The “Blue Social Model” and Education

Walter Russel Mead

To explain certain sociological trends, a highly-respected writer named Walter Russell Mead coined the phrase “blue social model.” This is taken from the infamous Red State/Blue State divide that became apparent for the first time in the tumultuous 2000 election which saw George W Bush eke out a one point victory in the Electoral College.

Mead’s thesis is that we are essentially becoming two nations. One nation is largely conservative and productive, the other mostly liberal and dependent on government largesse. Certainly there are exceptions to this rule. Many people who work in the government sector are socially conservative (military and police for example), while some who work in the private sector are more liberal or at least vote liberal (trial lawyers and entertainers). You could say that the aggregate dynamics that underlie each social model are those who have internal constraints (conservative regions) and those who who believe that such constraints are “judgmental” or “moralistic” (liberal regions).

Demographics drives this divide as well. Socio-economic groups tend to reinforce each other. They do so by intermarrying, clustering in distinct neighborhoods, and so on. Tipping points are very often reached by immigration. An example would be California which is losing approximately 3,000 people per day while Texas is gaining 1,000 a day. The primary factor that seems to be energizing this phenomenon is government in some way or another. In the case of California it is government unions and the unenforced borders. In the case of Texas it is a wildly laissez faire business climate and at least the attempt to enforce border security. (Mead now argues that much of the political conflict in the country is because the blue government is collapsing.)

One of the ways in which government drives this demographic divergences is through education. This includes not only its obsequious pandering to the notorious teacher’s unions but in the ham-fisted, one-size-fits-all nostrums that are handed down by Washington. It is becoming increasingly apparent that one of the malefactors in this drama is the Department of Education.

This cabinet-level department was created by Jimmy Carter in order to appease the teacher’s unions that contributed mightily to his campaign. Ronald Reagan, to his eternal chagrin, could not dismantle it even though he promised to do so. George W Bush, with his so-called compassionate conservatism, decided to make a virtue out of necessity and used it to to infuse some rigorous standards with his No Child Left Behind Act. Personally, even if this legislation was well-intentioned (and I believe it was) and if it had some successes (a few), the very existence of a national bureau for education is a slap in the face to our constitutional Republic. It is one more step towards the creation of the Leviathan State, in which there are no citizens, only subjects.

To show how untenable one need only look at several of the most recent of Mead’s columns. Simply put, it is impossible for a continental Republic made up of several dozen sovereign states, and comprising many different ethnicities and races (each with their own internal dynamics) to have uniform results. In biology it is said that anatomy is destiny. In culture, demography is destiny.

For proof of this, pleas take the time to read this assessment from David Burge. Burge, who goes by the moniker Iowahawk runs one of the most stinging parody sites in the Blogosphere. To my knowledge, this is the first posting of his in which he took off his parodic hat and engaged in hard-hitting analysis. Because he’s got a great comedic wit, Burge’s foray into serious policy wonkery is eminently readable.

Judge for yourself:

Longhorns 17, Badgers 1

Here’s a highlight:

Case in point: Paul Krugman. The Times’ staff economics blowhard recently typed, re the state of education in Texas:

And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78 percent of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average.

[…]

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.

[…]

The point being, I suppose, is that unionized teachers stand as a thin chalk-stained line keeping Wisconsin from descending into the dystopian non-union educational hellscape of Texas. Interesting, if it wasn’t complete bullshit.

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.

In the final analysis, his point is that we have wasted too much money over the decades trying to force outcomes that are impossible to achieve in the aggregate. Just as LBJ’s notorious War on Poverty, the only winners in this battle have been the bureaucrats who maintain their stranglehold over American society. Like the Great Society, entire swaths of the American landscape have been turned over to an unruly underclass that cannot and will not reform itself. The segregation that Brown vs Board of Education tried to eradicate has only intensified. Thus, another example of Meade’s Blue Social Model.

As noted, the dynamic that drives this divide are between those who believe in internal constraints (conservatives) and those who don’t (liberals). The trouble is that in the absence of a populace that has no internal constrains, the Blue Social Model inevitably descends into chaos and anarchy. In the end, the blue model collapse or tyranny wins out.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Mead’s original article: HERE’S A SHOCKER: Republican States Have The Best Public Schools In The Country, By A Long Shot (And in case you’re wondering, Mead is not a Republican or a conservative. He actually voted for Obama.)

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Comments

  1. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    George, I greatly enjoyed the article and it made some very good points, but I have to disagree with it to an extent. My wife is a teacher and a damn good one. However, her union has no teeth and no real power. The School District has the power and the very well-paid administrators that refuse to allow that money to come down to the teachers.

    My wife and other teachers like her educate low income children, predominately hispanic, that want and do better themselves. Further, the inner-city Chicago Schools that are predominately African American also do a tremendous job of educating our inner city kids and they definetly want to bettwe themselves.

    The very explicit message that you have a dependent lower class that refuses to bettwe itself is just plain wrong and offensive. This is the very heart of the Economic Conservative mantra that truly believes that all social programs should and must be cut NOT because the government cannot afford it, but that if you are too lazy and/or stupid to support yourself and save money then you should just be allowed to wither on the vine and die.

    The article fails to take into consideration institutional racism, which I have seen and experienced first hand in Chicago, and the very real and divisive class warfare that exists not just in Chicago but in its surrounding suburbs as well. Meaning – People with money want to keep their money and not use it to help their fellow man.

    There was a time in Chicago, when the Greeks were immigrating to Chicago, that the good ole white people would refuse to rent to Greeks and Italians and viewed us as the people from the bottom of the Europena dustbowel. Not as good as your Germans, Irish, Scots and so forth.

    I have Greek family members that were denied access to a certain political party, which shall remain nameless, because they were too “ethnic.”

    Racism and class warfare plays a very real role in denying people access, benefits and opportunities. Not all people are lazy, and most people need a hand up, not a hand out which is what the article is attempting to turn into a hand out that is not deserved.

    Peter

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Peter, my own baby sister is a teacher (temporarily retired to raise her family). I know that teachers are overwhelmingly underpaid and overworked. The thrust of my thesis was that the unions as a whole are very thuggish and high-end loaded. In other words, administrators are the heavy hitters who get the spoils. In my own city, the PS system just closed down seven schools, none of them in the inner city BTW. Of course the reason is because their neighborhoods have become gentrified and yes, the white family flight to the suburbs proceeds apace, but the adminstration continues to grow.

      So this essay was painted with a broad brush, understanding that exceptions exist. As for certain subsets of ethnic groups that appear resistant to acadamic excellence, the proof is in the pudding. When I get the requisite links contrasting educatioinal attainment, I will post them.

      A Arganda, the myth of innate Latino conservatism is still preponderant but still flawed. While true in some respects (blacks and Hispanics voted for Prop 8 in California for exampe), the illegitimacy, abortion, and family dissolution rate for certain Latino populations has passed the point which alarmed Daniel Patrick Moynihan forty years ago. The illegitimacy rate that so alarmed Moynihan at the time was 26%. He felt that it was passed the point of no return and in saying it, was excoriated as a racist (he himself was the child of a broken home). It now approaches 80% for African-Americans. In almost every major American city, there are vast swaths where the police have no writ.

      This is not to say that whites are immune as well. In certain white populations (think Trailer Park), that point has been passed.

      Charles Murray wrote the definitive essay on this back in 1991 and it sent off alarm bells.

      As for the notion that one can be “socially liberal” but “fiscally conservative,” that is true only in theory. Other than the example of Prop 8 given above, once a group receives the majority of its income from government, it cannot vote consistently against its patron, no matter how much some of its policies may chafe. Think of African-Americans for example. The incidence of anti-Semitism is higher in their demographic than in almost every other American demographic (save Muslims). Yet the Democratic Party receives 50% of its funding from American Jews and is lock-step in support of Israel. Yet the black share of the electorare that votes for the Dems is never less than 88% (Bush 43 got 11% of the black vote in 2004).

      The only reason that the Hispanic vote is in play is because “hispanic” is an ambiguous term, comprising many different ethnicities and races. As a rule, the more European that a particular group is (Cuban-Americans for example) the more Republican it is. The main reason is that Cubans tend to be less dependent upon the government.

      Anyway, I know this is all uncomfortable, and as the son of an illegal alien myself growing up the South with a five-syllable unpronouncable Greek name, I do know very much how it feels to be unwelcome, so no, please don’t lay the racist/xenophobe label on me. Besides my wife’s maiden name is Hispanic (though she’s of Greek descent), I have nephews and nieces who are part-Mexican and others who are Chinese. I’m just looking at the statistics and calling them as I see them.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I agree with you analysis George, but I disagree as to the main thrust of Walter Russel Mead’s Blue Social Model as it smacks of a Neo-Conservative bias against a societal safety net. To be sure many people abuse that safety net, but many people do not. To attack it is to make an assumption against people, all people, having a safety net for protection.

        For example, the recent economic crash of September 2008 that was precepitated by the Real Estate Housing bubble. Wall Street knew these home loans were toxic, especially in regards to AIG, but they continued to make them, sell them and ship them off to both foreign and domestic buyers all to make a buck. The collapse happens and the government immediately bailed Wall Street out, First under Bush then under Obama.

        What about the consumers? People said that you just have to live up to your bargain. I and others say, “well you don’t let a kid run amuck in a candy shop and think he won’t get an upset stomach.” So let’s help the kid. Did we help? No. The Administration passed H.A.M.P., but made Mortgage Loan Modification completely dependent upon the banks, made it optional, NOT mandatory, and passed no laws for automatic loan modifications.

        You have govt. intervention in Wall Street to save them from their dumb mistakes, but you had no govt. intervention to save main street from its dumb mistakes. Just a bunch of Neo-Con BS of – Hey you made the mortgage now live up to your bargain. OK, well Wall Street you made your deal live with the consequences. Right? Wrong! Wall Street is “Too Big To Fail” from a secular capitalist persepective, but the individual is too big to fail from the perspective of Jesus Christ and his Gospel.

        The 99 sheep were bailed out, but Jesus went after the one lost sheep to save him. Which example did our so-called Christian Nation follow?

        Jesus said we could not serve God and mammon, so we made and choice and it wasn’t God.

        Peter

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Peter, I don’t disbelieve in the safety net (although I wish it were the Churches which were doing 99% of the heavy lifting and not the Feds –but that’s another story for another day). It’s just become a safety hammock IMHO. As for Mead’s ideology, I don’t believe he’s a neo-con (he works for the CFR) but I could be wrong about that.

          I totally agree with you about crony capitalism. I despised the TARP bailout. If anything, the American political class has become more sympathetic to Wall St than to Main St. A lot of the antipathy towards the Tea Party is because the political class really hates Flyover Country.

          One of my beefs about neo-cons is that they are still liberal in their ideas about society. I don’t think there’s a dime’s worth of difference between them and most liberals when the rubber hits the road.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I agree about the Church’s doing most of the heavy lifting in regards to a safety net, but I think that alot of the critism that you and others have voiced about the church, and the recent debacle with Met Jonah, and the problems in the other jurisdictions, shows that they Church is unwilling to take on such a job. A job that rightfully belongs to her. Until then the Govt. must fill the gap. The parishioners definitely want to do it, especially among the young, but without the leadership activily pushing it it goes nowhere.

            We have at our church an Abraham’s table, a full pantry and an association with our local switchboard that provides services to the poor and homeless. Neither oue bishop nor our Metropolitan gave any support for these essential ministies. Nothing was organized among and between the Greek, Serbian and OCA Churches in our location, and they definitelt did NOT show up when we were feeding the poor in our church’s gym that we set up with tables, plates of food and even offered counseling services.

            However, if its a fundraiser, a Greek Fest, or some other such thing the Bishop and Metropolitan are always there, seated at the front, and thereafter leave without saying a word. If they say a word its short sweet and over with.

            Yet our Priest, his wife and all the other volunteers bust their humps to do all the outreach programs and provide services to the poor that it greatly upsets me that we have been blessed with a great priest, a great Presvitera and a giving Church, but get no real support from the top.

            Now I could be wrong, and I do understand that Bishops and Metropolitans have busy schedules, but why do they make time for the one and not the other? I do hope this is just a perception and not what is true about our leaders, I realy do hope I am wrong in regards to their sense of care and compassion.

            Until then our local Church, just like yours and others, must continue to do what we can for the people of our community.

