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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pope Francis and the Death Penalty

Pope Francis recently announced that capital punishment “is in itself contrary to the Gospel.”

Traditional Catholics, whose failure to understand the Gospel is legendary, began caterwauling precisely on schedule.

So, let's review the basics of moral theology again.

We can inflict a natural evil (e.g., the pain of surgery) if we have legitimate hope that a natural good will result that is greater than the natural evil. However, we cannot inflict a moral evil at all.

Thus, we cannot take a human life (commit murder via euthanasia or abortion), even if this would restore a natural good (e.g., financial well-being to the family, health of the mother). We cannot torture another person, even if we have legitimate reason to hope that the tortured person will give up information that will prevent a great physical catastrophe. John Paul II pointed out that, given the current cultural climate, there were virtually no circumstances under which capital punishment was legitimate. Pope Francis merely stands with JP II.

Christ came to give life, and that abundantly.
He didn't come to take it.
In that sense, capital punishment has always been against the Gospel. And, it is worth keeping in mind that the Church has never, herself, imposed the death penalty. At most, she handed heretics over to the secular authority. Sometimes, the secular authority chose to execute the heretic, reasoning that anyone who was willing to rebel against God would have few cavils about rebelling against a human monarch. Other secular authorities (I'm looking at you, monarchs and princes who protected the likes of Jan Hus, Martin Luther and John Wycliffe) decided they liked what the heretic had to say and either left him alone, or actually supported him. But the death penalty was always and only a secular affair, never a sentence imposed by the Church.

If the Church has permitted it, She has permitted it in the same way that Aquinas and Augustine were willing to permit prostitution, and the same way God Himself permitted divorce - not because it is a legitimate right, but because they were dealing with stiff-necked people.

"Stiff-necked people" ... That would be us.

By grumbling against Christ's mercy, shown forth in the Holy Father's words, we are acting like Korah and his associates. That didn't work out well for them.

Now, I don't expect this article to sway traditionalists. After all, when the people were told by Moses, "Look, I'm going to let God judge between me and Korah. If the ground opens up and swallows Korah and all his people in a flaming crack, then maybe you will admit that I was not entirely wrong." And when the ground opened up in a flaming crack and swallowed Korah, along with all his followers, the people - remembering Moses' warning - instantly responded, "See? Moses killed Korah."

Because that's how people are.
They don't like to admit that they are ignorant or idiots.
But for the rest of you - people who can be reasoned with, that is - these words should be sufficient.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Self-contradictory Evolutionists

"One of the best-known segregation distorters is the so-called t gene in mice. When a mouse has two t genes it either dies young or is sterile, t is therefore said to be 'lethal' in the homozygous state. If a male mouse has only one t gene it will be a normal, healthy mouse except in one remarkable respect. If you examine such a male's sperms you will find that up to 95 per cent of them contain the t gene, only 5 per cent the normal allele. This is obviously a gross distortion of the 50 per cent ratio that we expect. Whenever, in a wild population, a t allele happens to arise by mutation, it immediately spreads like a brash fire. How could it not, when it has such a huge unfair - advantage in the meiotic lottery? It spreads so fast that, pretty soon, large numbers of individuals in the population inherit the t gene in double dose (that is, from both their - parents). These individuals die or are sterile, and before long the whole local population is likely to be driven extinct. There is some evidence that wild populations of mice have, in the past, gone extinct through epidemics of t genes."
The quote above, taken from Richard Dawkin's book, The Selfish Gene (p. 236), should be combined with Dawkin's theory of memes, described on p. 192:
Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain. As my colleague N. K. Humphrey neatly summed up an earlier draft of this chapter:’. .. memes should be regarded as living structures, not just metaphorically but technically.* When you plant a fertile meme in my mind you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme's propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell. And this isn't just a way of talking — the meme for, say, "belief in life after death" is actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure in the nervous systems of individual men the world over.' 
When these two ideas are combined, we see the idea that contraception is a "good" thing is simply a meme which burns through the human population in much the same way that a t gene burns through a mouse population. Both the meme and the gene drive the afflicted population towards extinction.

Thus, it is a commonplace that evolutionists who claim to promote evolution, show by their lack of child-rearing that they don't actually believe in evolution:

This is the great lesson of the movie Idiocracy.
The idiots portrayed in the movie weren't the ones who had children.
The biggest idiots in the movie were the ones who did not.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Why Corporations Back Wealth Redistribution

