Archive for April, 2008

Zimbabwe

Monday, April 28th, 2008

You know, when Sharkansky would regularly compare Ron Sims to Robert Mugabe because one wanted to count everybody’s vote and the other, um didn’t, or because one wanted to institute sensible land use rules and the other one, um didn’t, or because one was black and the other one was black, it was bad enough. But FW Con takes the cake.

Zimbabwe: Hope for All Liberals

I don’t think any of those words mean what you think they mean.

Remember Zimbabwe? A socialist leader gets elected, confiscates all the land from the wealthy white folks and hands it over to the poor black folks. Then he raises taxes to almost 100% on the wealthy, starts writing checks to the poor, and wonders why inflation skyrockets while tax revenue drops to almost nothing.

(a) The country still exists, so I’m not sure what I’m supposed to remember. (b) That kind of distorts how Mugabe came to power. (c) Fuck the heck?

In order to control inflation, he resorts to price fixing. And the economy suffers even more.
Kind of like that socialist Richard Nixon.
Zimbabwe is a perfect example of socialism implemented all the way. It should be a shining example of why you can’t take from the rich and give to the poor and get anything but misery as a result.
If socialism was implemented all the way the state would have withered away, and been replaced with some sort of worker control. That hasn’t happened. Also, and obviously not to excuse any of the horrors Mugabe has committed, but it isn’t like Rhodesia was a fucking paradise under White rule.
But it gets better! See, since socialism and communism are never popular, they have to be kept in power with fists, clubs, and guns. There was an election, an election which the current president of Zimbabwe clearly lost. Rather than step aside and let the new government in, he is keeping the election results hidden so no one can know who really won. Meanwhile, his thugs are beating up the opposition. (link)
Yes, very bad.
This is where socialism gets you, folks. This is what the future of America looks like if we elect socialist democrats.
You know, England has had a socialist government for over a decade, and shockingly it hasn’t fallen into the sea. Same with many other democracies. And, of course, the Democratic party isn’t a socialist party.
Oh, and by the way, if it were a corporation beating up her opponents, the government could easily step in and throw those responsible in jail or seize the corporation’s assets.
That’s what always happens.
When it’s the government doing the beatings, you have no recourse except armed rebellion. Only one problem: You gave all your guns to the government, and so now you have no recourse except to smile so they can knock out all your teeth. Here’s why Tiananmen Square and the Myanmar uprising and every rebellion that didn’t involve people who were heavily armed ended up dead.
Right. Nonviolence never works. Tell it to India or African Americans in the South. The fact that Zimbabwe came about as a violent overthrow of the previous White government couldn’t possibly have had a hand in any of its current problems. It sure isn’t the case that many of the people stealing land and killing the opposition are invoking that armed struggle.
This is why us 2nd Amendment folks will never give up our guns, even if the feds try to come and get them.

The problem with the theory behind the second amendment is that it hasn’t worked. The only time it’s ever really been put into practice in this country, during Reconstruction, heavily armed Klan, White Line, Redeemers, and Bulldozers made us less free as a nation. And it was a non-violent movement that ended that.

It isn’t even like the second amendment folks have been helping preserve our freedoms; the government spies on us, tortures people, has led us into an illegal war, and still the “second amendment folks” are some of the loudest cheer leaders for this government. For Christ sake, when Bush stole the election in 2000, gun nuts weren’t demanding rebellion: they were thankful.

I Keep Falling For it

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I think I’m sick of the general election guessing game more than I’m sick of the primary. But I keep falling for it when Eric Earling pontificates on Obama. And he’s not even my candidate.

The Depth of Obama’s Problem

The fact that Hillary Clinton does better among white and Hispanic working class voters is a problem for Obama in the primary. It’s mostly because Hillary’s domestic policies will be better for working class voters. But the differences between them are largely degree, while the differences between either of them and McSame are differences in kind, so I suspect working folks will support the Democratic nominee, just like they always do in non-blow-out elections.

Barack Obama is the probable Democratic nominee. Let’s be clear on that point since some Obama backers seem to believe that pointing out his electoral weaknesses in the primary season amounts to saying he isn’t going to win the nomination. It’s possible, though the superdelegates will probably fall his way barring a major gaffe or surprise revelation.

No. The point is that you can’t really tell from the primary how the general election is going to shake out. I’m sick of that aspect of the primary.