      • Mat. Elizabeth says

        George says: “The only reason that the Hispanic vote is in play is because “hispanic” is an ambiguous term, comprising many different ethnicities and races. As a rule, the more European that a particular group is (Cuban-Americans for example) the more Republican it is. The main reason is that Cubans tend to be less dependent upon the government.”

        George, your first sentence is true in this statement. Hispanic is an ambiguous term and comprises many ethnicities and races. However, your second statement defies all attempts at logic or reality.

        To assert that “the more European” a particular group is makes said groups “more Republican” is ludicrous. Cubans come in all colors and ethnicities, just as those from most of the Caribbean, which were formerly slave holding, using and selling outposts. The Cubans you refer to are mainly the wealthy and those formerly in power who fled the communists (legally and illegally) and want nothing at all to do with any semblence of “leftist” or liberal politics. Their politics have nothing to do with their racial or ethnic background, but is a result of their own experience in Cuba. And, on the other side of the equation, most Europeans of this day and age are hardly “Rebublican” in their thinking or actions.

        Please refrain from the use of flawed arguments and even more flawed logic in this issue which, whether you admit it or not, are most certainly racial and ethnic sterotyping. Thank you.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Matushka, you are right, Cubans are as variegated in race and ethnicity as Central Americans and Americans. However, the overwhelming majority of Cubans who migrated (escaped) to the US are overwhelmingly European. That may be because under Castro they had the most to lose and they lost it.

          The same phenomenon obtains from Central American immigration to the US. The Castillian minority that actually rules Mexico is firmly esconced there while the largely mestizo underclass is forced northwards because of poverty. According to the CIA Handbook, Mexico is ethnically divided thusly: the 9% Castillian minority that rules, 35% unmixed Indian population that never acculturated to the Spanish conquest, and the remaining 60% that intermarried between the Iberians and the Indians, which is what we think about when we say “Mexican.” (There is a tiny fraction of African ancestry in the Central American genome as well but not nearly as much as in Brazil or the US.)

          Please understand, I am not bigoted. I have many Hispanic friends and I almost married a lovely girl whose ancestry was Mexican. In fact, I have explored the possibility of opening up Spanish-language missions in the DOS. My heart sunk when I heard that Istanbul was going to take over the Guatamalan Mission, fearing that they will be forced to wear foustanelles and made to bake baklava for festivals. I believe that among all the demographics in North America, the Hispanics have a distinct cultural advantage when it comes to Orthodoxy.

  2. A. Arganda (Rymlianin) says

    I have to agree with Peter. All that is required is to look at the thuggish behavior of so-called conservatives in Arizona , Texas and Georgia. Rick Perry is a prize example . Most Hispanics are very conservative on family issues and liberal on economic issues. Will you exclude them for not being to the liking of the WASP establishment?

    • The very fact that Arizona, Texas, and Georgia are called “Thuggish” reinforces the point made by the article. The only “crime” of these states is wanting to enforce the laws fairly and equitably. Illegal immigration is, in fact, illegal (a profound thought that liberals can’t grasp!) The very notion that these states should be stigmatized for standing up for what is right (ie, what is not criminal) is an example of those who want to give benefits to those who have not earned it (ie, those who use illegal means to get what they want). The resources they want to give these illegals (jobs, social programs, the cost of fighting forest fires set by coyotes bringing illegals over the border, not to mention the social and security cost of all the drugs and weapons that come across the border) come from hard working law abiding citizens.

      • Mat. Elizabeth says

        My husband is hispanic (from the Caribbean) and we live just a few miles from the Texas border with Mexico. We see, live and know first hand about some of these immigration and border issues. I agree completely with A. Arganda in his statements and assessment. Furthermore, in response to Ken MIller, the mistake that some people make regarding border and immigration issues is to clump all of the problems into a neat little package with which one can then “disagree” and write off as being “illegal.” The border issues are complex. One of our parishioners is with the National Guard who were sent here by Obama – thanks be to God – to help the efforts of the Border Patrol. Unfortunately, these units have yet to be refunded by the Fed. Gov. There are border issues which are critical to the safety and well-being of both the USA and Mexico. These are primarily drug cartel related: running of drugs and human (sex slavery) traffic into the USA, and the running of weapons and military grade equipment plus US money the other. The issue of terrorists infiltrating the USA is another border issue of vital importance. These are critical and need funding and support for personnel, equipment, communications and intelligence gathering operations. Instead of focusing on the real, vital border issues, it’s an easier target to focus on the typical illegal immigrant. I’m sorry to bust your bubble, folks, but these people are not a problem. Not really. One of the misconceptions regarding the typical “illegal” is that they have somehow ignored or tried to circumvent the process of legal immigration. Unless one is wealthy; and wealthy enough to bribe immigrations officers; there is absolutely no way most people can immigrate legally. Period. Most all of these people come for economic reasons; just trying to support and feed their families. Some (increasingly) come because they are terrified and this terror is not abstract but a daily reality in the violent times now being experienced in Mexico. They flee for their very lives and for the lives of their children. Their is much need to focus on and fix border security and policies. But thuggishness towards the typical “illegal” is neither Cristian nor even human. Especially when the real focus needs to be on the seriously criminal [drugs, sex slaves, forced prostitution, etc.] and terrorist aspects [those woh would without a blink destroy us] of a leaky border. Americans buy and demand; Mexicans supply; Americans supply [guns, equip., ammo. & money] and Mexican cartels readily buy. Walls don’t work – especially against the true criminal elements who can buy people, passage, anything. This is the real “border war” not the typical person who just hopes to live and help his family survive.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Ken I agree that illegal immigration is a problem, but it cannot be stated as a simple “Liberal” versus “Conservative” debate. What are the reasons behind illegal immigration? Why did they come in or allowed to come in? who is really to blame?

        The illegal immigrants of this country, especially and predominately Hispanics, were used and continue to be used for cheap labor by businesses. Businesses that pay and contribute to both parties. Our government allowed it to occur because this was the “Pre-China” days when we were making and producing our own goods and services.

        Now that China andthe rest of southeast asia has picked up the slack we do not need them anymore and our slave labor force has become a burden on us. Hence the arguments that they suck off the govt. tit so to speak.

        Yet these are human being behind the label illegal alien or illegal immigrant. Should we just cast them aside? What about their children? Their children were raised in this county, they speak English and consider themselves American. Should we deport them as well? Many U.S. Born children fought and died in our most recent wars while their parents were ilegal. Does their sacrifice for our country mean nothing?

        Rome, Greece and other Empires fell because of this type of racist and nativist attitude and so will ours. Border security and enforcing our immigration policy is one thing, being unreasonable and crule and not taking exigent circumstances into consideration is quite another. The Dream Act was one solution, Bush’s immigration policy was another. Let’s keep working on it until we find a solution.

        Peter

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Peter, you’ve encapsulated very well the problems and the origin for these problems. I truly despise the American oligarchy that lives for its own self rather than for our nation’s. Ken’s thesis however stands on its own merits. Illegal immigration is illegal and our laws should be enforced. If our laws are unjust (and I don’t think they are) they can be changed.

          To all: has anybody taken the time to look at Mexico’s immigration laws? They are far more punitive and actually enforced than ours are. If I wrote them down for you right now and left out the nation which made them, you’d say that these were written by the Nazis.

          Why is Mexico given a pass to enact nativist laws that protect their own nation but we can’t? It doesn’t make sense.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Yup. Mexico’s immigration laws are downright draconian. Boarder security is strictly enforced in the south, and immigrants are detained and deported. Now if Mexico could just do the same in the north it would be great, but I believe there “other” forces are at play.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Ken, you are completely correct. The Left has so corrupted the language and even rational thought that one can’t use common sense to defend rational actions. Instead, we are castigated as “thuggish” simply because we want the laws applied equitably. Once America becomes a nation of men and not laws, then we’ll be well on our way to become a Third World thugocracy.

  3. A. Arganda (Rymlianin) says

    George, I would like to challange two of your assertions. First, white illegitimacy is not a trailer park phenomenon. It is observable in “nice” middle class families. Second, Charles Murray has been roundly critiqued for his many errors and omissions. From his ludicrous fondness for the amphetamine addict, Ayn Rand to his ahistorical “vision” of pre- New Deal America, he gets it wrong at every turn. May I be so bold as to say that the Orthodox ideal of the City of God, has little to do with earthly politics and if so then the ideal would be the Byzantine Roman Imperial state , a model much more akin to modern socialism. Which only proves that we cannot ” trust in princes or the sons of men, for in them there is no salvation.”
    As an aside, I think that anyone who considers Ayn Rand a legitimate intellectual force is dancing with the devil, literally.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Arganda, a few quick points:

      1. I made no reference to Ayn Rand. In fact, I’ve criticized her in the past.

      2. I didn’t mean to imply that only White Trash women give birth out of wedlock. Far from it. It’s rising in all demographics. When the illegitimacy rate reached 26% for blacks in 1960s, it was occurring in middle-class black families as well as the underclass (although not to the same extent).

      3. This may be a nation of immigrants now, but it wasn’t founded that way. We were fortunate that the Historic American Nation was founded by Anglo-Saxons and other Northern Europeans and that the subsequent immigrants (like my grandparents) conformed themselves to their folkways.

      I’ll expand a little: the immigrants could have gone to other nations in the western hemisphere that had the same racial makeup as the US: Argentina, the Caribbean, Central America, etc. They chose overwhelmingly to come to America. The countries of the Anglosphere were preferred as well (Australia, NZ, Canada, South Africa).

      This begs important questions. The countries of the Anglosphere developed political codes that were informed by their customs. Even the Roman historian Tacitus marveled at the ancient Germanic peoples who, though barbarians, were able to self-organize and adhere to rudimentary codes of conduct that were absent in other nations. The Hebrews for example could only be constrained from violence by moralistic codes that were extremely punitive.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Arganda, I don’t pretend to stand on the mountaintop and pretend I’m better. Illegitimacy has struck my own extended family as well. Two of my second cousins in Greece gave birth out of wedlock over ten years ago. One resolutely refuses to name the father.

      You point out that Murray has been “roundly” criticized. That is true in the sense that he has critics but so far, he hasn’t been proven wrong. Please refer me to any studies which show his errors.

      I want to expand on Rand a little. To criticize her as being an amphetamine addict is somewhat gratuitous if true. Being in the healthcare field, I can tell you that what we consider dangerous as far as drugs are concerned is variable. Amphetamines were a way of life in the 50s and 60s. JFK received a cocktail of amphetamines and steroids 7 times a day. In the early 1900s, you could go into a pharmacy and buy heroin over-the-counter but had to have an Rx for aspirin. In the 50s, married women were prescribed cigarettes by their doctors to “calm” their nerves. etc.

  4. A. Arganda (Rymlianin) says

    May I also point out that the same forces that seek to limit immigration to this country are the ones who wanted to get rid of all of the Greeks, Slavs , Italians and Arabs who immigrated to this country. George, you are a product of America’s willingness to absorb the best that the old world ha to offer. Would you seriously limit the ability of newer generations to do the same. If so , you are turning your back on your own heritage. This is a nation of immigrants. If not, then let’s give it back to the Native Americans and return to where we came from. I am of Native American descent, so I have no problem with this solution. I just find it incomprehensible that non-natives have a problem.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Arganda, your critique is misplaced. America was never “willing” to accept immigrants willy-nilly. Non-Anglo (but Northern European) immigrants were usually brought to tame areas where the native American stock didn’t want to go for fear fo the Indians. The Upper Great Plains were opened to Scandinavians for example. Scots-Irish from the Ulster Plantation were ushered into Appalachia. Etc.

      The native American stock made a peace with these immigrants provided that they assimilate. Unfortunately, the American business elite together with the Cultural Left, do not want new immigrants to assimilate. They want them to remain second-class helots, just as they did with African-Americans. Both blacks and Hispanics are encouraged to remain on their plantations by race-hustlers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and La Raza, MeChia, MALDAF, etc. If my people had listened to ethno-activists, I’d be some dishwasher making minimum wage right now. Fortunately, the pre-1965 immigrant populations didn’t have race-hustlers telling them what to do. We assimillated.