This lament about Obamacare from a website that celebrates the free market is deeply ironic. No one on the website realizes that government does not distort the free market, rather, government is a legitimate market actor whose purpose is to enforce the wishes of the corporations that engage in free market activity. The sentence above summarizes why corporations write laws requiring wealth redistribution AND why corporations pay legislators to pass and enforce legislation that redistributes wealth. 
When it comes to the health care industry, the principle is quite, quite simple:
Sick people spend health care dollars on themselves.
Healthy people do not.
If medical corporations want to tap into the wealth healthy people have, that wealth must first be redistributed to the only people who would spend it on health products, i.e., sick people.
But what is true for medical corporations is true for EVERY corporation. Corporations need to get at hidden wealth in order to keep growing. So, it is in every corporation's interest to encourage wealth redistribution from the rich to the poor. Warren Buffett is unlikely to spend $2 billion dollars in 24 hours. But, take that $2 billion, divvy it up among a half million relatively poor people, and all that money will be spent on corporate products in a single day with hours to spare.
Corporate owners want to grow their stash of cash. The corporations they run need to tap all locked up cash stashes. So, the corporate owners want laws that touch other people's stash, but not their own. And this is the kind of law they direct their lobbyists to write, get passed and have enforced. That means the wealth redistribution will always happen among the 99%.
This is the purpose of government in a free market: to grow corporate owners' cash piles while stripping money from everyone else. Welcome to the free market.

Real free market capitalists point out that natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, seem to increase GDP, but actually don't. The money that goes into rebuilding is, in a sense, wasted. Instead of using that money on new ideas, new products, new processes, it has to be plowed into rebuilding existing infrastructure. That's why most economists consider natural disasters a drain on the economy, and not a boon: we have to pay for the same window twice, once when we put it in, and again when the storm breaks it.

From the corporate point of view, ending subsidies is identical to enduring a hurricane. The end of subsidies for insurance companies is good for you and me, the little guys who get paid to replace the broken window, but it's bad business for the businesses that were getting the subsidies. They just lost revenue stream.
Now they will have to buy a whole new raft of legislators to get that revenue back. The hurricane has struck their coast. The money the corporations have to spend on re-buying all those legislators and all that legislation is, from their point of view, wasted. It is money that could have been spent elsewhere. Now the corps are going to have to re-buy what had once been a settled stream of revenue. This is very destructive, from the corporate point of view.

We cry for them. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why College Students Hate America

Elite colleges train their students to be corporate and government executives. Corporations write the laws and pay the legislators to pass and enforce the laws. Government is an extension of business.

International corporations cannot afford nationalism.
It cuts into their profits.

So, colleges, which are bought and paid for by corporate America, train the future leaders of business and government to deprecate nationalism and patriotism. Corporate capitalism can't afford those value sets.

Plato and Aristotle taught the importance of ethics for the sustenance of the city-state, developing one's personal virtues in order to support the state.

Christianity taught the importance of morality for the Kingdom of God, developing one's personal virtues in order to better reflect the image of God in one's own person.

Today, corporations teach corporate values. This includes being "open-minded", being tolerant, being ignorant of history, culture and art. Cultural diversity is prized because it decreases solidarity and reduces political involvement while increasing spending. Hedonism is encouraged, responsibility discouraged. Our colleges teach this because they, like government, are a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate America.

Just follow the money, folks.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On the Error of John Cardinal Newman

Blessed John Cardinal Newman outlined his belief in an active laity as follows:
“I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold, and what they do not, who know their creed so well, that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.”
Given that literally half (50%) of the population has an IQ below 100, it is also literally impossible for the laity to ever achieve such a lofty vision. Newman, of all people, should have understood that to different people are given different gifts, and that not all gifts are intellectual.

The beauty and strength of the Catholic Faith does not lie in how intelligent it is (though it is intelligent), nor how defensible it is (though it is eminently defensible).

Rather, the beauty and strength of the Catholic Faith rests only and completely in the fact that through it, any man breathing can be saved.

The rest is, as they say, gravy.

Cardinal Newman cannot want what cannot be. What he describes cannot be, for not all have the particular gifts that he holds up for admiration in the passage above. Rather, as Aquinas points out, the greatest grace lies in the uneducated peasant who can do none of the things Newman outlines, yet remains in the Faith because he cannot, in his bones, do anything but cling to the Truth which shines forth in his very being. It is not only the heavens that tell the glory of God. His glory shines forth in the simple and achingly beautiful existence of every human being. Human existence alone gives an account of the Faith, perhaps incomplete, certainly somewhat inchoate, but ultimately compelling nonetheless.

And that is the only laity Cardinal Newman, or any other ordained man, will ever truly have.
It is enough.

Why Same-Sex Marriage is Nonsense

What is the etymology of the word marriage?

Marriage, and the related word "matrimony" derives from the Old French word matremoine, which appears around 1300 CE and ultimately derives from Latin mātrimōnium, which combines two concepts: mater meaning "mother" and the suffix -monium signifying "action, state, or condition".

