Muhammad would have embraced Jesus; I'm not so sure about reciprocation, though. Jesus had a thing about false prophets, and we could probably argue for a century about how he would have regarded Muhammad without achieving a firm conclusion.
Originally Posted by Kadark
But Newton and Byron? Newton was a bitterly obsessive, buggering alchemist. Byron was a serial adulterer who abandoned his daughter. Although I admit it would be absolutely fascinating to listen to Jesus and Byron get drunk and argue about Napoleon.
It is my opinion that liberalism changes more slowly. Liberal aspirations have yet to be realized; conservative ambitions look back to former conditions. And while their core philosophies remain fairly stable, the interpretations and manifestations of those perspectives evolve differently. Liberal notions of equality and justice, being abstract, can find much in common with their former expressions. You can find in Wollstonecroft, Beethoven, Byron, Shelly, and the aforementioned Luddites, at least, ideas that still have great sympathy in the twenty-first century. Their contemporary conservatives are—at least in the United States—largely extinct. To the other, though, the Golden Ages to which conservatives aspire change at the very least with each generation. Very few "true conservatives" would admit to yearning for black slavery. Indeed, I doubt such sympathizers exist in any significant numbers.
Liberalism is now what it was centuries ago: fervent support for progression, power to the state, and openness to change, even if it is rapid. Conservatism's history favors tradition, sensible spending, free market emphasis, and gradual change. I understand your point: the notions of liberalism and conservatism constantly evolve in response to contemporary conditions, but it seems as if both retain their core philosophies.
Part of this is the nature of politics. Americans are so hung up on the idea of selling out that "compromise" is very nearly a dirty word. I voted for Clinton twice, yet I will still make the joke that he was the best Republican president ever.
Connecting this to our modern day, I'd say the American Republicans in office have shown liberal tendencies (there goes my neutrality!), and have completely ignored vintage conservatism (which, I might add, they claim to adhere to).
Well, until Dubya, but that's another issue that involves a redefinition of the standard.
Sex and drugs? Conservatives have been as intrusive as liberals, and for reasons I consider more sinister. While a liberal might foolishly believe that a war on drugs will benefit society in general, conservatives are motivated by the greed of commerce. It is no coincidence that marijuana became effectively illegal (The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937) a year after DuPont introduced nylon. (Hemp rope would, with Congressional help, be supplanted by nylon rope.) Indeed, whenever hemp and medical marijuana come up on state ballots, you'll find timber and textile money in the opposition.
I'm sorry, but I cannot picture a self-described conservative participating in so many off-shore wars/campaigns, overtly destroying the citizenry's privacy and liberties, and spending so much money. Isn't Bush the biggest spending president in all of American history (ousting the infamous LBJ)?
The strange union of sociomoral and economic conservatives is a tremendous example of the effects of compromise in its more profane context. How is it that American Christians came to so vigorously oppose a philosophy (Communism) that took up a motto from the Acts of the Apostles? Indeed, our money reads, "In God We Trust," as a direct response to the perceived godlessness of Soviet Communism.
And, frankly, the moral intrusions into people's bedrooms are part of the undoing of the alleged libertarian streak among conservatives. While they vociferously oppose commercial regulation as invasive, conservatives have long and enthusiastically sought regulation of consenting sexual behavior.
In consideration of privacy and liberties, I would go so far as to suggest that we ought not be surprised. The judicial foundations supporting legislated patriotism, domestic espionage, and the like can be found in the Drug War. Over and over again, courts bent over backwards to accommodate the Drug Warriors. While judges would often defy sentencing regulations in other cases, they often pled, "My hands are tied," before sentencing convicted drug possessors to disproportionate prison terms. An example would be Apprendi v. New Jersey, in which a federal court struck down certain hate-crime legislation. While many of us find the idea of victimizing someone for mere ethnicity repugnant, the greatest public concern pertained to the Drug War, because the basis for the Apprendi decision also pertained to drug sentencing. Sure, it may be wrong to sentence someone for a crime a jury did not convict them of, but if it's drugs ....
The Fourth Amendment suffered greatly during the Drug War, and continues to endure a disgraceful siege during the so-called War on Terror.
Conservatives also are fans of the pejorative "tax and spend", yet what they mean is the idea of spending money on the people at large. When it comes to military spending, they have no real compunctions about breaking the treasury. After all, they're giving public money to their friends instead of the common rabble. Bush may be the biggest spender in presidential history, but that in and of itself doesn't concern conservatives so much as the way he did it. He favored the rich with tax policies, which conservatives like, but didn't make up the shortfall by taking enough from the working classes, which upset them. But this was a matter of political compromise; had he hit the working classes in order to clear the red ink, he would not have won in 2004.
