Published in The Signal 4/20/17
This assessment also provides an answer to the question of why liberals always want a bigger welfare state. It’s because the politics of kindness is about validating oneself rather than helping others, which means the proper response to suffering is always, “We need to do more,” and never, “We need to do what we’re already doing better and smarter.” That is, liberals react to an objective reality in a distinctively perverse way. The reality is, first, that there are many instances of poverty, insecurity, and suffering in our country and, second, that public expenditures to alleviate poverty, insecurity, and suffering amount to $3 trillion, or some $10,000 per American, much of it spent on the many millions of Americans who are nowhere near being impoverished, insecure, or suffering. If the point of liberalism were to alleviate suffering, as opposed to preening about one’s abhorrence of suffering and proud support for government programs designed to reduce it, liberals would get up every morning determined to reduce the proportion of that $3 trillion outlay that ought to be helping the poor but is instead being squandered in some way, including by being showered on people who aren’t poor. But since the real point of liberalism is to alleviate the suffering of those distressed by others’ suffering, the hard work of making our $3 trillion welfare state machine work optimally is much less attractive—less gratifying—than demanding that we expand it, and condemning those who are skeptical about that expansion for their greed and cruelty.
Those of us accused of being greedy and cruel, for standing athwart the advance of liberalism and expansion of the welfare state, do have things to say, then, in response to the empathy crusaders. Compassion really is important. Clifford Orwin, a political scientist who has examined the subject painstakingly, believes our strong, spontaneous proclivity to be distressed by others’ suffering confirms the ancient Greek philosophers’ belief that nature intended for human beings to be friends. But compassion is neither all-important nor supremely important in morals and, especially, politics. It is nice, all things being equal, to have government officials who feel our pain rather than ones who, like imperious monarchs, cannot comprehend or do not deign to notice it. Much more than our rulers’ compassion, however, we deserve their respect—for us; our rights; our capacity and responsibility to feel and heal our own pains without their ministrations; and for America’s carefully constructed and heroically sustained experiment in constitutional self-government, which errs on the side of caution and republicanism by denying even the most compassionate official a monarch’s plenary powers. Kindness may well cover all of Barack Obama’s political beliefs, and those of many other self-satisfied, pathologically altruistic liberals. It doesn’t begin to cover all the beliefs that have sustained America’s republic, however. Nor does it amount to a safe substitute for those moral virtues and political principles necessary to sustain it further.
– William Voegeli, Senior Editor, Claremont Review of Books
Published in The Signal 2/24/17
Published in The Signal 11/28/16 https://signalscv.com/2016/11/28/ron-bischof-monsters-due-maple-street/
From NASA’s Cassini spacecraft 10/17/12.
For The Benighted Souls Who Believe The NRA Proposal Of Armed Security In Schools To Protect Children
COPS in Schools (CIS)
The COPS in Schools (CIS) grant program is designed to help law enforcement agencies hire new, additional school resource officers (SROs) to engage in community policing in and around primary and secondary schools. CIS provides an incentive for law enforcement agencies to build collaborative partnerships with the school community and to use community policing efforts to combat school violence.
Phillip Hubbell Wrote:
A few things need to be clear. First, the Founders of this nation did not put the 2nd Amendment in place to protect deer hunting. Second, the Bill of Rights is not a list of rights granted us by the government. The rights listed exist sans government. This document points them out lest the people in government forget. Third, when you hear that this is a republic and not a democracy that is not merely rhetoric. There is a stark difference between the two forms of governance. In a Constitutional Republic, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and may not be altered by a mere vote of the government. The majority does not have the power to remove rights from the minority…and some rights are unalienable, meaning they are not in the purview of governments.
The 2nd Amendment is there to ensure the other ones are not usurped. It is there to make certain that any government we elect doesn’t become tyrannical or dictatorial. It is not there for hunters or even self-defense of our home from crime. It is there to provide protection from government seeking to take away freedom and liberty from the people. The Bill of Rights in its entirety will be protected by whatever means become necessary. That there are forces within our nation who have decided that our rights no longer serve them is immaterial to the existence of my right to bear arms. This is not a debate.
I am not interested in the give and take of opinions about basic rights. Another’s opinion of my basic rights doesn’t matter to me. You don’t have a say in whether I have free speech or the right of self-determination. It was a violent revolution that put the government out of the “granting rights” business. It will take another such action to change that.