  5. A. Arganda (Rymlianin) says

    While you try to find within the context of American party politics an ideal for Orthodox Christians, I will refrain from supporting you. The point of this blog was supposed to be the defense of our metropolitan. If you wish to put your partisan political posture in the way of that goal ,then so be it. Again ,I remind you of the psalmist’s refrain: ” Put not your trust in princes and in the sons of men, for in them there is no salvation.” signing off from Morelos, México, Subdeacon Antonio Arganda.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      This blog started before the recent unpleasantness against our Metropolitan. My original mission statement was that it would be a place of rigorous debate and unashamed defense of the truth. Truth for the most part resides in tradition, both political and religious. Culture is where religion and society (politics) meet.

      Please be aware that I am not making this blog a support for any American political party. As I’ve mentioned more than once, my present ties to the GOP are tenuous at best. The elites within the GOP turned out to be globalists who have no respect for our nation’s sovereignty and only came to the aid of the oligarchy during the Wall Street bailout.

      As for immigration, I’m all in favor of legal immigration provided that the new immigrants conform to the folkways of the Historic American Nation. They are free to keep their religiion and be proud of their culture but should not be free to force their culture on the natives.

      As for your warning from the Psalmist, I completely agree with you, hence my aversion to supporting any political platform other than general principles such as freedom, liberty, community, limited government, private charity, etc.

      P.S. I contribute annually to Project Mexico and hope next year to actually go and help construct houses.

      • Chris Plourde says

        George,

        Interesting that while you say you’re not dedicated to any party, and decry the “globalists” of the GOP, you repeat the talking points designed to serve that “oligarchy.”

        The foundation of sovereignty is the ability to maintain boundaries.

        And yet the United States, quite by design and at the behest of those who want “limited government” has been rendered incapable of maintaining economic boundaries against multi-national corporations, large banks and utterly unregulated hedge funds. And so our government finds itself having to “rescue” the interlopers rather than allow their recklessness to destroy our own economy.

        You decry the rescue, you encourage the violation of economic boundaries, and you rail against those who sold you “limited government” as a mantra.

        This is simply to point out the incoherence of arguing for “limited government” in the face of an unlimited global economic elite that cares nothing for any nation’s sovereignty, and the incoherence of arguing that we should increase policing of our physical boundaries while tearing town our economic boundaries.

        Ask yourself this: In the name of “limited government” is it really desirable to leave banks and hedge funds essentially unregulated? Is it really desirable to allow multi-national corporations to offshore profits and onshore losses to take advantage of our tax code’s loopholes? Because that’s what “limited government” really means.

        Cheers!

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Chris, you presume things about me that aren’t necessarily true. First, I’m a strict constructionist regarding the Constitution. A lot of our problems would be solved if we abided by the Constitution and what is in it.
          First, there was no provision for an income tax in it because the income tax is immoral and against natural law. Second, the Constitution abhors central banking. If we got rid of the Federal Reserve System and the national income tax, you would see a more resilient, independent people with strong corporations that are protected by high tariff walls.

          The globalist agenda is driven first by international capital flight which then leads to the erosion of national borders.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Agreed, but how do you get the fed resv. out now that it controls the nation’s economy, and through the U.S. Economy, the Global economy?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Peter, it’s impossible. Barring divine intervention or a total breakdown in the economy in which the few remaining people alive are living in a Thunderdome-esque society, the evil people who put us in this position back in 1913 are always going to have their boots on our collective necks.

              I merely bring it up to show the Progressives and Liberals that for all their talk of “freedom” it means as long as this type of financial regime exists.

          • Chris Plourde says

            George,

            I assume nothing. The term “limited government” does not appear in the Constitution. Anywhere.

            The Constitution was created as a remedy for the failings of the Confederation, with the very specific i”framer’s intent” of having one government over the national economy.

            It’s incoherent to say you’re a “strict constructionist” but desire a return to the system of the Confederation in place of the Constitution.

            As for the morality of the income tax, you’re going have to cite Scripture or the Fathers to illumine me. I haven’t been able to find it.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Chris, the disestablishment of religion appears nowhere in the Constitution either. The First Amendment merely restrains the Federal government from establishing a national church. The individual states were left alone in this regard.

              But more to the point, the Constitution prescribes a form of government which is necessarily constrained (i.e. “limited”). Otherwise all power would have been invested in one branch of government. Usually that means that the sovereign is executive, legislator, and supreme judge.
              Clearly that is not what we find, but three co-equal branches, each within its own sphere of influence and powers. That’s why we don’t have the judiciary appointing generals or the executive making laws or the Congress adjudicating trials.

              More to the point, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments further constrain the national government from interfering in the affairs of the states. This was all taken for granted before the twentieth century, when the leviathan state came into being under FDR and then went into hyperdrive under LBJ.

              • Chris Plourde says

                George,

                I’m not sure how that makes the comment to which I responded any more coherent, indeed it would seem that you’re heading in the other way.

                Where in Orthodox moral teaching is the income tax deemed immoral?

                Where in the Constitution are we supposed to limit the Federal Government’s powers over commerce so that trans-national oligarchs and multi-national corporations can make bigger profits by taking larger risks with our citizens’ savings, hard work and industry?

                These are pretty straightforward questions, the answer to them is simply not “…the disestablishment of religion appears nowhere in the Constitution either.”

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  Chris, you are confusing secular and spiritual things. To my knowledge, the Orthodox Church has no posiition on income taxation. It also has no position on zoning laws either. The income tax is immoral because it takes monies away from people that have worked for it. Sales taxes, poll taxes, and tariffs are more moral because people aren’t coerced into paying them.

                  Your second point is trickier. The government “powers over commerce” have not limited the multinational corporations but they have limited the freedoms of ordinary people and the states. The Commerce Clause has resulted in unintended consequences, and the extreme restriction of freedom.

                  The profits of corporations are legitimate because the profits of shop-keepers and entrepeneurs are moral. The rule of law must apply equally to everybody. That is one of the reasons America grew from its founding: our adherence to Anglo-Saxon common law which prised the rule of law made America a far fairer place than the Old World. Not perfect, but certainly fairer. Hence the massive immigration to America and not, say, Haiti.

                  My comment about the First Amendment was merely to show the flaws in your argument, nothing more.

                  • Chris Plourde says

                    C’mon George. You claimed this:

                    My original mission statement was that it would be a place of rigorous debate and unashamed defense of the truth. Truth for the most part resides in tradition, both political and religious. Culture is where religion and society (politics) meet.

                    Rigorous debate requires rigorous thought. I’m still waiting for yours.

                    I pointed out the incoherence of your comments, and you responded with more incoherence.

                    You claim a difference between “secular” and “spiritual” morality, but as with our friends Hitchens and Dawkins you provide no basis for that differentiation.

                    You claim a rationale for what you believe is the immorality of the income tax, then immediately violate it by suggesting that a tax for merely being alive, a poll tax, would be more moral than the income tax. We are apparently free to not remain alive…but not free to earn less money.

                    You offer that the commerce clause restricts freedom. What law does not? The first law in Genesis restricted freedom, and every law since then has as well. Your argument was made by the serpent to Eve….which does make it secular, I’ll grant you that.

                    You assert that profit is moral. OK, and??? Is your claim that profit is always moral no matter how it is achieved? In the rigor of your debate you don’t bother to illuminate this question.

                    So step up, George. I said that you’re being incoherent, and you haven’t yet written anything that would alter one jot or tittle of that statement.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Chris, I’ll take this one step at a time:

                      1. where was I wrong about the Contitution prescribing a limited form of government? If you can’t answer that, then tell me if you believe in absolutist forms of government. Maybe I’m asking the wrong question.

                      2. secular vs spiritual. In natural law, there are some things that the spiritual should not concern itself with. Zoning laws, licenses for professionals, etc. There is no moral component to these things. Conversely, there are things that the secular should not concern itself with, like the Synaxarion, the fasts, etc. Where there is some nexus between the two includes things that impinge on morality and conscience. Slavery, abortion, war.

                      3. You are right to call me out on the Commerce Clause restrictring freedom. My point was that while it is impossible for any law to NOT restrict freedom, there are some laws that are simply excessive in their restriction of freedom. Think of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which mandated that escaped slaves must returned to their masters. That restricts freedom too, just like the 55 mph speed limit. One however was tyrannical the other merely statutory. Malum in se vs. malum prohibitam.

                      Finally, just because you assert that I was being incoherent doesn’t mean that I was incoherent. I simply don’t know how to draw out the distinctions any clearer than that. There are moral spheres and regulatory spheres and the nexus between them is not that great.

                      If you will permit me to expand, one of the glories of Christendom was the recognition of the different spheres. Jesus first enunciated them in His comment about Caeser and God. Islam on the other hand saw no distinction between the two. That’s why it has been corrupted as a religion in Iran say, where clerics are in charge of the Army, the bureaucracy, the courts, women’s fashions, etc. Wherever this was done in the West, like Calvin’s Geneva, it resulted in absolute tyranny.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      P.S. No, I don’t believe that ALL profits are moral. A profit is moral to the extent that anything is moral provided it is gotten by moral means. The wages of a prostitute are immoral as are those of her pimp. The profits of the slaver are immoral as are those of a drug-dealer, pornographer, extortionist. No reasonable man consider the profits of the taco-stand owner to be immoral, or a corporation that sells I-Pads, I-Pods, cell phones, etc.

                      In similar vein, nothing that is stolen (like Joseph Fester’s e-mails) can be considered moral and any actions taken as a result of information gleaned from them is likewise immoral. That is why their repurcussions are going to be negative and long-lasting.

                    • George, profit is profit. The morality enters by how that profit is gained. I know that is what you are saying. I’m just simplifying it.

                      There was a man who made money selling pornography. He made a large donation to a parish (Orthodox). The parish really needed the money. Should they keep it?

                      (They returned it.)

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      Let’s untangle some things here.

                      First, I responded to the notion that “limited government” enhances national sovereignty against oligarchs when in fact sovereignty is ensured by a government strong enough to enforce national boundaries against interlopers. The idea that the way to strengthen boundaries is to relax their regulation and encourage “freedom” is incoherent. Removing or limiting rules and regulations that prevent boundary incursions is freeing, of course, but they are freeing at the expense of sovereignty.

                      Second, I responded to the assertion that the income tax is immoral, and the further assertion that it is unconstitutional. There is, as of now, no coherent moral metric (“secular” or “spiritual”) for the former claim, and the Constitution says nothing about prohibiting income taxation but rather Article 1 Section 8 is grants the broad power to levy taxes without limiting the form or amount of taxes other than that they be uniform across the nation.

                      I agree with you when you wrote “There are moral spheres and regulatory spheres and the nexus between them is not that great.” That’s why I responded to your claim that income tax is immoral, because it’s not in the moral sphere.

                      Does that help you understand where I’m at here? You use thoughtless catchphrases but claim rigor, and when pressed you deny the plain meaning of the catchphrases you employ.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Chris, thank you for sharpening your criticisms. Let’s begin at the end, regarding the income tax. You are right that the Constitution only mentions taxes and says nothing about an income tax. This is where custom comes in. In the almost universal understanding of the American Republic, the idea of income taxation was viewed with loathing. So much so that when Lincoln levied the first national income tax, it led to widespread dissaffection that it could have derailed his efforts to raise an Army for the Union Indeed, it was so scabrous that within ten years the Supreme Court overturned it as unconstitutional.

                      It took the Progressives another 40 years to try and hoodwink the public into accepting the income tax. Notice that Wilson –who openly despised the Constitution–worked hard to weasel in the necessary Amendment to make it official. There are still those historians who think that the entire process of ratification was suspect.

                      Notice also that Theodore Roosevelt, who also believed in an income tax, was also a Progressive. Even though he personally hated Wilson, he worked as a spoiler to ensure the election of Wilson in 1912. What is little known, is that Roosevelt’s own ideas about the Constitution were somewhat troubling. He hated for example Jefferson, calling him nothing less than “evil.” (I know that Jefferson had nothing to do with the Constitution but as a president, he strictly upheld the concept of Constitutional government.)

                      A study of the Progressive movement would show that these men were elitists, anti-small government, imperialists, and racialists as well.

                      Anyway, I’ll get to your other points as time dictates.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Chris, I have no essential argument with your first paragraph. I’m not sure what you’re getting at though. As a strict constructionist, I don’t know how increasing the enforcement ouf our borders impinges necessarily one way or another on corporate profits. That’s a non-sequitur. There are a whole lot of contingencies in between these two propositions.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      Not all boundaries are physical. The “small government” effort today is to strengthen physical boundaries while relaxing and even doing away with economic boundaries. If you wish to stop the rise of an oligarchy in the age of the computer, you need stronger regulation of financial and even electronic boundaries.