Nonetheless, the magnitude of his problem appealing to critical components of the Democratic coalition is not going to go away. Though Obama backers claim the party will unite behind him, it shouldn’t take a well-paid political strategist to figure out that urban liberals are more likely to unite behind any Democratic standard bearer than Joe and Jill Six-Pack.

I don’t know why lower income people from rural and suburban parts of the country are suddenly going to like not having access to healthcare or for that matter are going to suddenly decide that Iraq is actually going neat.

While the media conversation in recent days has been heavy on Obama’s defeat across large swaths of Pennsylvania, Ohio isn’t the only similar such state that so profoundly demonstrates the divisions in the Democratic coalition.

Divisions in a primary. That’s what primaries are for: So the party can hash out its differences. It doesn’t mean Obama is going to lose working class Democrats any more than Hillary will lose African Americans if she is the nominee.

Lost in the shuffle of Super Tuesday were the results of Missouri and Tennessee as well. Though Obama won the former and Clinton the latter of those February 5th states, the same pattern holds across all four of these contests: Obama wins urban areas, counties with significant African-American populations, and state capitals. Absent those havens, Clinton thrashes him in the exurbs, blue-collar towns, and rural areas.

Yes, but if Obama wins the nomination, he won’t be running against someone who has been working for working folks for decades. He’ll be working against someone who does high dollar fundraisers during his poverty tour.

Liberals and assorted Obama sympathizers keep claiming this is all some demographic, political-wonk speak that shouldn’t or won’t amount to much. Lance Dickie at the Seattle Times attributes it to the Jedi mind tricks of Karl Rove. That works if one presumes that the Architect is running the New York Times, whose splendid chart looking at Clinton and Obama’s victories by county validates all of the discussion of where Obama quite clearly is and isn’t succeeding in swaying primary voters.

Um, or policy might drive votes a little bit. And I’m not sure a primary election chart that excludes Michigan, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Maine, and all of the states that haven’t voted yet, but double counts Texas is perfectly valid for assessing the general election. And again to the point of this post, these are primary voters, not general election ones.

Issues are important in Presidential elections. Yet, time and again history has shown the American people also take a broader measure of the candidates – especially in comparison to one another. On that score, Obama is failing quite spectacularly with a demographic chunk of the Democratic coalition that has been known to stray to the Republican side when left wanting by Democratic fare. His failure should be recognized as even more acute given the lack of serious policy differentiation between Clinton and Obama on the issues about which idealistic liberals seem so eager to hold dialogues in perpetuity.

There are serious policy differences between Obama and Clinton. That’s the goddamn reason for why different segments of the Democratic coalition support one or the other of them. Hillary Clinton supports universal healthcare, Obama wants it for children, but only universal access for the rest of us. Hillary will do more to stem the foreclosure crisis. On the other side of the ledger, Obama’s foreign policy will be less imperialistic. These are important debates worth having within the party, even as the odds are long. It doesn’t mean we can’t come together once it’s over.

Thus, it’s just about time to make the believed, if not stated, view of many Republicans clear on Barack Obama: “Please nominate this man.

He would be like Howard Dean. Haw haw. I don’t even know what that means. Did Dean lose a general election that I’m not aware of?

UPDATE: the gnashing of teeth on this issue among some Democrats spills into public view.

At some point this post was going to be an excuse to share my brilliant debate proposal. I don’t exactly know how I didn’t fit it in, but anyway, here it is: put them at a table in a blank room. No moderators, no dumbass questions. 5 minute opening statements, then a 20 minute conversation on any topic, chosen by Hillary (healthcare if I was advising her). Then 20 minutes on any topic chosen by Obama (Iraq maybe). Then 20 minutes of anything goes. 5 minute closing statements. Put it live on both candidates’ web pages (and just the fundraising from that many more people going to their web pages would probably be enough to offset the cost) but make sure that the networks and other news orgs have access to high quality video. It might look a little too AV club (or worse Blogging Heads TV) but on the other hand, it might be a real debate instead of who has more awesome flag pins.

Trying Something

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Whenever Republican candidates or party orgs go after Democrats, if I remember, I’m going to throw a fundraising link out here. Kind of make them think, “is this worth the slight possibility that it will raise a few bucks for the person I’m attacking?” I imagine this isn’t going to actually raise any money, but it’s worth a try. So first off, Luke Esser, fresh off running a shitty caucus with fake results is attacking Darcy Burner.