In ancient Rome, a man who entered into this state with a woman was, by that act, promising to confer upon her the title of "mater" or mother, especially a mother who bears children who can inherit. Children who can inherit property are said to have "legitimate" rights to property, in contrast to "bastards", who are defined as children without even theoretical rights to inherit property. If a legitimate heir died, the family property would go to a cousin or other near relative, but could not be given to a bastard child, if only because the man had not conferred legal status to inherit upon the mother he conceived with or her children conceived by her.

The state of matrimony was a legal state that concerned children's rights of inheritance. Love had no necessary standing in that legal relationship. While many other meanings have been added to the word "matrimony" over the millennia, this basic meaning is still retained, and is still foundational.

So, to put it simply, matrimony/marriage is the gift of legitimate children bestowed by a man upon a woman. By impregnating her within a legally binding agreement, the man confers upon the woman the title "mother" and confers upon their children the right to property.

Once this is understood, it is easy to see why "same-sex marriage" is a nonsense phrase.

Friday, October 06, 2017

A Second Amendment Problem

As regular readers of this blog know, I have no issue with private citizens owning weapons. Both the Second Amendment and the body of the Constitution itself, by dint of the Letters of Marque, arguably allow private citizens to own any weapon they can lay their hands on, up to and including nuclear weapons.

So, if you want to carry guns to go hunting, for self defense, or just because you really, really like guns, I have no issue with that. The problem arises with the people who insist that they have the right to own guns in order to protect themselves from the government. That particular reading of the Constitution is essentially impossible to make.

The first problem in such a reading resides in the Constitutional text itself: both the "Letters of Marque" in Article 1, and the "well-ordered militia" of the Second Amendment imply that citizens may own weapons in order to defend their local group/community or the country at large. There is no hint in the Constitution that widespread gun ownership by citizens should be allowed in order to facilitate the government's overthrow.

The reason is quite obvious: if that meaning were contained within the Constitution, then every patriotic American should always be fully prepared to shoot Americans in the head. Specifically, we have the right to shoot American politicians, American soldiers and American police officers in the head. But the Constitution says no such thing: indeed, Article I, Section 8 specifically says the militia exists to put down insurrection, not to start one. Now, you might argue that any government official who violates the letter or the spirit of the Constitution is himself engaged in insurrection. But who gets to determine how that works?

If this reading were accurate, then we should see quite a bit of commentary from the Founding Fathers encouraging the killing of American politicians, law officers and soldiers. And, while we see lovely sentiments about the Tree of Liberty being refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots, the Founding Fathers were silent about the specifics of when and how that was supposed to happen.

In fact, George Washington himself seems to have been something of a hypocrite on the point. After all, when private citizens treated American whiskey taxation as an illegal government intrusion into their lives, President Washington refused to advocate that these poor, overtaxed Americans go out and kill American government forces and officials. Instead, Washington personally led an army of American soldiers into the hill country to put down the "Whiskey Rebellion". This was the first (and last) time an American President led American troops into battle, and he did it against American citizens, no less.

Now, notice what Washington did not do. He did not, he never, argued that American citizens should be disarmed. But, neither did he expect American citizens to shoot him out of his saddle for trampling their rights. Nor did they. They melted away before Washington and his army ever encountered the armed opposition.

But therein lies the nub of the real problem with the popular revolutionary reading of the Second Amendment. Many today argue: "If government officials are violating their own oaths to uphold the Constitution, then shoot them. They won't be 'American soldiers' then, they will be just another gang of thugs. The first and foremost duty both of American government and American military is to uphold, preserve and protect the Constitution of the U.S. Consequently, an American soldier who refuses to do so or who accepts orders contrary to the Constitution ceases being an American soldier at that point and becomes a war criminal."

If that theory is correct, if the armed Americans opposing Washington's whiskey tax were correct, then those American citizens had a Constitutional right, nay, a Constitutional duty, to shoot Washington out of his saddle and kill every man-jack he led into battle along with him. Now, anyone who insists the Constitution implies an American right to engage in armed conflict against America's government officials can have no serious problem with the Battle of Athens. The tale of young American soldiers taking up arms against a corrupt local Tennessee government after World War II is well-known, or should be. But, can they have any philosophical problem with the shooting of Gabby Gifford or Steven Scalise? For, if the Constitution enshrines a right to violently overthrow a rapacious government, then the Second Amendment not only gives me the right to bear arms, it also gives me the right to be judge, jury and executioner of government officials. After all, I have to have the right to determine exactly when the government has become so rapacious that I must need take up arms.

As I said, I have no problem at all with the right to own weapons. But, at what point do I have a right to open fire on American government representatives? We can invoke the problem faced by the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, but that is precisely the point. If the government is harassing a lone individual, does he have a right to open fire? How are we to distinguish such a lone individual from a lone psychopath?