                      And note I use the term “boundaries” rather than “borders” because I think it clarifies the discussion and applies more broadly to the illness infecting modern culture on a global level, from the individual moral sphere to the international political sphere to the global financial sphere.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      When it comes to American history, the Revolutionary generation had essentially the same conflict about the role of government that we have today, represented most clearly by the views of Adams and Jefferson.

                      But neither was particularly “small government,” despite all the revisionism and cherry picking of their legacies that are a feature of modern political rhetoric. They both wanted a vigorous Federal Government albeit in different ways.

                      “Small government” is a marketing slogan that means “government that only does what I like, and doesn’t do what I don’t like.” It’s as incoherent as the passions of the moment but allows those who wield it to pretend they have a political philosophy.

                      And this applies to the income tax debate in this sense: Taxes exist to fund the government. Period. The first income tax was enacted when existing taxes proved incapable of funding the Civil War, in part because a good portion of the tax base, the South, was no longer participating. When income taxes returned they were an attempt to address the shifting basis of wealth that occurred as a result of the Industrial Revolution and the concentration of wealth in the Gilded Age.

                      This was coherent with the Revolutionary Generations’ oven values, both Jefferson’s and Adams’. The Revolutionary generation was opposed to recreating the social system of an inherited upper class seen in Europe. When Lincoln established the inheritance tax he did so on this moral basis, that it was wrong for America to tolerate the recreation of the European class system.

                      That moral value plays no role in today’s tax debate, as if it never existed. And so the “small government” marketing slogan is employed not in service of a flat tax and etc., but in service of allowing those making hundreds of millions to be taxed as if they were earning hundreds of thousands, and those whose earnings are from investments to be taxed at the same level as the extremely poor.

                      What’s needed is a new discussion, all the old terms having been polluted by marketing.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      Sorry to post so much this morning, George, but thought this excellent piece by John Medaille would help you understand some of my thinking and criticisms here…

                      http://distributistreview.com/mag/2011/06/the-political-economy-of-distributism/

                    • So, you are a Distributist Chris. Second inference confirmed: you posit a Third Way thesis. You denied this, remember? It was the only possible structure that gave your assertions any coherence (not that I think third ways are inherently coherent). You really should have been more clear about your views from the outset.

                    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                      I’m sorry, but distributionism still looks like “taking something from Peter and giving to Paul”. In other words, just a fancy terminology for what looks suspiciously like communist and socialist ideas.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Acton has a good intro and critique: Beyond Distributism

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      I don’t agree with John’s prescriptions, but I think his social criticism is closer to mine than most of what passes for conservative thought these days.

                      Then again, I was conservative when Bill Buckley was a right-wing intellectual with a bad case of liberal envy, and Ronald Reagan was a right-wing ex-liberal who never learned what “conservative” meant but who knew he didn’t like the left.

                      That today “conservative” means a melding of these two is a repudiation of what the term meant for decades before them. They succeeded in doing to “conservative” what ECUSA idid to “Christianity,” rendering the term unrecognizable to those who went before them.

                      Barry Goldwater wrote “The Conscience of a Conservative” before he ran for president in 1964, and everything he feared the government would do it has…under allegedly conservative Republican administrations, right down to the embrace of torture. It wasn’t “liberals” who violated his conscience, it was those who wrapped themselves in the “conservative” label and the flag as they followed a right-liberal path.

                      America divides Christianity into Catholics and Protestants, does that make Orthodoxy a “third way?” Similarly, American politics is divided today into left-liberal and right-liberal, does that make old-school conservatives a “third way?”

                      I ask because it seems an obsession of yours…

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Chris, waterboarding is not torture. What would you use to prise information out of terrorists? Personally, I think that because they are in violation of the Geneva Convention, terrorists, like other irregulars can be (and should be) summarily executed.

                    • A common critique of Distributism is that it uses peculiar readings of history to justify socialism under another guise. The peculiar reading is what I noticed first, particularly assertions like “liberation theology” and “culture war” are an error of both left and right (I’m still waiting for an explanation of what this really means, BTW). It’s of the same character as other assertions that you’ve made such as “the Revolutionary generation had essentially the same conflict about the role of government that we have today,” or even the short explanation of conservatism immediately above.*

                      What your assertions have in common is the radical collapse of distinctions. Terms that in their proper context serve useful functions lose their particular meaning in your reading. For example, “Liberation theology” as I explained earlier defines theology subordinated to Marxist categories. “Culture war” describes a cultural clash of competing moral visions. True, these terms are not precise definitions but the distinctions they make are real.

                      Whenever I see the radical collapse of distinctions the sonar starts to ping, especially when a cultural proscriptive that is laced with moral exhortations is offered in its place. It’s a way of discrediting prevailing ideas in order to introduce new ones without having to justify them in any detail. An example would be dismissing classical Western accomplishments as the product of “dead white males” in order to justify a feminist cultural apologetic or that class warfare is the key to unlocking history and so forth. These liberal ideas are crude, but many people are taken in by them.

                      You could call this an “obsession” I suppose, but I prefer to look at it as a caution. When important distinctions are collapsed, ideology lurks behind it and I don’t like ideologies. Ideologies are self-referencing, they purport to hold the key to the mysteries of creation but demand a slavish obedience in return that robs man of his created dignity and freedom. True, one can be free even in a prison as St. Paul revealed, but one can’t be free if his mind is imprisoned like those Marxists languishing in Soviet Gulags who were unable to comprehend why their obedience to Marxist ideology did not spare them from its judges.

                      So I welcome the clarity your are finally bringing to the discussion. At least now we understand why your reading of cultural history is so peculiar.

                      *(Conservatives are really liberals is your argument. Incorrect. Neo-conservatives are really liberals would be the proper distinction.)

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      From the founding of our nation it was conservatives who insisted that we pay our debts, always and above all else. It was conservatives who insisted that we raise taxes during war to pay for war…that it was immoral to pass the costs of our conflicts on to the next generation. It was conservatives who insisted the nation pay for the government it demanded, and found that making people pay for what they demanded provided a natural limitation on the size and scope of government.

                      Today not one of those principles is held by people who call themselves “conservative.” Not. One.

                      This very day it is conservatives who insist that defaulting on the national debt is worthy of America. Today it is conservatives who declare “nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes”. Today it is conservatives who say “Deficits don’t matter, Reagan proved that.”

                      There’s nothing recognizably conservative about today’s conservatives. Nothing. And there’s nothing “peculiar” about remembering America’s tradition and history instead of adopting the think-tanked proof-texting of both that fueled liberalism in the 1960s and The Conservative Movement™ in the 1980s.

                      What 60’s liberals did for sex 80’s conservatives did for greed. Neither grand experiment has proven to be good for us.

                      You may characterize my views and observations any way you wish. What you cannot do is disprove their basis, which is historically and factually accurate.

                      But there is something that flows inescapably from being historically and factually accurate, which is the ability to see clearly, just as standing on Orthodox Tradition allows us to see clearly.

                      And as with a commitment to Orthodoxy, committing to the truth means always repenting from error, which is something today’s conservatives have proven incapable of doing.

                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                      Chris,

                      I haven’t read all of the comments on this thread, so I can’t respond to everything you say. But as for being “historically and factually accurate,” I think your reading of American history is a little off.

                      First of all, the label “conservative” doesn’t easily fit either party in the early years of the republic.

                      Second, of the two parties, one wanted to honor the nation’s debts but not to pay them off, so as to maintain sound credit to allow for more borrowing when needed, as in time of war; the other opted either for default or for paying off the debt so as to be entirely free of it. Which do you consider “conservative”?

                      That said, I do think you are right that many “conservatives” today repose entirely too much faith in low-tax, pro-growth policies to cover all costs of war etc. That worked for imperial Britain at the height of the Industrial Revolution, but we can’t expect it to work for us in our present late-imperial plight.

                    • Some conservatives on the public debt:

                      Heritage Foundation

                      American Enterprise Institute

                      Cato Institute

                      Manhattan Institute

                      Acton Institute

                      Mackinac Institute

                      I don’t see one conservative arguing we should default on the public debt. The arguments I hear is that it is immoral to shoulder the next generation with it.

                      Can you name whom you had in mind?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Chris, the reason I don’t think we Conservatives should be the patsies of the past is because such a strategem will only ennable the Liberals to take us further down the primrose path of socialist annihiliation. In the 50s, the Conservatives were fools who wore the green eyeshades and said “well, we can’t afford to do ‘X’ but since we don’t control the Congress and since we hate to pass along debt, let’s raise taxes to cover the shortfall.” Screw the Liberals.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      LOL! You guys are doing comedy, right?

                      Am I to understand that the only conservatives are in think tanks? That there are no conservatives in government? That Mitch McConnell or John Kyl aren’t conservative? That Rand Paul or Pat Roberts aren’t conservative? That John Boehner or Eric Canotr or Michelle Bachman aren’t conservative?

                      LOL! Poor movement conservatives! They have all the answers but no-one in any position of responsibility! Who knew “conservative” merely meant “consultant?”

                      And how about those 1950s conservatives, George? Such schmucks they were! LOL! They actually sacrificed to keep America safe from communism. Only idiots do that! And they actually thought they shouldn’t kick the cost of WWII and the Cold War down a generation or two. What patsies! LOL! So glad we know better today!

                      I’m afraid that’s all the comedy this guy can stand in a day.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Chris, your stream-of-consciousness naming of Congressmen is not an argument. What is your point?

                    • Waterboarding is not torture? That makes me think the death penalty is OK because probably in most cases the executed was guilty. Thanks to Chris for taking to task many of the political viewpoints expressed here.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Chris, the illogic of your argument leaves out the fact that “from the founding of our Republic” the federal government never undertook the massive social engineering that it has since the days of LBJ. Heck, they would have choked on the diktats that Lincoln enacted by executive order during the War Between the States.

                      Thus, one can’t hold Conservatives to a standard in a game when the rules have changed so dramatically.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Ask anybody who’s been waterboarded. Would they rather be waterboarded or flogged?

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Surely Chris you cannot be serious about our Founding Fathers wanting some type of big government. Their only foray into such an ideology was when Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. It was so universally execreted by the majority of the populace that it was soon overturned.

                      Regardless, the idea of the national government being as intimately entwined with the personal circumstances of ordinary people is clearly ahistorical. It was always the Progessives who litigated for ever-intrusive standards against overwhelming opposition from the entrenched morality.

                      Not that such sentiments were necessarily a bad things. The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was all in all a good thing. As were the national standards for meat-packaging that Upton Sinclair pioneered.

                      That being said, presidents as different as Monroe and Cleveland went out of their way to veto bills that would have helped discreet groups of people based only on Constitutional grounds. Monroe vetoed the first national highway bill; Cleveland vetoed a relief bill for farmers stricken by a drought in Texas. And of course Jackson paid off the national debt and closed the Second Bank of the United States.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Chris, one reason I cannot be a socialist like you is because I recognize the moralistic elements that are necessary for a distributist or redistributionist economic regime. Now, as a Christian, I have much sympathy with the Distributists and Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII. This “social gospel” however is based on a moralistic regime that must be upheld by both parties –the capitalist and the workers.

                      I will give the early Progressives credit because they recognized this necessary underpinning to their program. The living wage (for example) could only work if the normal understanding of society was that women would not enter the workforce. Catholic social teaching in this regard mandates (or heavily suggests) that people lead moral lives otherwise they would squander the resources allocated to them.

                      We tried this in the original Welfare/AFDC/Medicaid programs. AFDC went only to widows, not divorcees. When these were started in the mid-twentieth century, case workers went house-to-house and inspected the recipients to see if they were living uprightly.

                      This is impossible at present. As a health professional, I can tell you that the stereotype of the Welfare Queen is a valid one. I’ve stopped counting how many Welfare cards I’ve seen in which there is one mother, five children, and three or four last names. A blind man can see that such “families” are unstustainable and we live with their wreckage in every major American city.

                      Anyway, getting back to my original point, I would consider a Distributist economic scheme provided that there was a moral concensus that could sustain it. Otherwise, it can’t work.

                      My question ultimately, is do you see that your own anti-free market/economical liberty bias is based on unobtainable (at present) Christian/traditional moral standards?