The willpower issue is an interesting theory; don't let me stop you from expounding on it. And, certainly, an oligarchic economy is problematic. But a wholesale reconstruction of our monetary system that does not account for the $48 trillion in American debt will bring disaster. While there might be some romantic appeal about the notion of hard money, practical details present certain challenges.
I think abandoning the "hard money" concept has destroyed much of America's willpower, and has put its economical control into the hands of a few men (many of whom are foreign).
Richard Lawrence was so ill that he was acquitted according to an insanity defense. The jury deliberated for all of five minutes before returning their verdict. Among his apparent claims were that he was an heir to the British throne, that Jackson had thwarted his attempt to claim the Crown, and that Jackson had murdered his father.
Favoring hard money gets people in deep trouble, Tiassa - even if they're supposedly on top of the food chain. Why do you think Richard Lawrence shot two bullets in an attempt to claim Old Hickory's life? He vetoed the charter to the Second Bank of the United States, and ordered public lands to be purchased with hard money, and hard money only. Hard money helped finance Lincoln's efforts in the Civil War, when the bankers of yesterday (who very much resemble the bankers of today) demanded up to 36 percent interest on the loans Honest Abe needed. You can spin it any way you like, but the truth remains unchanged: the greenback killed Lincoln, and the silverback killed Kennedy. If these attempts to reform America's defunct, hopeless monetary policies have failed due to cold-blooded assassinations, you have to wonder why this practice is so adamantly frowned upon.
And while prior years might have suppressed the hard money angle of the Lincoln assassination, I confess that I'm struck by the relative dearth of discussion about this theory in the internet age. Although I did find a discussion of a Freemason conspiracy that has to do with the British Crown.
As to Kennedy, perhaps you can help pin down his apparent reversal in policy. From a 1960 speech in Terre Haute, Indiana:
Or perhaps I read you wrongly. If I have, help me understand why you included Kennedy in that list, please.
I want to emphasize that what we do here, and the kind of society we build here, affects our position around the world. The strength of the United States depends on the strength of Indiana, Pittsburgh, Detroit, California. If this country is moving forward, if we are producing to our maximum, there is no country in the world that can catch us. The United States produced about one-third of the rate of economic growth last year as the Soviet Union, one-half that of Germany. If we were using our steel mills to the fullest, if we had an agricultural program that maintained farmers' income, if small business in this country was prosperous, if the monetary and fiscal policies of this administration did not rest on a high interest, hard money policy, then the economy of this country would move and no one could catch the United States. But if we drift, if we use our people and our resources at slow speed, then at a time when the world is in turmoil and in revolution, people to the South of us, people in Africa, people in Asia are going to determine that the way of the future belongs to the Communists.
(Senator John F. Kennedy
That someone may have thought of shooting Ron Paul for whatever reason would not surprise me anymore than the idea that alleged meth-heads wanted to kill Barack Obama for being black.
I've even read, albeit only Internet rumors, that Ron Paul was an assassination target because he wanted to deconstruct the Federal Reserve System. And why not? The F.R.S.'s private owners have robbed Americans out of billions of hard-earned dollars. If one old man posed a threat to your elaborate money-making scheme, wouldn't you try to silence him?
And well should Garfield know.
As James Garfield, a former American president who died of an assassin, once said: "Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce… And when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate."
I will note that privatization is a conservative plank. But while there is no question that the Federal Reserve is a mess, the question of its theory—that is, what it is supposed to do—is now so integral to American function that a complete vacuum would cause tremendous harm. The reform of the system is one thing, but the forfeiture of its purpose would strike deep at the American economic heart. While it might make for a popular cause in some quarters, the notion such as it is right now is dangerously myopic.
I don't want to go too far off topic, so I'll end with this: the Federal Reserve System has to go. It's robbing Americans of their money, and it's a private institution, which is a recipe for disaster. Who controls the shareholdings of the Federal Reserve?
While Paul might be attempting to address the issue, I have yet to see anything more than superficial appeals to libertarian demagoguery.
Here's a significant list:
1. Rothchild banks of London and Berlin.
2. Lazard Brothers Banks of Paris.
3. Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy.
4. Warburg Bank of Hamburg and Amsterdam.
5. Lehman Brothers Bank of New York.
6. Kuhn, Loeb bank of New York.
7. Chase Manhattan Bank of New York, which controls all of the other 11 Federal Rwerve Banks.
8. Goldman, Sachs Bank of New York.
That doesn't look right, no matter which way you spin it. Ultimately, we should never forget the fact that millions of Americans, both past and present, have suffered from the inflation of paper money, and the articifial depressions which it creates. Ron Paul, for better or for worse, is the only candidate addressing this issue. The rest are too busy swimming in lobbyist money.
This is not necessarily a question of involvement itself, but the manner of involvement. Shortchanging and politically manipulating the federal educational outlook corrupts it.
So how has government's involvement benefited the educational system as of recent? It hasn't, and as history will show us, it can't.