Today’s Seattle Times carries a story about perpetual 8th Congressional District candidate Darcy Burner which again calls into question her limited experience for the position she seeks. The Seattle Times reports, “The question of Burner’s experience still looms over her campaign.” Much to Burner’s certain chagrin, the article goes on to discuss her “thin political resume.”

Darcy Burner: Harvard Grad. Dave Reichert: 2-year Associate degree. I mean come on. Also, I’m not sure how being on her second campaign ever makes Darcy a perpetual candidate.

In response to the Seattle Times again highlighting Burner’s experience deficit, Washington State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser issued the following statement:

“Rather than invest time in her community or pursuing public service, Darcy Burner has instead invested time thinking up ways to shake more money out of her far-left donors.

I mean, really, she has spent no time in the community. The article Esser links to says she, “took a short break to spend time with her family and served on the Committee for a Two-Newspaper Town, a citizens group that intervened in a legal battle between The Seattle Times Co. and Hearst Corp. — owner of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer — in which The Times sought to end a joint operating agreement that could have led to the P-I’s demise.” And is Luke Esser complaining that a candidate might raise money? I mean I know Reichert is having problems pulling down any scratch, but I didn’t realize it was the Republican Party’s design for the race.

“Further, the Time notes that Burner spent the last two years reading about health care. While studying up couldn’t hurt, it’s laughable to cite this as somehow qualifying Burner to represent the 8th District in Congress. It may be good enough for a high school civics class, but if Burner thinks simply reading up on current events qualifies her for a seat in Congress, she is in for a rude awakening.

Well, the point of that was that she is in the process of coming up with a healthcare plan. In fact, the article specifically links Burner’s growth on healthcare, moving beyond platitudes to come up with something that will work for Americans, with her stewardship of the responsible plan. I know getting information from experts to figure out your plan is somewhat different from when Republicans just spitball it;  I didn’t realize that was something to brag about.

“The fact is Burner has done little to prove she has the public service record and experienced judgment it takes to make a difference in Congress. Far to the contrary, since her last defeat Burner has instead thrown in her lot with the far-left politics of Nancy Pelosi and Jim McDermott. If 8th District voters are looking for someone who will work for the common sense values of Washington’s 8th Congressional District, they certainly won’t find that in Darcy Burner.”

She has pushed the responsible plan to end the war in Iraq. I mean, I know it sounds crazy, but drafting that and having an actual plan (however much I’d prefer it be further to the left) seems like kind of good experience.

Somewhat tangentially to the rest of the post, is mentioning Nancy Pelosi really going to scare anyone? OHMYGOD!1!!! Teh Catholic grandmother is oh so frightening. Teh Catholic grandmother, run for the hills1one1

Big Time Buffoonery

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

– posted by thehim

In Eric Boehlert’s recap of the Bilal Hussein saga (he’s the AP photographer who was arrested and held by the U.S. in Iraq for allegedly conspiring with terrorists, but was never charged and eventually released by an Iraqi court), he cites one of Federal Way Conservative’s old posts here. Jonathan has been pretty interesting since he began blogging again. After he got caught in this bit of legendary hypocrisy last week, I think it’s actually reshaping how he understands the role of government. Hopefully, he can go back to the things that led him to believe that an award-winning photographer was actually a terrorist and progress a little further on that learning curve.

Shorter Wingnuttia

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

* Shorter Bruce Chapman: All opinions should be the same in science.*

* Shorter Washington Policy Center: Some people might try to get around Mayor Nickels’ plastic bag proposal, so I guess we can’t do anything.

* Shorter Doc Hastings: Surely we should be able to pollute some waterways.

* Shorter Luke Esser: Peter Goldmark saying that rural people use public lands is divisive.**
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Unintelligent

Monday, April 21st, 2008

So a new movie is out. Apparently it combines the exciting of Ben Stein with the intellectual rigor of fake science. Shockingly, it isn’t doing too well at the box office. Gary Randall can’t wait to see it.

“EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed, opens in theaters across the country today in a firestorm of controversy.

I don’t know what happened, but I think the link got changed.

Some are saying it is more than a movie; it is a cause.