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      George,

                      Waterboarding was considered torture by the United States of America (and the rest of the civilized world) right up until the minute that George W. Bush decided that he needed to use it, at which point conservatives rallied to the novel idea that waterboarding really isn’t that bad.

                      No-one would defend waterboarding a dog or cat, people get that this is inherently inhumane. Somehow today’s conservatives can defend doing to human beings what they would not allow be done to an animal, and that’s pretty novel if you ask me.

                      You might want to talk with Fr. Hans about disappearing distinctions.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      So tell me, you guys. Did you read John’s piece or did you see the word “Distributism” and go off without bothering to do your homework.

                      After all, you don’t seem to be responding to my criticism or his, but rather to the straw dog you’re assuming exists.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      Just checking in for a moment and saw I missed this:

                      Chris, one reason I cannot be a socialist like you..

                      ROFLMAO, I needed a good laugh before prayers tonight. Thanks for providing it!

                      ….do you see that your own anti-free market/economical liberty bias is based on unobtainable (at present) Christian/traditional moral standards?

                      LOL! And when did you stop beating your wife, George? 😉

                      Seriously, I give you an “A” for effort because it’s not easy to be so totally incorrect in your assumptions.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Chris, please cite me the specific US Code which describes waterboarding as torture. Please also cite me the specific Geneva Conventions which grant the same rights to terrorists, guerrillas, and other irregulars as to prisoners-of-war.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Logan, if the WBTS was a “War of Rebellion” then what was the War for Independence? The sovereignty of the states was never in question. Secession had been threatened at least twice before: by South Carolina when Jackson was president and by three New England states specifically over the issue of slavery in the 1830s.

                      Furthermore, the question of states’ rights was widely understood as a necessary check on federal power. The states believed in nullification and individual citizens did as well, in the form of jury nullification. Jury nullification was used to override unjust laws. In the North it was used to free escaped slaves and those who aided them.

                      Why was secession an option? Because everybody understood the answer to this question: which came first, the States or the Constitution? The States or the Federal govt? The States or the Congress? The answer in all three cases is: the States.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      ROFLMAO! George, I’ve gotta hand it to you, you have me in stitches….we’ll, actually the surgeon put me in stitches but you have me laughing pretty good.

                      The notion that something cannot be torture unless it’s specifically detailed as such in the US Code is so novel, so unimaginably literal, that one could scourge another human being as Christ was scourged and not have it amount to “torture.” One could even press a crown of thorns on the head…not torture. Because there’s nothing about a crown of thorns in the US Code!

                      And the notion that conservatives, much less Orthodox Christians, should limit their consideration what is moral or simply decent when it comes to these things based solely upon the US Code is depressingly legalistic. By such lights abortion is simply another medical procedure.

                      But let’s review what waterboarding really is, shall we?

                      We take a human person created in God’s image, a temple of the Holy Spirit, our brother for whom Christ died, who is entirely under our command and control, tie them to a board so that they have no freedom of movement of arms or legs or torso or head. Then we force a rag down their throat, tip them so that their head is lower than their shoulders, and force water into the sole breathing pathway, the nose, that they have available.

                      This is how we treat a living Icon of God. But hey! “A Man’s Gotta Do What A Man’s Gotta Do! .”

                      As we celebrate Independence Day tomorrow I think it really good to assert that the Framers of the Constitution intended the government have the unilateral power to waterboard people they suspect might have information they want without any checks or balances, without any review by anyone other than the waterboarders themselves. This, after all, is what “limited government” is all about!

                      Such a view is not at all conservative, but it is popular among those who are cocksure that the government would never overreach if we gave it unlimited power.

                  • Chris, if you make the point, you gotta make the case.

                    Here’s your point:

                    This very day it is conservatives who insist that defaulting on the national debt is worthy of America. Today it is conservatives who declare “nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes”. Today it is conservatives who say “Deficits don’t matter, Reagan proved that.”

                    Here’s your response:

                    Am I to understand that the only conservatives are in think tanks? That there are no conservatives in government? That Mitch McConnell or John Kyl aren’t conservative? That Rand Paul or Pat Roberts aren’t conservative? That John Boehner or Eric Cantor or Michelle Bachman aren’t conservative?

                    Well, OK, but aren’t we sliding back into the land of disappearing distinctions?

                    Again, tell us who you have in mind. That way it will give us a better understanding of how you define conservative.

                    Or maybe you could be more clear about your starting point. Do you want to adopt the Catholic social teaching behind distributism and apply it Orthodoxy?

                    • “Heck, they would have choked on the diktats that Lincoln enacted by executive order during the War Between the States.”

                      I cringe when I see the term “War Between the States,” it reminds how American History was taught when I attended public schools in the segregated south.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      There’s nothing close to “disappearing distinctions” about saying that a politician who identifies as a conservative, who is supported by conservatives and whose election is urged by conservatives is a conservative.

                      Rather, it is those who pretend that Tom DeLay, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor and Michelle Bachmann aren’t conservative who are disappearing distinctions.

                      And it’s so convenient, because then it’s always the politician who “wasn’t really a conservative” who’s to blame for the failure of The Conservative Movement™’s pet theories in practice.

                      On the other hand, my starting point is pretty straightforward: Human nature hasn’t changed. Thus all the lessons of history apply as readily today as in the past. Thus bold new theories that rest upon novel ideas of how humans “really” interact are to be viewed with skepticism.

                    • You can’t have it both ways Chris. You can’t draw distinctions among conservatives and conclude that the ones you choose represent the whole while denying the same distinctions to conservatives who argue that they don’t.

                      It would be like a conservative saying that Michael Moore or MSNBC represents all liberals. They don’t.

                      Distinctions are important. Once drawn, they open the door to the ideas and beliefs that inform them.

                      And it’s so convenient, because then it’s always the politician who “wasn’t really a conservative” who’s to blame for the failure of The Conservative Movement™’s pet theories in practice.

                      Too cynical Chris. I think you want us to deny distinctions in order to accept your assertion that the conservative movement has failed prima facie. However, even a cursory reading of the sources I’ve provided earlier proves this is not true.

                      For example, Pres. Bill Clinton, a liberal (although sometimes pragmatic fortunately), signed the Welfare Reform Act that came from the conservative side of the political/cultural divide. How is it working out? Let’s check some sources:

                      Welfare Reform, Phase Two

                      Restoring the Social Order: Twenty momentous years of conservative policy success in cities

                      The next two are think pieces but contain some hard facts:

                      Does Advocating Limited Government Mean Abandoning the Poor?

                      Confronting the Unsustainable Welfare State

                      I really wish the liberals could could produce intellectual work of this caliber but we rarely see it, unfortunately. When we do (Russell Mead, The Blue Model Breakdown for example), it is largely ignored. Remember Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Defining Deviancy Down years ago? He was excoriated by liberals for pointing out what we now see as self-evidently true. Moynihan was a Democrat.

                    • Chris Plourde says

                      Have it both ways because I call a conservative a conservative without separating out the various flavors?

                      That’s like saying I’m having it both ways because I call “pizza” any pizza without caring if one is pepperoni or cheese or sausage, or because I call “ice cream” every ice cream without regard to its flavor.

                      I gladly differentiate pizza from ice cream. But to be honest I think trying to nail down the various flavors of conservative today is a fool’s errand because everyone keeps changing their labels to avoid responsibility for what they supported just a few years, or even days, ago.

                      Gotta run, long weekend ahead. Sorry I can’t play more right now.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      This sounds like the feminist who argues that any critique of feminism proves the critic is still afflicted with patriarchal thinking. It’s a closed loop. She has such ardent faith in her ideas that she fashions an us vs. them world and anyone on the outside is an enemy. Marxism works the same way.

                      It’s what I mean when I say that ideology is self-referencing. It defines the problem, posits the solution, and then demands slavish obedience to the ideas in order to create the New Jerusalem that it promises.

                      It requires the collapse of distinctions. Those who think differently become caricatures where some features are minimized and others exaggerated — much like you did above. And when challenged, the usual response it to make the same assertion all over again — also something you did above.

                      I like Moynihan’s assessment of the problem: everyone is entitled to their own opinions; no one is entitled to their own facts.

                      Time to make your case, Chris. Your assertions are hollow. They don’t make the case for you.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Logan, cringe all you want, that’s what it was. As for the “segregated south,” what do you call the various Northern cities like Detroit, East St Louis, Gary, etc.? Paragons of integration? Of course there is no legal segregation (thank God!) but there is de facto segregation everywhere in these United States.

                    • George, I view myself as conservative in terms of family, morality, ethics, and politically, especially if it conflicts with my value system. That being said, it is somewhat alarming to see elements under the conservative banner that bring unneeded baggage. Perhaps it’s my own sensitivity, but terms like War Between the States, states rights, limited government, reverse discrimination are anachronistic for when “old times there are not forgotten.”

                      And it was not the “War Between the States” as that implies the states had sovereignty, which they clearly did not have. If you desire historical accuracy, the correct term is “War of the Rebellion,” according to official US records (prerogative of the victors to do the naming.)

                    • George, you said

                      “Why was secession an option? Because everybody understood the answer to this question: which came first, the States or the Constitution? The States or the Federal govt? The States or the Congress? The answer in all three cases is: the States.”

                      When the Second Continental Congress declared independence in 1776, the states were colonies. In 1777, Congress drafted the Articles of Confederation which were used as the de facto system of government until their ratification in 1781. The Articles set the rules for the operations of a national government. Article 13 stated that its provision were inviolable and must be observed by every state and that “the Union shall be perpetual.” No states could have armies or engage in war without permission of Congress. Congress would serve as the final court for disputes between states. The states never had sovereignty and never had any legal standing at all outside of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. So, the answer is not the States, but Congress.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Logan, if the States were only Colonies, then are we to assume that they had no authority? Is there a difference between a “colony” and a “state”? If so, then the Congress was a nullity and all its subsequent acts were null and void. Including the Constitution. The question is not directed towards me because I believe that the Congress was legitimate (as well as the Constitution) but to those who don’t believe in the right of secession.

                      And since we’re on this path, by what right did the Colonies secede from Great Britain?

                    • Logan, if the States were only Colonies, then are we to assume that they had no authority? Is there a difference between a “colony” and a “state”? If so, then the Congress was a nullity and all its subsequent acts were null and void. Including the Constitution. The question is not directed towards me because I believe that the Congress was legitimate (as well as the Constitution) but to those who don’t believe in the right of secession.

                      And since we’re on this path, by what right did the Colonies secede from Great Britain?

                      Notwithstanding the appeals to natural rights, the Colonies had no right to independence. If their efforts had failed on the battlefield, the leaders would have been found guilty of treason and hanged.

                      My point was the colony of Virginia became the state of Virginia with the Articles of Confederation. At the time it became a state, it acknowledged a higher authority, Congress, when it ratified the Articles. Thus my statement the States were never sovereign to begin with.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Logan, good point but not completely true. Their sovereignty was based on natural rights which (BTW) presuppose a Christian understanding. (And that’s a whole other can of worms that the secularists/liberals don’t want to engage in.) And anyway, the Articles of Confederation were superseded by representative authority. Regardless, it’s still hard to escape the fact that this authority was derived from the people within the states/colonies. Otherwise, how could the 55 men who drafted the Constitution been given the authority to supersede the the Articles.

                      And let’s not forget the fact what the word “confederation” means. A grouping together of federated polities.

      • The Commerce Clause just may render Obamacare null and void. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the Supremes rule on that question. Thank the Founders for those “negative rights” that Obama and the like-minded find so troubling.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Fr, regarding your story about the pornographer. I remember reading about 5 years ago Sen Chris Dodd (D-Conn) making a $5,000 donation to a small Catholic parish. The priest returned it as well. Dodd was one of the major players behind helping Clinton sustain his veto over the partial-birth abortion bill.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          I certainly hope you’re right. while we’re on the subject, I am not against the Commerce Clause, just the increasingly liberal use of it to regulate behaviors that cannot be construed as commercial or mercantile in their first or second iteration. An example would be using this clause to outlaw people bearing arms within 300 ft of a schoolyard. That’s an idea that can be debated on its own merits. using the Commerce Clause to illegalize this behavior is obtuse.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          The commerce clause will NOT defeat the Health Care overhaul that President Obama supported and was based on Presidential Hopeful Mitt Rommny’s model that American business wanted to take the pressure off of them to provide Health Care.

          Justices present and past have defined the commerice clause to be so elastic that it will uphold the new law. Rommniecare was never declared unconstitutional neither will President Obama’s overhaul of our incredibly stupid healthcare system in this country.