∏ does not equal 3.0. "Intelligent design" is not a science. In recent years, our more conservative elements have done the greatest damage to the Department of Education. Former Secretary Rod Paige called teachers terrorists, which, while not entirely relevant here, doesn't help. But Secretary Spellings took some heat a couple years ago for attempting to inject conservative moralism into literacy programs. This is reflective of an old joke:
You seem to be proposing a government administered, nationwide educational program - a one size fits all, so to speak. I disagree with that.
A Democrat will tell you he can make you richer, smarter, more handsome, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. A Republican will tell you what's wrong with government, get elected, and then prove it.
So much of what American conservatives fear is of their own doing and ambition that we might wonder how this comes to be. The GOP lockstep behind the President, for instance; and there was the disgraceful Schiavo fiasco, with a doctor pretending a diagnosis based on a videotape. And both the greed and sexual excess of American culture so lamented by social conservatives is the produce of economic conservatives. The FISA debate suggests the American political discourse has moved to the right; what was once a conservative distrust of government is now reserved for the leftist fringe. And as the Haymarket Martyrs were told, they were not sentenced to death for murder, but because they were Anarchists. They were framed in order to relieve the pressure leftists were putting on corporate greed.
But back to education. The purpose of educational standards is one of equal opportunity. Consider two students with high school diplomas. One can spell, the other can't. The one can work the scientific method; the other refuses, on customary principle, the idea of a testable hypothesis. Which one will get into the better college? Which one will perform better? Which will get a better job? Whatever the federal government's role in education might be, it certainly is not to encourage such disparate results.
Harmonious balance? There is something to that. But for all the contentious debate about equal opportunity, students should have reasonable access to proper information and method. Otherwise, they find themselves at a gross disadvantage.
That's almost an arbitrary answer. Should we undo the Fourteenth Amendment? History demonstrates the results of its absence. And, indeed, history demonstrates the determination of many people to enforce inequality despite it. (Why did women's suffrage require a separate amendment?)
Ideally, as far back as it can go.
It would be interesting to see how he addresses the constitutional issues of Roe v. Wade.
His constitutionalism is highly admirable, whether or not you admire him as a candidate.
Well, maybe in terms of banging interns, or whatever. But he had no compunctions about lending his name and credibility to racists until it became politically problematic.
He's honest, scandal-free ...
Constitutional adherence is not, to borrow a phrase, "one size fits all". Abortion, gender discrimination, free speech, the right to bear arms, unreasonable search and seizure, executive power, and even the concept of a veto are subjects of debate. The list goes on.
... and knows that America functions best when it adheres to its constitution.
They usually do. Although this time, I confess the nature of their mockery is a bit different from what we're accustomed to.
Which brings me to the original topic: the Republicans in power today have made a complete mockery out of the constitution.
Something about the general and the particular goes here. And also something about Democrats understanding what they were voting for.
Wasn't there something within that soggy old parchment which demanded Congress's approval before carrying out acts of war? I could have sworn I saw that somewhere ...
It seems plausible, and the explanation could prove fascinating.
Hmm ... it could be a combination of both. Consider this: the true conservatives have drastically reduced in numbers, for reasons I would rather not explain. Does that seem plausible?
I don't mind at all.
Two personal questions, Tiassa, if you don't mind:
1) Do you consider yourself a conservative, liberal, a mix, or something else? It's always important to know in a discussion like this. I'm thinking liberal, but who knows what you say in your textbook posts?
2) Pertaining to our "hard money" conversation, have you ever read G. Edward Griffin's The Creature From Jekyll Island? Although it's a 600-page behemoth, it truly is an interesting page turner. I'm sure somebody as well-read as yourself has at least come across the title once or twice.
(1) I'm liberal to the point of being leftist, although I tend to disagree with many of my fellows. I have both Marxist and Anarchist sympathies, and find myself well to the left of the Democratic Party. In voting for Obama, for instance, I will be making a substantial concession to the right wing. It's important enough this year. If Gore hadn't won my state in 2000, I would have felt very badly about voting third-party._____________________
(2) Actually, I seem to have missed Griffin's book. The reviews I just read on Amazon, suggest an interesting book. The book exists in my local library system; but is currently on hold. I'll add myself to the list and give it a look. Thanks.
Kennedy, Sen. John F. "Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Courthouse, Terre Haute, IN". October 5, 1960. The American Presidency Project at University of California Santa Barbara. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=60428
Kane, Paul. "Authorities: No Credible Threat Posed To Obama". Washington Post. August 27, 2008; page A23. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...082603791.html
Rieckhoff, Paul. "Bush's Incredible Invisible Veto: Veterans Caught in the Middle Again". The Huffington Post. January 11, 2008. Bush's Incredible Invisible Veto: Veterans Caught in the Middle Again