Yes, but in fairness, those who say it’s a cause also think that people used to ride around on Triceratops. And that would be a more awesome movie. I’m picturing a joust scene. Make that happen, Ben Stein.

Churches are sponsoring screenings and encouraging their members to see the movie.

So you know the science is accurate.

The Association of Christian Schools International has urged its thousands of member schools to use the movie as a springboard for discussions.

Because you know there’s one group of people dedicated to making sure things are accurate in education: people who think education isn’t Jesus-y enough.

However it is almost unbelievable how atheists and evolutionists are attempting to suppress the film.

Making fun of something is not the same thing as suppressing it.

Atheists are crashing “EXPELLED” screenings and conference calls while critics are slamming the film and calling it trash.

Going to a movie and saying what you think of it are unbelievable.

One organization is working to force theaters to reject or cancel the film, because they say it, “Undermines science in our nations schools.” (Read Article.)

The article doesn’t mention an organization. I read some science blogs, and don’t know of an organized boycott.

On the other hand “EXPELLED” has been screened by legislators in Florida and Missouri and is driving bills that challenge Darwinism.

Sweet Christ, I hope that isn’t true. Legislators were going to rely on the best science, but now they realize that Ben Stein and some crazy people wouldn’t want ‘em to. So instead fuck it, let’s teach magic. “You see, we had thought that over billions of years species and individuals within species that do a better job surviving and procreating are more likely to pass their genes on to future generations. But I guess magic is just as good of an answer.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Yoko Ono, the late John Lennon’s wife, is being accused of “selling out” to the other side by licensing the song “Imagine” to the filmmakers.

I don’t think that song is particularly good for the Jesocrazies. I also happen to like Yoko. And of course intelligent design is like walking on thin ice.

Her lawyers say she never granted permission for it’s use.

Also, I can’t imagine all the people who think that would be a good song for crazy religious people. Or maybe they got their permission the same way they got their interviews.

I have been told by someone close to the project that the producers used less than 25 seconds of the song, which is permissible under the “fair use” regulations.

OK, whatever. But Yoko can still complain right?

It is amazing to me that those who claim to champion diversity of opinion, open mindedness, dialog, differing views and a long list of politically correct academic exercises, are so violently opposed to a film that advocates for Intelligent Design or even creationism.

But how about you get some of your ideas through peer review first? Also, is putting your hands in your ears and yelling “nooooooooooooooooooooo!” when scientists talk really open minded dialog?

It seems hypocritical that those who support most any immoral expression of art or film under the guise of free speech, are going to such length to suppress a film that points out the flaws in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

And there’s really the rub isn’t it? People who have been trying to get pictures banned from art museums, who have attacked movies, video games, and other forms of art are now saying that anything that you say bad about their movie is some form of censorship.

If the film is available in your area this weekend, I recommend you see it. Take your kids.

It’s a movie that puts the fun back in fundie. I can’t imagine anything more exciting for the tykes than a poorly made documentary.

Set Adrift Towards the F-word

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

– posted by thehim

I’m reading some books on fascism right now as part of a larger effort to understand exactly how retarded Jonah Goldberg’s latest book is. One thing that becomes more and more obvious as you read through the history of fascism and the political upheavals that occurred in pre-World War II Europe is that the terminology that people use to describe different political movements can diverge and contradict across geographical boundaries and even from generation to generation. For example, the term ‘liberal’ generally pertains to a left wing philosophy here in the United States, but in other parts of the world (and even in our Colonial past) it refers to what’s thought of as libertarianism here.

With this understanding of how terms change over time and across boundaries, I want to unravel how Lou Guzzo has ended up being this confused about absolutely fucking everything, with an eye towards the roots of fascism:

Somewhere in the middle of the 20th Century, something went terribly awry in America’s once balanced and healthy political system.

The fact that this thing that “went terribly awry” happened around the same time as the civil rights movement is probably a coincidence, but maybe it’s not. It’s worth keeping in mind as we go through this post and explore the fascist movements of the 20th Century as well.

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I’m Offended By Political Correctness!! (Except When I’m Not!)