He will be shooting a police officer or soldier or politician who has a family, a spouse, children, a cute little dog. Sure, the man was being harassed, but he should have gone through the proper channels. And what if he had done? Now does he have the right? Or do we have to wait until the government oppresses groups of people? How large a group must be oppressed before the individuals in that group have a right to open fire? What rights need to be trampled before we break out our private arsenals: our handguns, rifles, tanks, fighter jets, aircraft carriers and nukes? Can I start shooting if I believe the rumors of the gas chambers? Or do I have to personally see the shower rooms and the bodies? And what if there turns out to be no gas chambers at the internment camps where FDR sent the Japanese? Was I still right to start shooting?

Invoking Constitutional rights becomes even more problematic when we remember that, technically speaking, the Constitution is an illegal document. According to the Articles of Confederation, the Articles could not be replaced except by unanimous consent. So, technically, by September 13, 1788, eleven states had illegally seceded from the Articles. If North Carolina and Rhode Island had had the military capacity, they could legally have declared the Constitution a rebellion and forced the eleven ratifying states back into the Articles in exactly the same way Lincoln forced the Southern States back into the Constitution eighty years later. In fact, the states arguably had more legal support to treat the Constitution as a rebellion than Lincoln had to treat the Confederacy as one.

Legal is not the same as moral, of course. The national socialists in Germany were always very careful to pass an enabling law before they inflicted any harm on anyone. As more than one commentator pointed out, the camps and their processes were all legal. Everything was perfectly in order in that respect. But this was also true of the American interment camps. Both Hitler and FDR took care to satisfy the legal niceties, but gave little thought to the moral niceties.

There is no legal support for the idea that the Second Amendment empowers American citizens to take up arms against the government for either perceived or real grievances. While the Constitution empowers Americans to own and use weapons, it does not empower a typical American citizen to be judge, jury and executioner. There are some who would argue that we may not have the legal right, but we do have the moral right. Fine. But that is also the argument of the Unabomber, a man now considered an eco-terrorist.

Stand by your right to keep and use arms. But, if you want to base your right in full or in part on your right to overthrow the government, do not be surprised if many people on the left find it difficult to distinguish you from James T. Hodgkinson, Jared Loefler, or Ted Kaczynski. The left produced these men, so they can be forgiven for seeing echoes of their rhetoric in yours.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

We Already Have UBI

Many people say a Universal Basic Income would destroy the fabric of the nation, turn people away from jobs that increase their self-esteem, yada, yada, yada.
I have three words in reply: "Wooster and Jeeves." 
If I were the child of a wealthy man, and inherited his income, I would have my basic income supplied by my inherited wealth. No one would argue with my lack of employment.
Would I be a better or worse man for it?
Well, that's up to me, right?
Whether we like it or not, every person alive today has inherited a vast sum of wealth, the accumulated knowledge of generations, all of it employed so as to make our lives easier. I don't know how my HVAC works, how my food is grown and harvested, how antibiotics are manufactured, but I benefit from all of it. We live on this inherited largesse every day, just as Bertie Wooster survived on his inherited income and the wisdom of his gentleman's gentleman, the illustrious Jeeves.
We just call it A/C, antibiotics and grocery stores.
Now, we are being told that further UBI will destroy us.
A larger non sequitor would be hard to imagine.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Schismatics Teach the Pope

Differences in admonitions 

directed towards 

Pope John XXII (1333) 

vs Pope Francis (2017)

Pope John XXII (1333)
Pope Francis (2017)
Teaching being debated
Not formally defined (a question concerning the Beatific Vision)
Formally defined (the status of married persons)
In reference to what papal statements?
A few private sermons made both before and after the papal coronation
An apostolic exhortation
Public Papal statement regarding the controversy
Pope said theologians were free to disagree with him, as the teaching was not formally defined
Theologians summoned to meet by?
King Philip VI of France
No one
Under whose direction did the group meet?
Dominican patriarch of Jerusalem
No one 
Who created the document?
No one of particular note or unusual standing
In whose presence did the theologians meet?
Kings, bishops and priests
No one of particular note or unusual standing
Document contained?
Profession of faith
No profession of faith
What did the theologians ask the Pope for?
Apostolic sanction to their decision
Nothing. They don’t ask for apostolic sanction of their assertions. 

In fact, quite the opposite: they claim to teach the Pope.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Corporations as Government

Here's how you discover the true beliefs of minimum wage supporters.
1. They claim that a forced $15 wage does no harm to the economy and that it is "fair".
2. They inherently know that a forced $100 wage would indeed harm the economy and would be unfair.
So...they know that a forced $15 wage is inherently unfair and would harm the economy as well--however slight--but they're willing to lie about their beliefs because getting what they want (a forced $15 wage) is more important than revealing the truth.


  • The choice is between living off the proceeds of your own labor, or living off the proceeds of someone else's labor.

