop-Christianity, are the writings of C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien or even Thomas Merton."

What about when good Christian goes pop-Christian? I'm thinking specifically about The (Disneyfied) Chronicles of Narnia. Adaptations can rarely be perfect, but, seriously, Regina Spektor singing the song at the end of Prince Caspian, as Susan and Caspian lament a love the never could be, one not only not in Lewis but hardly possible in the book, given the ages of the children in the book, as opposed to their more mature states in the movie?

Thank you, Hollywood pop-Christians.

608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - In Defense of Corruption* · 4 replies · +1 points

If our national legislature were a unicameral house offering equal representation to all states and composed of representatives paid by the states, and not from the bottomless federal purse, we'd perhaps not to worry about this, and Mr. Murtha could happily serve as an old-school ward boss or small-town mayor.

*removes Anti-Federalist cap*

608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - “But who versus? Who... · 0 replies · +2 points

E.D.: "The individuals who did the torturing are of course complicit and guilty, but their superiors all the way up to the top are equally responsible, and probably more so."

I don't disagree at all, and perhaps in my late-night, Scotch-fueled haze was problematically unclear. I don't mean to clear President Bush, or any other "superior" officer, of culpability. Not in the least. I'm just not comfortable with the verb employed by Schaeffer: Bush, et al. may have given the order, but, ultimately, the soldier forced to obey either conscience or c.o. turned himself into the torturer.

Unless one makes the probably defensible argument that, before any particular situation arose in which he had to make this choice, the psychological impacts of serving (specifically in certain scenarios) already contributed to a certain moral deadening, or dormancy, a more direct result of decisions made by Bush and officers that turned the soldier into a torturer, or at least predisposed him to become one given the opportunity.

608 weeks ago @ The League of Ordinary... - “But who versus? Who... · 0 replies · +2 points

I'm incredibly troubled by this line from Schaeffer:

"“The dishonor that was foisted on our military by President Bush, who turned some of our men and women in uniform into torturers, is being reversed. "

To condemn President Bush for permitting/approving certain morally abhorrent policies is one thing, and a fair one at that. However, to suggest that he turned anyone in a tortures seems to be beyond the pale, to me anyway. Ultimately, the decision to torture or not to torture is one of conscience. A soldier can be loyal to a superior officer who offers an unconscionable order or he can be loyal to his conscience.

I can't fathom what enduring court-martial might do to one's external honor as a soldier; however, I'm well aware of the ineffable sorrow one experiences when he dissents from his conscience on such a grave issue. I'd take my chances with the former, knowing that I'd done right by God and by country, before I'd go with the latter, knowing that I'd done right by the state.