          I have always found it very interesting that we as a nation found and expanded trilions of dollars in a war based on a lie (Iraq) and another that was based on pure futile aims of nation building (Afganistan), but we cannot spend less than this amount or even more than this amount on healthcare.

          We find money to kill people, but we cannot find money to heal people and to care for them. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, not to love him unless it costs to much. This is not a Social Gospel, but a true reflection of how a truly Christian nation should take care and provide for its people.

          Being that we do not, and never did, we are not a Christian Nation, and never have been. This includes this, and many other things (i.e. Abortion, Same-Sex Acceptance, Death Penalty, Stupid and Unnecessary Wars, etc).

          We are more Pagan Imperial Rome than anything Christian. Heck, we’re not even a Republic anymore but an Empire striding the world like a colossus, just like Pagan Rome.

          How utterly sad.

          Peter

          • Peter, I hope you are wrong about the Commerce Clause but I fear your might be right.

            As for health care, here’s my :

            Try to get back to a payment system as close to doctor and patient as possible. Every ask a doctor his prices for cash? It can run up to 50% less than insurance charges. It’s not that he set higher prices for insurance. It’s dealing with insurance imposes higher costs that are born by the patient.

            This doesn’t cover charity care, and so forth. I have no answer for that except some kind of social safety net. Make it something like food stamps. We don’t take over the food industry to help people buy groceries. There’s no reason to take over the health care industry to help people get health care.

            I just don’t agree that Obamacare would be good for the country. Essentially the argument comes down to nationalizing the insurance industry. Government can’t even master simple education, at least the liberals can’t. The worst performing schools in America are in Democratically controlled cities. Why give them the hospitals?

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Hi Father Hans:

              The question of healthcare in our country and any other country is multi-facited with very different motivations behind it.

              The model you put forward that medical costs can run up to 50% less than what an insurance company charges is correct if you are dealing with PCP (Primary Care Physicians). Accomidations on the PCP level should and must be made to actually get the insurance company out of the way and let the patient and doctor work out their fee arrangement. So you are correct in this regard.

              Where it gets tricky is when you get into medical “Specialities.” meaning – Orthopedics, Neurologists, Oncologists, High-End Surgeons, Etc. These Physicians, and rightly so because of the medical specialty they practice, charge an extremely hefty price. The Hospitals that these doctors have privileges in also charge a hefty price if a patient spends and time there or is treated there, especially on a long term or consistent basis.

              Going to the Mayo Clinic is not the same as going to your avergage Advocate Hospital or Health Clinic. These institutions, along with the doctors they give privliges to, are high end and very expensive. Even a “so-called” local Orthopedic Surgeon charges conservatively $5,000.00 a surgery, again $5,000.00 A SURGERY! Three to four surgeries a day for about three to four days a week. Again that’s conservatively.

              These costs start to add up.

              This is why the pre-existing condition rule was created because if you develope cancer, COPD, Heart Failure, even diabetes, the costs in treatment alone would kill an insurance company. Take a cancer patient that patient will need Chemo-Therapy, Monitoring, Testing, possibly surgery depending on the type of cancer, rehabilitation, home care, and if terminal hospice care. The cost of care would run into the hundres of thousands, and that’s for just ONE PATIENT

              The government is the only entity that can truly absorb the cost and spread the risk of pre-existing condition care out to a broad all-inclusive group. Now this “Single-Payer” concept can be administered and doled out by the government OR it can be mandated and regulated by the government, but the mechanisim and administration cared out by private companies – This is the current bases for Mitt Rommnie’s and President Obama’s Healthcare models. However, a if you follow the latter model you will need to have strict price/premium controls and a strict fee schedule so that medical procedures are affordable and accessible.

              Doctors and Insurance companies need to make a profit, and this is agreed, no problem there, but the true costs of a medical procedure must be set, and adheared to by all sides. Profit yes, gorging people because you can no! Now what is an acceptable fee and what is not? Don’t know, but it is something we need to debate and discuss and come to a resolution.

              On a side note: I have always found it very interesting that Doctors have always wanted to CAP non-economic damages, via Tort Reform, which means capping a victims recovery and a lawyer’s fee in a medical malpractice case, but when we start to talk about CAPPING doctors fees then we have committed a very grave sin! A lawyer’s skills are not as worthy it would seem as a doctor’s skills.

              Ah the fallen human nature, it never ceases to amaze.

              In any event, the government working in cooperation with the private sector, can achieve a solution to this problem. We just have to stop fighting long enough to find a solution.

              Peter

              • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                Peter, a question:

                ISTM that the health care issue is more a problem of finance than anything else. What if insurance companies broadened out to a national market rather than state by state? That is what Obamacare essentially does although it makes the government the primary insurance carrier as I read it (premiums paid in the form of higher taxes).

                I ask this because I noticed that when I had to start buying health insurance on my own, the prices quoted between states differed substantially, often to hundreds of dollars, for the same coverage. Wouldn’t expanding the pool foster a price competition that the current system disallows?

                Let’s assume here that some regulation is in place — preexisting conditions covered and so forth.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  My profession is insurance. The reason that prices differ from state to state is the result of several factors: 1. Demographics (age of the population and gender distribution); 2. Use of care, particularly prescription drugs; 3. Availablity of care (rural vs urban); 4. the extent the market is dominated by few carriers; 5. State mandates and regulations including premium taxes and other fees.

                  Price competition is not really that much of an issue only #4 would be impacted. The acutarial necessity of covering the morbidy of the population you insure is much more significant. Merely expanding the size of the pool does little since the morbidy and the needs can be quite different on a county by county basis (even by zip code in some cases).

                  The way in which my state, Kansas, decided to deal with the pre-existing condition situation was to set up a state-sponsored high risk pool under the auspices of the state but administered by a third party TPA and Medicade of course. All of the health insurers who do business in the state are required to contribute to the pool based on the amount of business they do. So pre-existing conditions can be covered in Kansas. The issue is the affordability, as one might expect the premiums can be quite high. Getting assistance for the premium of some kind for those above the Medicare threshold would seem to be the next step.

                  Obama care destroys our system completely as well as a number of other mechanisms that work to make good care and affordable health insurance available in an older, still significantly rural state. And our systems are destroyed before anything can be substituted for it since the timeline in the bill is simply ridiculous and unobtainable (as with most features of the bill down stream).

                  There is no reason to go national, IMO. If a relatively small state such as Kansas can have good programs in place (improvement is always possible) then pretty much any state can.

                  What is worse about the national model is that it is based on a political ideolgy of egalitarianism combined with a deep ignorance of the actual facts and well-meaing sentimentalism (especially among Christians). That produces pricing models that are grossly unsustainable on an actuarial basis. Even the supporters of the plan, such as the Kansas insurance commissioner, will tell you this. All of the cost projections in the bill are pure fantasy because of this. They will be at least 3 to 5 times higher out of the shoot. .

                  The solution to the grossly defecient actuarial assumptions is higher taxes or restriction of care–probably both. None of the benefits that are promised will occur. Health insurance and health care will both be more expensive and less available than they are now and the poor children will be the most effected.

                  Maybe, maybe a national high risk pool could work, but the Orwellian control that is entailed in the current bill is just an excessive curtailment of freedom. But we in the US have shown repeatedly that we are willing to trade our freedom for the promise of economic security–not even the reality of economic security, just the promise.

                  And BTW, once the coverge of pre-existing conditions is mandated, the coverage ceases to be insurance, i.e, the sharing of the risk of an unknown and (for an individual) unpredictble occurance . There is no way to adequately price for such coverage of already existing problems, or to spread that risk. It’s like writing insuance on a burning building. Insurance has to discern the different categories of risk an price appropriately for that risk, i.e, discriminate

                  Insurance companies need to be more responsive the the actual care needs of those they insure; doctors and hospitals need to be more reasonable in the pricing of care; we need to be more educated, informed, assertive and have a lower expectation concering outcomes and cost. (One cannot cover everything for free, perfection is not possible) The government can establish broad parameters to be followed in all of these areas, but it won’t help for them to trash everything in place and take it all over as is the intent of the bill. It will only get worse and the solution will then be more of the same.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Hi michael

                    I agree with much of what you have to say, but I believe that your arguments lend more support to a single payer system that anything else. Unfortunately, much of this argument my become academic as our current economic situation may render a robust healthcare system in America in a holding pattern until we get our economy back on track.

                    Most of this argument comes down to mechanics, logistics, and financing, but not whether Americans should have affordable access to medical care.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Unfortunately, any organized use of other people’s money whether it is private or social insurance tends to increase the cost of the care and decrese the availability. The more centralized the source of the money (as in single payer) the more costly and less available care will become.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Michael, I couldn’t have said it better myself. This nation is a laboratory of several sovereign states. As much as I despise socialized medicine, I have no problem with the great state of Blagoyevechia wants to institute Cuomocare and force everybody to buy into it, they can do so. That’s why I’m not so exercized about Romneycare in Mass. I wouldn’t do it and don’t want it, but guess what? I don’t live in Mass.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Hi Michael & George:

                      I would have to respectfully disagree because the single-payer model not only works in other western industrial states, but works in America as well under Tricare (I.e. Single-payer for the U.S. Military), VA & Medicare.

                      We can debate the different levels of funding, especially for Medicare, but that aside the single-payer system works. Heck the healthcare set-up for Congress works give us that and I won’t care about single-payer ever again.

                      Peter

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Peter, you’re right about Tricare but this demographic is far more exclusive and self-selected than the population at large. When you think about the military you’rre automatically talking about a younger, more fit population. As for the VA, all I can say is that my experience with it is that those who can opt of it, do.

  6. Michael Bauman says

    Sovereignty is crucial in a nation maintaining a rule of law and avoiding anarchy. Control of the borders is a key component of that sovereignty.

    Now there are a lot of folks,espeically the ones who are tempted by some form of liberation theology who see the nation state as always and everywhere oppressive, especially to the poor. Ah yes, the poor. It is politically expedient to use “the poor” to get almost anything passed into law that the politicians can then use to leverage power. It’s almost as good as “the children”

    The poor are greatly disadvantage by a lack of rule of law.

    Unfortunately, the rule of law is under great pressure in the United States as identity politics and various forms of globalism seem to be taking its place.

    If you want to help the poor, support the rule of law here and in Mexico. Mostly that means supporting a less corrupt governement in Mexico, but it also means supporting an intelligent and enforceable immigration policy in the US that will not be circumvented by powerful political elites (Democrat and Republican) for their own purposes and indeed focus on the viciously criminal. But make no mistake, an uncontrolled flood of those simply seeking refuge and better economic opportunity will be just a bad as the cartels and terrorists in the long run.

    It also means refusing to buy into the identity politics of the race-peddlers and the utilitarian economics of so-called conservatives. It means caring for the poor within the law where ever we find them when we find them realizing that we will be ultimately unsuccessful.

    Unfortunately too often, well-meaning Christians are tempted by the Siren-song of statism as the solution. Statism and open borders are not the solution–that way leads tryanny and an even greater oppression of the poor.

    It is complex, it is difficult, and it will always be with us.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Michael, you’re absolutely right. When the rule of law breaks down (as it has on our southern border) it is the poor who are most vulnerable. The affluent live in their gated communities while poor aliens are exploited in ways that resemble the slavery of the Old South. As for the native poor, they are preyed upon by vicious gangs who hold them (whether white or black) in contempt.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I agree. Absolutely correct, but can we put the genie back in the bottle? Shoudl we try a different bottle? I have no answer.

        Peter

  7. cynthia curran says

    True, George about the Germans according to Tacitus, even some of the Catholic Christians noticed some better morality among the Vandal Arians when it considered sexual morality. The ancient Germans were hard on adultery. Well, even the Byzantine Royalty had some German from time to time. Both Theodosius the 2nd and Pulcheria mother was German. Usually, the Germans are among Orthodox thought of as basically a bunch of Barbarians.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Cynthia, you are right. One fo the strengths of some of the barbarian kingdoms was their morality. Even though they were Arian heretics, they looked down on the soft Romans who were orthodox.