    Man is nature, and nature will always follow the path of least resistance.
    So long as THE LAW allows people to sustain their lives at the expense of another person's long as THE LAW makes plunder less dangerous and less difficult than labor, plunder will be continued.
    Observe, however, that this is the original purpose and intent of THE make plunder more difficult and more dangerous than labor.

    • Avatar

      "The choice is between living off the proceeds of your own labor, or living off the proceeds of someone else's labor."

      Every capitalist chooses to live off the proceeds of someone else's labor. If I run a business employing a thousand people, then I have captured their labor and marketed the products of their labor to someone else.
      That is the central key to capitalism. The value of a man's labor is not just what he produces, it is what he produces PLUS the marketing necessary to make other people aware of, and desirous of purchasing, what he produces. People who run companies understand that. Employees, by definition, either don't understand that, or cannot accomplish the necessary marketing (or they would be self-employed).
      So, EVERY successful businessman is, by your definition, a "plunderer". A successful CEO understands that government is, when properly used, merely an extension of his own marketing efforts, an enforcer of his own successful corporate policies.
      Government is a multi-purpose corporate tool that every corporation can access. Any corporation that manages to mold government regulation to his own advantage will succeed. Any that allows his competitor to mold government will fail. Now, some government regulations are good for corporations across the board, but the best government regulation - from my corporate perspective - is the regulation that benefits ONLY my firm and actively harms everyone else's. Writing such regulations and paying legislators to pass them into law is the hallmark of the superlative CEO.

Corporate lobbyists write the laws.
Corporations pay legislators to enact the laws they have written.
Corporations pay legislators to enforce the laws they have written.

The government is merely a group of independent contractors who work for whichever corporation paid them last or most. Government is not tyranny any more or less than Apple or IBM is tyranny.

We vote for corporations by buying their products. Corporations then use our votes (dollars) to gain market share. Some of it they spend on making new products, some of it they spend on buying laws favorable to themselves from the independent contractors we call "government." Success in either area gains market share, i.e., more votes (dollars).

Anyone who doesn't manage to buy a favorable law complains about "tyranny." In fact, they simply lost in the marketplace to a market actor whose market skills were superior to their own.

Government is as legitimate a market actor as any other business.
Government does not "distort" the free market. It is part of the free market. It is a natural consequence of free market corporate competition.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dallas ISD Learns to Spell PC

Dallas ISD has decided to study up on whether the names of several schools in the district should have their names changed, in order to avoid honoring racists. Their list can be found here. Oddly enough, they left a few names off the list. Please email the DISD and let them know they can do better.

Specifically, if the DISD wants to change school names, they should start here:
  • César Chávez Learning Center
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School and Classical Academy
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt High School
  • Woodrow Wilson High School

César Chávez
César Chávez  hated illegal immigrants:
"In the mid 1970s, he conducted the “Illegals Campaign” to identify and report illegal workers, “an effort he deemed second in importance only to the boycott” (of produce from non-unionized farms), according to Pawel. She quotes a memo from Chavez that said, “If we can get the illegals out of California, we will win the strike overnight.” 
The Illegals Campaign didn’t just report illegals to the (unresponsive) federal authorities. Cesar sent his cousin, ex-con Manuel Chavez, down to the border to set up a “wet line” (as in “wetbacks”) to do the job the Border Patrol wasn’t being allowed to do. Unlike the Minutemen of a few years ago, who arrived at the border with no more than lawn chairs and binoculars, the United Farm Workers patrols were willing to use direct methods when persuasion failed. Housed in a series of tents along the Arizona border, the crews in the wet line sometimes beat up illegals, the “cesarchavistas” employing violence even more widely on the Mexican side of the border to prevent crossings."