Friday, April 18th, 2008

– posted by thehim

Wow. Eric Earling wrote the following two things within a 25 hour span…

This is exactly Obama’s problem, he ended up playing to a terribly damaging stereotype. That of the smug, coastal liberal, knowing exactly why it is that his foolish, economic inferiors might be so absolutely old-fashioned as to believe in such silly things as the 2nd Amendment and, you know, God. If only such Middle-Americans cretins would be blessed with economic opportunity and more social programs – plus lattes, Wi-Fi, and wine tastings – they would no doubt mature into enlightened, progressive Democrats.

Then, in a post only one day later called “The Effects of our PC Culture,” he writes:

Have we become so wishy-washy and PC that candidates can’t be expected to state themselves clearly to the voters. Has our culture sunk to that level of pathetic lameness?

Indeed it has, Eric. Indeed it has.

Overblown

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

As I said in this week’s podcast, while it’s certainly overblown, the bitter thing is one of the few Obama “scandals” that actually does annoy me. I think the facts his health care plan will probably leave 10 to 15 million Americans uninsured, that he voted to let credit card companies charge far too much interest, and that his plans for dealing with the housing crisis aren’t as far-reaching as Hillary Clinton’s are a better reason why Obama isn’t connecting with many working class voters the way she is. And while I wish he’d say the sorts of things he said more, I don’t think a high dollar fundraiser is the place to start.* I’m also disappointed with the needless attack on Bill Clinton; see here and here for Nick’s take with maps and numbers and such.**

All that said though, the rest of this post is a defense of Obama. The right’s attacks bug me a lot more than the original Obama statement. Eric Earling takes time away from babbling about Snohomish County to attack Obama.

Obama’s Condescension Problem

Eric Earling has never, ever been condescending.

There is a theme permeating much of the liberal pushback against criticism of Barack Obama’s recent Bumble by the Bay, asserting that these individual comments will be old news by the fall…or sooner.

I think it was old news about a week ago, honestly.

Eh, no.

Oh, Earling says they’re not old news. So I guess I’m totally wrong.

The issue isn’t the comments themselves that are a threat to the Obama campaign, it is the building narrative that the Audacity of Hope is just another condescending, out-of-touch, urban liberal. Adlai Stevenson with sex appeal. Michael Dukakis with a personality. John Kerry with game…basketball that is, not bowling.

Speaking of Adlai, can I just say how odd those pre-civil rights era electoral maps look? What were we talking about again? Oh right, how apparently “sex appeal,” “a personality,” and “game” won’t have a positive effect for Obama if he gets the nomination. Good thinking.

Pick your poison, that isn’t good.

Eric Earling’s made up descriptions of Obama won’t be good for him!

His refusal to wear a flag lapel pin was odd. His wife’s previous lack of pride in her country peculiar. In and of themselves, however, they were nothing.

Here’s the first page of Google images for John McCain. By my count, on exactly 0 of them where you can see the lapel, he’s wearing a flag pin. 0 folks. Why isn’t this an issue?

But, throw in Obama’s choice of a family pastor for twenty years as well as his remarks on the effect of small town bitterness and you have a campaign narrative just waiting to be written.

Yes, what an Anti-American pastor he had. Run away from that shit. Run.

Two recent articles not from the right-of-center universe illustrate this point. The Politico’s David Paul Kuhn digs deep into the true, long-term political problem. Meanwhile, The New Republic’s John Judis explains the specific electoral implications.

The liberal media strikes again.

Notable excerpts from the former:

Political attacks work when they reinforce real perceptions. They become narratives when built on enough anecdotes. And those attacks can become critical when they seem to confirm long-held partisan stereotypes.

Also, when the media take more time to talk about this than they do to talk about what Iraq will look like after 4 years of a President Clinton, Obama, or McCain. Why would people prefer to hear about things that might have an impact on their lives?

This is exactly Obama’s problem, he ended up playing to a terribly damaging stereotype. That of the smug, coastal liberal, knowing exactly why it is that his foolish, economic inferiors might be so absolutely old-fashioned as to believe in such silly things as the 2nd Amendment and, you know, God. If only such Middle-Americans cretins would be blessed with economic opportunity and more social programs – plus lattes, Wi-Fi, and wine tastings – they would no doubt mature into enlightened, progressive Democrats.