      One of the reasons that the northern “barbarians” tended to be more moralistic than peoples living further south is that the harsher climates made polygamy or serial monogamy (and bastardy) next-to-impossible. It took all the strength of one man to push a plow and eke out a meager living for one family. In Asia or Africa on the other hand, where calories were easier to come by (because the winters were almost non-existent), one man could more easily support more than one wife. In sub-Saharan Africa for instance, one man could lean on his spear and watch five women perform light agriculture. This was impossible in northern Europe. In Asia, the women of a harem could spend their days gathering while their husband tended cattle or sheep.

      It goes without saying that in the most developed part of the world at the time, the Mediterranean basin, there was enough surplus wealth that strict hierarchies could be formed in which freeborn men could avail themselves of concubines (if they could afford them) and prostitutes. You could say that legal polygamy didn’t exist but actual polygamy did.

      Regardless, this moralism was so inbred in the northern Europeans that they brought it to the American colonies and was one reason the less-hospitable US was able to leap economically over the more sexually sophisticated Latin American countries even though Spain had a one hundred year head start over England in colonizing the Americas.

  8. cynthia curran says

    Actually, the Byzantine Empire was closer to Feudalism than Socialism. During a lot of its history their were large landowners and many workers-sometimes in the early period were known as the Coloni, similar to serfs in Western Europe. There was periods when the emperors encouraged smaller land owning to get small farmers to join the military service. People mistake about the Byzantine empire being socialistic since in some areas more government control but most historians note that it follows the late Roman Period with large landowners and the medieval period which also was divided into landowners and workers of the land akin to serfs. Granted, some periods smaller farmers during the 7th to 9th century were more common in the Byzantine Empire. The industry most control by the state was the silk industry since that was tied into the imperial court .

  9. cynthia curran says

    Talking about the modern world, well a lot of conservatives like Texas, but even if I don’t agree with Paul Krugman on all subjects Texas does poorly on a lot of categories like Schooling and so forth since it has a high hispanic population while Wisconian has a much smaller minority population. As George stated here, immirgation has led to a lot of low skilled workers from Mexico which don’t value education among their children as much as the asian immirgants who are a much smaller group. Read Focus North America recent comment on getting food to poor people in Orange County Ca which is usually thought as well to do because of low white poverty but it states that almost 50 percent of school children qualify for free and reduce lunch programs what caused this as George stated a lot of illegal immirgation from Mexico and some legal immirgation from asian groups. Personality I don’t see why we need to import poverty into our country.

  10. cynthia curran says

    True, George, the Justinian code mentions a lot about concubines. There were also still a few categories left where men of higher class couldn’t marry certain women like women who had been prostitutes and Justinian himself changed the one for women who had been actresses, so he could legality marry Theodora which he had his uncle Justin the first changed that law where repented actresses who are elevated to Patrician status can wipe out the guilt of being an actress and marry who they wanted. Justin the first according to Procopius wife Euphemia was first a slave then a concubine and then Justin’s wife.

  11. cynthia curran says

    Well, the financial situation happen because people who didn’t have the income to pay houses were paying them. Both the left and the right for different reasons supported this. Its not any regulation its the right type of regulation that counts.

  12. cynthia curran says

    That may be true that American Conseratives think you can have a high defense and keep the taxes low, not certain if they was that was truce for 19th century conseratives in Europe which are not as likely to pushed classical liberalism-19th century liberalism which influences American Conservatives. American Conservatives are big government when it comes to miltary defense and agriculture, so maybe they can learn again how to use the big govenment they approve of again. Defense industry jobs pay better than most manufactoring jobs-the problem is more automation and even some of the defense manufactoring is overseas. A lot of liberals and conservatives supported the heavy defense manufactoring that got US out of the depression during world war II. Britian like every empire going back to Rome lost when the military in their empires were weaken.

  13. cynthia curran says

    Pagan Rome was were Christian Rome came from. As George stated here, Constantine was no pacifist. As for the death penality read the Justinian Law Code, even Rape was punished by death. In later law codes Leo’s mulitation replaced the death penality and less use of the death penality. And Constantinople had abortion too, Read Procopius Secret History and their is a referance to abortion.Also, the so-called Eastern Romans still thought of themsleves as the heirs of Pagan Rome, even Justinian who was against pagans called the emperor Augustus pious. As for warfare, I would say most of the warfare of the Us is closer to the Eastern Empire most of its defense rather than conquest like Pagan Rome was in the late Republic and early Empire. The late Roman Empire most wars were either civil or defense wars against Persia, the Huns, and the Germanic tribes.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    Logan, would you perhaps prefer “The War of Northern Aggression”? It was a war between states. It was a war between ideas (union vs confederation); it was a war of economic systems (industrial capitalism vs slave based feudalism). You can take your pick of a whole range of other reasons. Certainly if slavery did not exist, it is doubtful that the war would have occured, but there were more issues. We are still reaping the fruits of our founding.

    • Logan, would you perhaps prefer “The War of Northern Aggression”? It was a war between states. It was a war between ideas (union vs confederation); it was a war of economic systems (industrial capitalism vs slave based feudalism). You can take your pick of a whole range of other reasons. Certainly if slavery did not exist, it is doubtful that the war would have occured, but there were more issues. We are still reaping the fruits of our founding

      Probably the prevailing sentiment in Massachusetts was to let the southern states go and good riddance. But Massachusetts, as a state, didn’t have that choice, because it was bound to a union known as the United States. Actually, the term “War for Southern Independence” would make more sense because it was an insurrection that developed into a full scale rebellion that failed. Because of that failure, those that rebelled were guilty of treason. For those of us who were raised in the South and taught to glorify our southern heritage, it’s something we don’t like to acknowledge.

      Make no mistake, from the Southern states’ point of view, it was all about slavery.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Logan, slavery of a sort is still with us. Why do you think our elites want illegal aliens flooding our shores? To pay them next-to-nothing and to depress the wages of American natives. Even Cesar Chavez, who was very left wing saw this and organized his union as a proto-Minuteman border-defense league. I guess what I’m trying to say is that since you’re so against slavery you would welcome the mass deportation of all the illegal aliens. (Which is what the Abolitionists wanted to do in their own day. Lincoln too.)

        • George, let’s give the abolitionists their due. You advocate people here currently to take a stand, both religiously and politically, on what you consider to be a burning moral issue. Likewise, the abolitionists opposed slavery based solely on moral grounds, since slavery was both legal and constitutional. Actually, the abolitionist movement grew out of the Great Awakening Movement–a widespread religious revival in the first half of the 1800s. It was not a popular position politically and Lincoln certainly was no abolitionist. Take a look at William Seward (Seward’s Folly), if you want an example of a politician who was an abolitionist and also fought for equality for Blacks in the North.

          And yes, I agree with your statement that our elites support only token enforcement of immigration laws, especially against employers, and are the main obstacle to the accomplishment of any meaningful, or workable immigration reform.

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            Logan, I’m glad that you agree that the Abolitionist movement grew out of a strict Christianity. It did. Many however wanted to repatriate the slaves to the Caribbean and/or Africa. Lincoln did as well.

            Your cant phrase “meaningful immigration reform” is merely liberal code for “more of the same.” All sides want real immigration reform, even nativists. All who really want real immigration reform that helps the US while being humane at the same time understand full well that this cannot happen until the laws which we have on the books are enforced across the board. Right now, immigrants who are productive and actually pay taxes (income taxes, not just sales taxes), who are law-abiding (not like the M13 and other Latino gangs), and who want to assimilate (not like MecHia, La Raza MALDEF, Aztlan), have to go to the back of the line whereas any common criminal can cross the Mexican border at will and mooch off the system.

            Before you go off calling me a nativist/racist/etc., let me give you a powerful example of what I am talking about. This one hits close to home. I have a dear friend from Russia who came here to study and got a green card. He stayed here for several years, married, raised a family. He worked in the oil business then branched out and started his own business. A reader in our church, a true saint. Never had a black mark against him. Because of an infraction he had when he was in college (Iike most of us), this was used against him and he was greeted at the airport on his return from a trip abroad, clapped in irons, and taken immediately to a holding cell where he rotted for three weeks. He was fed twice a day, bologna and rice and water. That’s it.

            The full force of the federal govt was brought against him. For God’s sake, he’s an employer! He pays taxes! He abides by every law known to man! But noooooo….. Jose the Cuthroat meanders across the Rio Grande and goes on a murder spree and we’re all supposed to cry boo-hoo. He sires illegimate children, puts them on Welfare, gets in an accident and clogs up the emergency room, and to even mention these facts make us racists.

            Am I mad? You better believe it. Ever had to go to an emergency room? I did twelve years ago when I was in a car wreck and got blind-sided. I was strapped to a bunkie-board tight so I could be immobalized. I was left alone for 4 hrs. Finally my bladder was about to burst and I started yelling for a urinal. Meanwhile, “immigrants” are getting treated for colds and minor fractures. For free. I paid bills on this for the better part of a year.

            Forgive the rant.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        So I take it that individual states can be dragooned by the federal government into going off to fight wars of agression against natives who have customs it doesn’t lilke? (Rhetorical question.)

        Massachusetts had a choice. It’s just that the elitist puritannical Yankees that ran it wanted to punish the South for its sins –John Brown writ large. Also to prevent the creation of a CSA which believed in the creation of free-trade zones in which foreign imports could come to North America, unload its cargo, and not pay any tariffs. The high-tariff walls that existed and allowed American manufacturing industry to grow would have been undermined by goods unloading at Charleston, Galveston, and New Orleans.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Yes indeed, Peter. Are we up for the fight? It’s for the soul of the Church and whether there will be one. At this point, I must applaud the GOA for its recent encyclical. To be sure, it’d have more “oomph” if individual bishops cut-and-pasted +Jonah’s letter and sent it out but hey, it’s a start.

        • Sorry George your painting of the Ol’ South as a victim of elitist Yankee moneychangers doesn’t fit. In 1857, the South with New England support, primarily wool manufacturers, enacted the Tariff of 1857. This was a major tax reduction for the US and created a lowpoint for tariffs at the time. And yet, it did not stop southern secession a few years later. And on the issue of tariffs, where was revenue to support the national government to come from, as there was no income tax. The South had controlled the Senate for decades. It was the West that was changing that as there would be more free states than slave states in the future. That was the rub–slavery would be at risk then.

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            Logan, please read the following:

            http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/civilwar.html

            One of the money quotes is that the South had been heavily subsidizing the Northern industrial interests since 1828. The loss of capital was onerous.

            That this happened and whether it was legal is of course debatable. However, the writings of Lincoln in the regard of “imposts”, “tariffs”, etc. make my case directly. Also Lincoln’s capitulation to allowing slavery to continue as well as an apartheid regime of racial hierarchies in the North.

            So yes, there were solid economic reasons why the Yankees wanted to prosecute this war of agression against the South. And no, they didn’t listen to the Abolitionists who welcomed the secession of the South.

            • George, I read your cite. Nothing new there, except the Libertarians have now adopted this largely discredited Charles Beard interpretation. It’s OK to be Libertarian, to distrust all things Federal, and to cherry pick historical facts to support your position. But to champion the Slave South, to support a modern political philosophy, won’t win you many arguments or adherents IMHO.

              As I’ve already pointed out, tariffs were at an all time low. It’s also interesting to note that the numerous groups, trying to find a political compromise in 1860-61 to avert war, that not one of them had to do with economic policies (the Crittenden Compromise, the Corwin Amendment, and the Washington Peace Conference.) This issue was slavery. Yes, there were many issues contributing to the causes of secession and rebellion, but the dominant one was slavery. Even with the other issues, they were indirectly tied to slavery.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Logan, I take it that the primary sources from that time (which are referenced in Rockwell’s piece) don’t make the case? That would be interesting.

                Let me press further: while you are right that the tariffs were at an “all time low” it is important to remember that the so-called Tariff of Abominations was enacted in 1828 –a full three decades before the outbreak of hostilities. This tariff and its subsequent modifications had severely decapitalized the Southern states effectively reducing them to economic colonies. To look at the tariffs at that time is disengenuous. It’s no different than castigating the descendants of immigrants for being poor. Yes, they probably are poor but unlike natives who have been able to accumulate wealth going on several more generations, what would one expect? The debilitating effects of these earlier tariffs had done their damage. Also, the veto by James Monroe of the first national highway bill very likely hurt the South, further reducing its competitiveness with the North which had more passable roads and three times as many railroad tracks.

                As for the compromises that you cite, you are correct that they had to do with slavery only. But by then the South was so dependant upon slavery as an institution that if it had been wiped away then it would have been reduced to even further penury. This of course is regrettable. Therefore I cannot be accused of supporting the “Slave South,” merely pointing out the structural defects that had reduced the South to being a quasi-feudal region.