Oliver Wendell Holmes
And let us not forget Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes was a staunch advocate of the kind of eugenics later practiced by Nazi Germany.
"Eugenics was his only political cause and was obviously is in line with his Darwinism. Holmes’ eugenic views were in fact more extreme than those of other eugenics enthusiasts of his time. Others talked about sterilizing “imbeciles” while Holmes advocated executing unfit babies."
"Holmes had no regard for civil rights or civil liberties. See, e.g., his majority opinion in Buck v. Bell (upholding coercive sterilizaton, which he clearly thought was not only constitutional but a good idea), his dissent in Meyer v. Nebraska (arguing that states should be allowed to ban the teaching of foreign languages), his (unpublished) dissent in Buchanan v. Warley (arguing that banning blacks from buying houses in white neighborhoods is a reasonable regulation of property and should be upheld). A sign of the times is Alschuer's very critical biography, Law Without Values. An even more significant sign of the times is that if I'm remembering correctly, this book received a very positive front page review in the New York Times."
Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)Majority Opinion: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Vote: 8 to 1 (Justice Pierce Butler Dissenting)
In 1927, the “eugenics” movement was gaining ground, and not just in Germany. When the State of Virginia engaged the mighty force of the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent Carrie Buck, 18, from ever bearing children again, the venerable Civil War veteran Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. obliged. The court ruled that it was not  unconstitutional for a state to determine that it, the unwilling adult victim and presumably her yet-to-be-born children, would be better off if she were forcibly sterilized.
Holmes observed that Buck was “feeble minded,” as was her mother and her daughter. Though later investigation proved that not to be entirely true, Holmes relied on the trumped-up record to pontificate that, in his infamous observation, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
After reading these cases, one might come to agree with Holmes if it applied to certain Supreme Court justices.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR is listed #6 on the Huffington Post's "Most Racist Presidents" list (Woodrow Wilson is #7). FDR interned innocent Japanese-Americans. He appointed former KKK member Hugo Black to the SCOTUS. When Hugo was a senator in Alabama he infamously filibustered an anti-lynching bill. Hugo also wrote positively of Roosevelt in his memoirs, specifically pointing out that while the KKK was increasingly being frowned upon by the American public, Roosevelt considered that a positive on Black's part:
"[Roosevelt's] best friends and supporters he had in the state of Georgia were strong members of that organization."   ~Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. Kindle locations 2636 -- 2657.
Hugo Black would go on to repay FDR with the Korematsu v. United States case that defended the constitutionality of imprisoning people of Japanese descent in America. Even Hitler commented on FDR's internment of Japanese-Americans:
"He (Roosevelt) had done all in his power to provoke the Japanese...they (America) were more obsessed than ever with the idea of the Yellow Peril."
-Transcribed by his secretary on 18th February 1945
FDR (1933-1945): “Subjects to do with breeding and race seem, indeed, to have held a certain fascination for the president…. Roosevelt felt it in order to talk, jokingly, of dealing with Puerto Rico’s excessive birth rate by employing, in his own words, ‘the methods which Hitler used effectively’ [to make them] sterile.” His Vice President, Henry Agard Wallace, said, “if we could practice eugenics on people. We could turn out a beautiful golden race.” As Assistant Secretary of the Navy,  FDR introduced condoms to the military in order to keep low-life enlisted men from breeding,

Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson was the man who segregated the federal government and he famously both screened and praised the KKK movie "Birth of a Nation" at the White House.

From the PBS website:
"[Wilson] dismissed 15 out of 17 black supervisors who had been previously appointed to federal jobs and replaced them with whites. He also refused to appoint black ambassadors to Haiti and Santa Domingo, posts traditionally awarded to African Americans. Two of Wilson's cabinet ministers, Postmaster General Albert Burelson and Treasury Secretary William McAdoo, both Southerners, issued orders segregating their departments. Throughout the country, blacks were segregated or dismissed from federal positions. In Georgia, the head of the Internal Revenue division fired all black employees: "There are no government positions for Negroes in the South. A Negro's place in the corn field." He said. The President's wife, Ellen Wilson, was said to have had a hand in segregating employees in Washington, encouraging department chiefs to assign blacks separate working, eating, and toilet facilities. To justify segregation, officials publicized complaints by white women, who were thought to be threatened by black men's sexuality and disease."

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Free Market = Anything Goes

Let us all stop pretending that the government somehow stifles the free market.

The government is a legitimate actor in the free market, its existence and actions in no way hinder the market. By the very definition of "free market", any actor can set any rules it wants, and any method of enforcing those rules is legitimate because "free market."

We vote for politicians at the ballot box, we vote for corporations at the cash register, we clearly like having both as market players. Both ARE market players. The market is perfectly free.

The government coerces us with laws and prisons, Amazon coerces with prices and products. Stick versus carrot, and the two are interchangeable. Someone who is homeless may commit a crime in order to secure three hots and a cot in prison. Prison is, under this circumstance, not a punishment but an enticement, a government handout. Similarly, someone who wants a product but can't afford it views the lack of that product as a punishment. The unaffordable Amazon product becomes a stick to beat others with, "If you can't afford to buy/rent a dwelling and you live on the streets, then you are scum and we will shun you. Welcome to prison." Substitute any product for "dwelling" and you get the same result. Your inability to possess whatever the current "socially acceptable" fashion item may be, whether house, iPhone or Air Jordans, becomes an excuse to socially relegate you to irrelevance.

Government, Amazon, Facebook, Google - is there really any difference between them?

Sure, the government has soldiers and cops, but the corporations feed the soldier-cops, clothe them and arm them, governments and corporations lobby each other for money and perqs, and the top executives in both are absolutely interchangeable cogs, as the frequent migration between government and private office shows. Corporate lobbyists write the laws that the legislators pass. The government's job is to implement corporate policies.

Just as different departments within the same company may compete for company resources, so different corporations within the same country/continent compete for resources under government control. The corporate drones always complain about their department heads being idiots - articles about the government somehow being an illegitimate market actor because it is "stupid" sound no different.