Under the McCain health care plan, such as it is, if a kid wakes up in the middle of the night with a fever so hot it causes them to have seizures, their parents will have to worry about how much it’ll cost to get them the proper care. Instead of figuring out everything they can do to make their kid better, parents’ attention will be divided. It will include worrying about what this might do to their ability to get their kids coverage as well as how to pay for it if those children don’t have insurance. Under Obama, a parent will only have to worry about making sure their kid gets better. While his plan doesn’t go far enough for me, I think for most working folks that’s more important that how many lattes he drinks or how much wine he enjoys.

Not quite.

And really, John McCain gave away millions of taxpayer dollars to the firm his mistress lobbied for. I don’t think most people in the lower tax brackets do that.

What is always so offensive to regular Americans is the presumption that if she is offered better tax policies she won’t care any longer about abortion. And the viewpoint holds from one issue to the next: offer rural white men rhetoric that reminds them that they are working class and he’ll accept that the Second Amendment only referred to militias.Then there is the exhibited ignorance. Families who struggle financially care more about moral values because they are more likely to experience the breakdown of the family. In other words, cultural issues are not a substitute for economic concerns, as Obama argues, but inseparable from folks economic struggle.

All of this is exactly the sort of mistake Democrats have been making for decades. How many times can some leading liberals live up to the culturally elitist charge without considering that perhaps there is some electricity behind the charge?

Well, doesn’t the other side of the coin hold true too? That if policies improve people’s economic situation that it will help their domestic situation? That if working folks have a little more cash in their pocket, they’ll be less likely to get a divorce over money issues? I mean if your kid gets sick, prayer is important to a lot of families, but so is getting them healthy; so is getting them to the damn doctor.

This dichotomy flummoxes urban liberals. Why?

Fun fact: the last Democratic presidential candidate to win Montana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, among other states with large rural populations, was running on an assault weapons ban, or had signed one into law. So clearly that gun stuff is all that matters to rural people.

Many liberals get rural America so wrong because, as The Pew Research Center for People and the Press found, not only do “most Liberals live in a world apart from Disadvantaged Democrats and Conservative Democrats,” but also rural voters. Pew’s 2005 typology study found that liberals are the least religious group, more than one-third are never married, they are the most urban, and the least likely to have a gun in the home or attend bible study or a prayer group. About all they have in common with rural voters is their race, more than eight in ten liberals are white.

There are no disadvantaged people in my, or any urban neighborhood.

Thus, the danger for Obama’s hopes in the general election. It is quite possible that his demonstrated ability to bring new, young and African-American voters to the polls in record numbers will provide a strategic margin of victory in key states. Yet, it is likewise possible that an Obama campaign in November could yield results like those of the Democratic primary in Ohio (click on the Buckeye State on this map): a sea of defeat swamping islands of urban liberalism.

I love Hillary. Love. Her. But come on, people don’t live in exactly the same proportion in each of those counties.

By all appearances, however, that point has already been utterly lost on many of his supporters currently residing on those concrete isles.

Get it city folks, you don’t count as much. I mean the fact that there are more people in my neighborhood than in several Eastern Washington counties combined surely means that treating Seattle and Ferry County the same is elitism: that they ought to count greater than those of us here in the concrete isles.

UPDATE: A related question: Based on the unforced errors Obama has faced the last few months in an intra-party contest, does anyone believe that he can manage the higher scrutiny and pressure of a general election contest without further gaffes and revelations that feed this storyline?

Well since most of his gaffes are pretty silly, I imagine the answer is that the rightie blogs will keep making shit up about whoever the Democrats nominate. And that the manistream media will run with it.

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Federal Way Confusion

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

– posted by thehim

In a long insane post this week from Jonathan Gardner, he wrote the following:

Because we, the American people, detest above all other things the very idea that one man should be set above another. We are no one’s servants, no one’s slaves. We submit to no one.

When you set out to tell us what to do in any part of our lives, you are trying to put yourself above us as a master above a slave.

Noble stuff, but unfortunately not very genuine as he’s now explaining to me in the comments why gay marriage, flag burning, smoking pot, and prostitution should all be illegal.

UPDATE: I’ll probably write a follow-up post when the dust settles, but so far the most amazing thing here appears to be Jonathan’s rejection of corporate personhood (as I understand the term). However, he seems to have the reverse objection to it – that individuals should not have the same rights as corporations. The only thing I can remember ever seeing that comes close to that viewpoint is this legendary editorial for Human Events Online, which lays out the logical path towards that insane result.