                Having said that, you appeared to ignore the reprehensible attitutdes towards black people mentioned in the article that were enshrined in the minds of the North, Lincoln included. It appears that you can only buttress your case that this was “only about slavery” and that the North was somehow angelic by not mentioning these attitudes and political maneuverings that were being undertaken in a last-ditch effort to avoid war. Which, btw, would have been a good thing.

                Does this mean that I would have approved of slavery? Of course not. In the 1830s, there were over 130 abolitionist societies in the United States. One hundred of them existed in the South alone. Intelligent, well-meaning people in the South saw the untenableness of that “peculiar institution.” That’s why some of them (like Stonewall Jackson) violated local laws and taught their slaves basic skills like reading and writing. It’s not enough to simply emancipate servants if they don’t have the basic skills to function as free men (as the successors of Tsar Alexander II of Russia found out).

                As for slavery itself, it would have died out on its own by the end of the 19th century, in much the same way that it died out in the North. In those states with a majority black population (Louisianna, South Carolina) it might have evolved into the quasi-feudalistic sharecropping system with a bare majority of black men being disenfranchised. That of course would have been troubling but that’s what happened anyway under Jim Crow (which was a violent backlash against the punitive Reconstruction policies of the Radical Republicans).

                Anyway, enough digression. Please tell me your response to the primary sources which talked only about the dire straights that the Federal gov’t would have found itself in had the CSA been granted independence and allowed to undermine the high-tariff regime imposed by the Northern industrialists.

                • George, Democrats in Congress, controlled by Southerners, wrote the tariff laws in the 1830s, 40s, and 50s, culminating in the all-time low rate in 1857. To characterize the Southern States as exploited economic colonies is uh, well . . just fanciful thinking. The Southern States, mostly wealthy planters, were the first OPEC and their oil was cotton. By 1860, they controlled the majority of cotton produced in the world. Cotton, by itself, accounted for 60% of all US exports. The wealth that was generated was phenomenal, although concentrated in the Southern planter class. Prior to 1860, most of the really wealthy men in the US were southerners.

                  The road to wealth in the South was cotton and slaves. Southerners invested their abundant capital not in factories, railroads, transportation, but in slaves. Again, not land, not machinery, not livestock, but slaves were the most important asset. Interestingly, you mention Monroe’s veto to the first national highway bill and how it hurt the South. Monroe, a Southerner and slave owner, may have done this for the same reason the Confederate Constitution prohibited the Confederate congress from appropriating any money for internal improvements–the Southern planter class did not want anything that might promote commerce and manufacturing, as that was seen as a direct threat to their interests.

                  The South became dependent on slavery, not because of the North, but because of old-fashioned greed.

                  You keep bringing up the reprehensible attitudes towards black people by Northerners. An accurate statement, to be sure, but how does that equate to slavery? Would you have me think evil things about you, or would you rather have me subject you to physical bondage? It’s puzzling in a sense to see on your blog how you advocate people to openly fight secularism and its attendant evils, but yet refuse to give credit to those that did so 150 years ago because they were Northerners. With the religious revivals of the 1800s, many Northerners became abolitionists and began thinking about applying Christian ethics to social problems. Southerners, on the other hand, tended to look at personal improvement, like temperance, rather than social improvement.

                  I have an ancestor who owned a small farm in Tennessee in 1861. He, at age 54, and his four sons, went to Kentucky and enlisted as privates in the 9th Kentucky Infantry to fight for the Union. I don’t know his motivation, but I don’t think it was economics.

                  Your statement that slavery would have died out on its own is troubling. That’s like saying discrimination would have died out on its own, and there was no need for Brown v. the Board of Education, or the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

                  Please don’t take my comments the wrong way. As an amateur historian, and not a very good one at that, I have a hard time letting contemporary political and social ideas go unquestioned when history is cited as authoritative proof.

                  • Geo Michalopulos says

                    Logan, I’ll take your points one at a time: you should know as well as I do that no one group in Congress “writes” the laws. Whatever comes out of Congress is tortured, meandering, and created only after much horse-trading. That’s by design. (Bismark’s dictum to avoid looking at the making of sausages and laws.)

                    The fact that the tariffs were “at an all-time low” as you state does not negate the principle that capital formation in the South was hampered long before by the Tariff of Abominations in 1828. That’s like saying that because blacks were freed by the 13th and 15th Amendments and enfranchised by the 14th, that they should have risen to the top of the economic heap or at least achieved parity with whites. Logically, there was no reason why they couldn’t all things being equal, but the legacy of slavery imbued them with pathologies that transpired over several generations.

                  • Geo Michalopulos says

                    Regarding Monroe: you are correct. Monroe’s veto was based on principle, he thought that because he thought that the federal legislature had no business engaging in building national highways (I disagree btw). Unless we have access to his personal writings, I can’t say whether he also thought that this would somehow “help” the Southern planter class of which he was part. In fact, it no doubt hurt them.

                    As for my contention that his veto (and the dependence upon slavery) hurt the South, I still hold to that. Individual planters may have been among the wealthiest of Americans at the outbreak of hostilities but the vast majority of Southerners were dirt-poor. That is what I meant by the South being hurt by these tariffs. And by slavery, which depressed the wages of the native whites.

                    As to my “refusing to give credit” I apologize for not making myself clearer: the Abolitionist movement was very much a Christian movement. That I did not talk about the religious revivals that led to it is certainly an oversight on my part, however it does not negate the specific thing which I am talking about, which is that the War was one between the States. A civil war by definition involves belligerents who are concerned over who controls the nation. The South simply wanted out, not to control the federal government.

                    As to your ancester who fought for the abolition of slavery, he is to be commended. However an equal number of Northerners fought for the South. Albert Pike (Boston), Quantrill (Ohio), spring instantly to mind.

                    As for my statement that slavery would have died out, that has been debated by many able historians. To conflate it with Brown vs Board of Education is troubling however. Some black nationalists and conservatives have taken issue with the view of white liberals that because blacks had their own schools that they were ipso facto inferior. Even if we assume that this was necessarily true this would prove that white liberals are just as racist as conservatives supposedly are–which is troubling in and of itself– the fact remains before the end of segregation, African-Americans families were in far better shape by almost all socio-economic metrics than what we find in today’s inner cities.

                    As to why this is, remains a topic for another day. I can only tell you what my own black friends and acquaintences say: that under segregation, black communities were intact, capital remained within their neighborhoods, and the upper classes served as role models for the poorer members. Illegitimacy –which is probably the engine that drives all pathology regardless of race–was unheard of pre the Great Society/War on Poverty. Among whites it was 5%, among blacks, 15%. Those numbers are idyllic in comparison with what is going on today. Barring a major religious revival, it’s probably over for the inner city.

                    • George, when I look up the word “civil war” in the dictionary, I get “a war between political factions or regions within the same country.” The confederates did not recognize Federal authority within the 13 southern states and sought to replace that authority with their own government through the use of armed force. You can call it a civil war, a rebellion, a war for independence, all with varying degrees of accuracy. Southern apologists use the term “War Between the States” to emphasize states’ rights and downplay the role of slavery as a cause. For them, the war wasn’t a rebellion, or a civil war against a lawful national government, but a mistaken notion that it was a war between individual states that were free to leave the the union if they chose.

                      As I pointed out earlier, the states never had sovereignty. The colonies became states in a “perpetual union” under the Articles of Confederation, and then formed a “more perfect union” under the constitution. They never had the freedom to leave the Union. Whether you agree with that statement or not, it became moot at Appomattox and Texas v. White.

                      However, almost 150 years later, we continue to see this “Lost Cause” nonsense that in the Civil War somehow it was the bad guys who won and the good guys who lost. Somehow, the virtuous white Christians with their just cause were treacherously defeated by invading armies of a tyrannical Federal government. And because they lost, it is that same tyrannical government that seeks to enslave us all now.

                      The honest truth for us Southerners were our ancestors were the bad guys. Their cause was not just, it was treason, and it caused the death of some 300,000 American soldiers and patriots.

                    • George, you said:

                      As for my statement that slavery would have died out, that has been debated by many able historians. To conflate it with Brown vs Board of Education is troubling however. Some black nationalists and conservatives have taken issue with the view of white liberals that because blacks had their own schools that they were ipso facto inferior. Even if we assume that this was necessarily true this would prove that white liberals are just as racist as conservatives supposedly are–which is troubling in and of itself– the fact remains before the end of segregation, African-Americans families were in far better shape by almost all socio-economic metrics than what we find in today’s inner cities.

                      You may argue, maybe with some validity, that the method/outcome of desegregation was less than optimum. But, please, don’t try to justify segregation on any level–it was evil as slavery, as well as immoral and sinful. Your view of Brown vs. Board of Education is distorted as well, unless you really believe the “equal” in the “separate but equal” doctrine was actually applied anywhere. Black schools were at the mercy of white-controlled local and state governments. Black schools had fewer books, worse buildings, and less-paid teachers.

                    • Logan, you cannot say that “segregation on any level” was as “evil as slavery.” You can only say this as to legal segregation (seperate lunch counters, restrooms, Army units, etc.) Segregation still takes place every day in America –and especially on Sundays. When you see only white young people at an AC/DC concert, or rabbis refusing to bless the union of a Jew and a gentile, or the Daughters of the American Revolution restricting their membership to the descendants of Colonial soldiers, or black ministers inveighing against interracial marriage, then unless you condemn each and every one of these acts, you not only can’t say that segregation is evil but, you can’t even say it should be illegal. Why? Because under these circumstances, it is supported by the First and Fourth Amendments.

                    • George, you said:

                      Logan, you cannot say that “segregation on any level” was as “evil as slavery.” You can only say this as to legal segregation (seperate lunch counters, restrooms, Army units, etc.) Segregation still takes place every day in America –and especially on Sundays.

                      The topic was racial segregation, specifically pertaining to Blacks. When I alluded to “segregation on any level,” I was referring to racial segregation enforcement and maintenance, ranging from social norms to legal statutes to vigilantism.

  15. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Hi everybody

    Did everybody read the most recent articles on the OCA truth website about the Gay Agenda hitting the Orthodox Church? If not go and read them. The war has just hit the Orthodox Church. Funny how Orthodoxy had clarity on the sin of homosexuality before all this happens, but now that the GA has come to the Orthodox Church the whole issue with homosexuality has become confused and a dialog needs to be had. Talk about Deja Vu. We Orthodox thought we were immune. Better get ready people, it’s going to be bumbling ride.

    Peter A. Papoutsis

  16. cynthia curran says

    Well, George, I have a real understanding of what you are saying about illegal immigration. I lived in in Southern California from 1963 until 1995, and that area became ground zero for years on the illegal immigration issue.

  17. cynthia curran says

    Anyway, just think the US has had only one Civil War in its history while let’s say the old Roman Empire had periods with a lot of Civil Wars. I believe a recent English historian Goldsworthy states the fall of the West was the Civil problem again in the 4th and 5th centuries. That’s why the US being a Republic and one that tries to avoid too much concentration in one branch avoids lust for power as much as there are in monarchies or emperor run governments. And this also includes the Eastern Empire where assassination occurred because of the lust for power Think of Irene even blinding her son because of the lust for power.

  18. cynthia curran says

    Well, George can use the examples of Marcian and Anastasius here. If Republicans can cut spending like Marican and Anastasius did their lifetime, then taxes can be kept low. Marcian and Anastatsius were able to streamline the Byzantine Empire spending and cut some taxes since they didn’t over extend themselves on defense spending or building projects. And Anastatsius was responsable for the long wall defense.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Cynthia, we have definately overextended ourselves if you ask me. I fear that if spending is not reduced significantly, then we can look to Greece as to what will happen.

  19. Awesome, I like your post.

  20. cynthia curran says

    Anyway, I heard that Calif is teaching the history of the contribution of gay/bisexaul/ and lesbian. I guess that in world history now in High School you can read Suetonius Life of the twelve Caesars about the contributions of gay folks and that emperor Hadrian not included in that had a lover name Antinounis.

    • Pravoslavnie says

      Interesting parallel. I have since learned that in Russian culture “blue” is a euphemism for homosexual.

    • Watch out for the law of unintended consequences. This may hit public education the hardest and make it worse than it already is as parents pull their children out of public school.