I don't see why anyone considers government nefarious and corporations nifty.
The only difference between the two is the spelling.
The revolving door between them is fully operational.

IF this is a democracy AND government does nothing but rob us, THEN it is because we as a nation WANT that product. We like being robbed.

The fact that you, as an individual, don't particularly like being robbed is really your problem, not the market's problem, nor does your dislike of that product provide any demonstration that the government is not a legitimate market actor.

Federal law is written by corporations.
What part of that sentence is hard to understand?

As soon as you admit that federal law is written by corporations, you admit that government is a creature of the very corporations you claim make up the free market. Which means government is as much a joint corporate product as an Echo Dot, all the parts manufactured by different companies, but the whole melded together and sold as a product to the American public.

Government is part and parcel of the free market, government waste and insanity is the foundation of the free market. It is simply the central, necessary actor that free market corporations created and maintained so as to keep their own business models going. Complaints about government "distorting" the free market are self-refuting and literally insane. Government can no more distort the free market than any other business entity can distort the free market.

It's a free market.
Anything goes.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

America's Eugenicist Presidents

Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909):
I agree with you if you mean, as I suppose you do, that society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind. It is really extraordinary that our people refuse to apply to human beings such elementary knowledge as every successful farmer is obliged to apply to his own stock breeding. Any group of farmers who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum. Yet we fail to understand that such conduct is rational compared to the conduct of a nation which permits unlimited breeding from the worst stocks, physically and morally, while it encourages or connives at the cold selfishness or the twisted sentimentality as a result of which the men and women ought to marry, and if married have large families, remain celebates or have no children or only one or two. Some day we will realize that the prime duty the inescapable duty of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type.
William Howard Taft (1909-1913): From 1924-1927 a legal test case, Buck vs. Bell, was fought all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Despite the presence on the bench of such humane jurists as William Howard Taft and Louis Brandeis, the court voted 8:1 in favour of forced sterilization of a young Virginia girl, Carrie Buck, whose only crime had been to have an illegitimate child. Only one judge, a Roman Catholic, voted against. William Howard Taft was the Chief Justice of the court.

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921): In 1911, he approved "AN ACT to authorize and provide for the sterilization of feeble-minded (including idiots, imbeciles and morons), epileptics, rapists, certain criminals and other defectives”. He was also an avowed racist. He passed legislation to make interracial marriage a felony in Washington D.C., and, as president of Princeton University, he discouraged blacks from applying. “The whole temper and tradition of the place are such that no Negro has ever applied for admission," he said of the university, "and it seems unlikely that the question will ever assume practical form."

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923): American president Warren G. Harding publicly praised eugenicist Lothrop Stoddard’s book, The Rising Tide of Color, at a public speech on 26 October 1922

Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929): President Calvin Coolidge stated: "America must be kept American. Biological laws show . . . that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races."

Herbert Hoover (1929-1933): attended 2nd International Congress of Eugenics hosted by the American Museum of Natural History in New York in the fall of 1921.
"Give dysgenic groups [people with 'bad genes'] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.“  - Margaret Sanger, April 1932 Birth Control Review.
FDR (1933-1945): “Subjects to do with breeding and race seem, indeed, to have held a certain fascination for the president…. Roosevelt felt it in order to talk, jokingly, of dealing with Puerto Rico’s excessive birth rate by employing, in his own words, ‘the methods which Hitler used effectively’ [to make them] sterile.” His Vice President, Henry Agard Wallace, said, “if we could practice eugenics on people. We could turn out a beautiful golden race.” In order to keep low-life enlisted men from breeding, FDR introduced condoms to the military as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 sent 120,000 Japanese Americans to internment camps (including thousands of Germans and Italians). The act itself affected many families strictly due to their ancestry, even if they were American citizens. Roosevelt also refused to invite 1936 Olympic hero Jesse Owens, an African American, to the White House after he returned from Germany. Owens famously said, “Hitler didn’t snub me—it was our president who snubbed me. He didn't even send me a telegram." FDR also didn't support anti-lynching laws until after WWII.

Margaret Sanger founded the American Eugenics Society to advance the cause of eugenics in the United States. She advocated for contraceptives and sterilization. Like all eugenicists, she saw these as central to advancing eugenics. Due to the negative connotations surrounding eugenics following the discovery of the Nazi death camps, the American Eugenics Society was renamed to "Planned Parenthood". Despite the renaming, the organization never disavowed its original goals.

Harry Truman (1945-1953): co-chair of Planned Parenthood’s honorary sponsors council, 1966. Truman once called Adam Clayton Powell that "damned n****r preacher," and wrote in a private letter that, “I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s not a n****r or a Chinaman.” 

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961): was a co-chair with Truman. At a White House dinner in 1953, President Eisenhower had told Chief Justice Earl Warren he could understand why White southerners wanted to make sure “their sweet little girls [are not] required to sit in school alongside some big black buck.” In 1958, he advocated a "good two-cent contraceptive" that anyone can afford to the UN.

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963): John F. Kennedy endorsed foreign aid for population control in April 1963 in reply to a reporter's question planted by Planned Parenthood. Before John F. Kennedy's 1960 election to the presidency, a Senate colleague had asked Kennedy how he, as a Catholic, viewed the issue of making "family planning information" available at home and abroad. Kennedy responded, "It's bound to come; it's just a question of time. The Church will come around. I intend to be as brave as I dare." As President, Kennedy cautiously gave encouragement to those who wanted to involve both the U.S. government and the United Nations in population control. He did not, however, share with the public his views on abortion. According to journalist Benjamin Bradlee, a friend of Kennedy's, in 1963 JFK privately "said he was all for people solving their problems by abortion (and specifically told me I could not use that for publication in Newsweek)..." 

LBJ (1963-1969): received Planned Parenthood’s first Margaret Sanger award, 1966, along with MLK.  LBJ's "war on poverty" included using food "as leverage" for fertility control. He called the Civil Rights Act the "n****r bill." 

John D. Rockefeller III appointed Frederick Osborn, a celebrated eugenicist, author of “Preface to Eugenics” (New York, 1940) and one of the founding members of the American Eugenics Society (AES) as the first president of the Population Council. Osborn served as President of the Population Council until 1959. However, in 1968 Osborn wrote, “Eugenic goals are most likely to be achieved under another name than eugenics.” Moreover in 1972, right after Roe v. Wade was reargued on October 11th, the American Eugenics Society was reorganized and renamed to “The Society for the Study of Social Biology” and now known as “The Society for Biodemography and Social Biology.
“The name was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time.”

Richard Nixon (1969-1974): “It is my view that no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition. I believe, therefore that we should establish as a national goal the provision of adequate family planning services within the next five years to all those who want them but cannot afford them. This we have the capacity to do.“ He initiated the Commission on Population Growth which called for legal abortion by 1972 in order to prevent the birth of “little black b*st*rds”.  "I have the greatest affection for them [Negroes] but I know they're not going to make it for 500 years," he said. "They aren't. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they're dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like."  "There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white... Or a rape.""

Gerald Ford (1974-1977): Adopted NSSM 200 in 1974 as official US policy. This classified document gives "paramount importance" to population control measures and the promotion of contraception among populous countries. The US deemed rapid population growth inimical to the socio-political and economic growth of these countries and to the national interests of the United States, since the "U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad", and these countries can produce destabilizing opposition forces against the United States.  13 countries of "special U.S. political and strategic interest" were primary targets: India, Brazil, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia 

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981): January 14, 1981, his farewell address re-emphasized the overriding importance his administration had attached to the problem of “overpopulation.”

1st non-eugenics President - Ronald Reagan (1981-1989): Initially requested increased “Population Planning programs” by 33% over Carter’s 1981 budget. Reagan administration will then ask the budget to be zeroed out the following year, on the ground that population growth was a "natural phenomenon" that could stimulate economic growth.

George HW Bush (1989-1993): President George H.W. Bush earned the nickname “Rubbers” as a congressman for his passion for increasing access to contraception. Created the National Center for Population and Family Planning in the Department of Health Education and Welfare also know as HEW. Worked with Planned Parenthood, Houston, 1969. However, three presidential administrations, that of Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush withhold funding from the UNFPA, after the organization is accused of promoting coerced abortions and sterilizations.

Bill Clinton (1993-2001): The Clinton administration nearly doubled U.S. spending on world population control programs (from about $300 million in 1992 to $585 million in 1995) and, in keeping with the United Nations action plan, sought to double population control spending again in the next five years (up to $1.2 billion for fiscal year 2000).

2nd non-eugenics President - George Bush (2001-2009): withholds funding from the UNFPA, after the organization is accused of promoting coerced abortions and sterilizations

Barack Obama (2009-2016): Obama established the President's Global Development Council, run by USAID. It advises on all aspects of U.S. global development policy. Nine appointees were announced in December 2012. The majority of them are associated with organizations that promote reproductive rights and population control policy.

His science advisor, John Holdren, co-wrote  Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment; which discussed solutions to overpopulation: enforced population controls, including compulsory abortion, adding sterilants to drinking water or staple foods, forced sterilization for women after they gave birth to a designated number of children, and "the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences" such as access to birth control and abortion.

Donald Trump (2016-2020), "“You have to be born lucky,” President Donald Trump told Oprah Winfrey in 1988, “in the sense that you have to have the right genes.” His biographer Michael D’Antonio explained to Frontline that Trump and his family subscribe “to a racehorse theory of human development. They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”

So does Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon... Sources told The New York Times this November that despite his devout Catholicism, Bannon “occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.”