JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/10/quote-of-decade.html (31 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1223559469-597584  PolyKahr at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 13:37:49 +0000

While I always hope for the best, I can't help but agree with Mr. Sensing's assessment. The bailout, or rescue, or whatever euphamism you choose to use, was a really, really BAD idea. Businesses that are not on the approved list (think makers of evil black rifles) will now be starved of credit. Those that are politically correct will have more than they need. New ideas will not come to fruition unless some bureaucrat gives the nod. I weep for my country.


jsid-1223561180-597586  Matt at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 14:06:20 +0000

Reap what you sow: this is what the war has brought us- less liberty, less money, more government. You wanted war, so you had to hitch your wagon to the same people who brought us this mess. Congrats.

jsid-1223562730-597588  Sarah at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 14:32:10 +0000


How do you believe that a Gore or Kerry government would've handled this differently?

jsid-1223563245-597589  Adam at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 14:40:45 +0000


I don't think he does. I think he subscribes to the idea that government involvement at all is a Bad Thing, and that a war that costs money to the individual is inherently (by association) also a Bad Thing. Which, I suppose, is a fine idea, it just doesn't actually deal with the problem of "there really are people out there who want to blow you up."

jsid-1223563775-597590  DJ at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 14:49:35 +0000

It's much like saying that the important aspect of a vaccination is the pain the injection causes, not the pain and misery it prevents.

I have a growing fear that, very shortly, we'll all be looking back on the good ol' days of the Carter administration.

jsid-1223566101-597596  Sarah at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 15:28:21 +0000


We did get eight years of Reagan after four years of Carter.

I'm almost at the point where I hope Obama wins. Better to have someone who is undeniably liberal screw things up rather than give anyone any room to say it was free market ideology that caused this or that calamity. After four years of Obama, 'liberal' might be a bad word again, and America could be ready for someone like Jindal in 2012.

jsid-1223566804-597598  Oldsmoblogger at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 15:40:04 +0000

We did get eight years of Reagan after four years of Carter.

Yes, we did. But -- meaning no disrespect, Sarah -- had Carter (hawk ptooey) nationalized the financial system, Reagan wouldn't have made much difference. Doesn't matter who SecTreas is any more -- she's got that club, she's going to use it.

We should've "scared the white people" back when it would have mattered.


jsid-1223566829-597599  Adam at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 15:40:29 +0000

The only problem with that approach, Sarah, is that the last 8 years have demonstrated perfectly that the majority of people in the media (both in the U.S. and abroad), in addition to the majority (if not all) liberals, believe or at least convey that any fault or errors caused by a liberal politician are somehow the blame of other systems.

Obama could have an eight year presidency, see pure economic calamity, and it would be blamed on the current administration. It would also be blamed on the next administration.

Such a hope relies entirely on intellectual honesty and the ability to accept blame in others. Quite frankly, I do not think it exists at all in the liberal community.

jsid-1223567004-597600  DJ at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 15:43:24 +0000

Ah, the clichés appropriate to the occasion are endless, Sarah. I, too, hope the towels are clean when we climb out of the shit into which we are being dragged.

But your sentiments have merit. The left nutroots will undoubtedly scream that it's all Bush's fault, and all the fault of the free market, and so on. What the Obamassiah does not bring to the party is the ability to make it better, indeed he would make it monstrously worse.

My sentiments have merit, too, most notable of which is that Ronald Reagan is quite dead, and I am not aware of anyone who could carry his briefcase. The opportunity is being set up for us to emerge from the depths of stupidity, but do you see any political leader who effect such a change, beginning four years from now?

jsid-1223567197-597601  TOM at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 15:46:37 +0000

This news item seems to have slipped under the radar


If we can't depend on elected law enforcement to protect property rights; what does that portend for our economic system? Is private enforcement now an acceptable alternative? Vigilantes to the front!

jsid-1223571870-597604  Sarah at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 17:04:30 +0000


Like I said, Jindal in 2012. Unlike McCain, he is youthful, upbeat, and unapologetically Republican. If over the next four years he demonstrates any political acumen in Louisiana, I think we've got reason to (ahem) hope.

jsid-1223571996-597605  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 17:06:36 +0000

The second comment in his response linked to a video of an interview with Naomi Wolfe. Did you guys see it?

I always thought she was a bit unstable, but right about a lot of things too. But that video has now convinced me that she's a total loon.

She claims that the Bush administration is solely responsible for the pushing the bailout. In fact, while the Bush administration does bear some responsibility for the current situation, they at least tried to fix it back in 2003 and 2004! At that time, the Democrats completely dug in their heels claiming that nothing was wrong.

I would put the relative levels of responsibility at 30% Republicans/70% Democrats. Yet Ms. Wolfe completely ignores ignores the 70% responsibility and tries to shift it all to those who are 30% responsible!

For all her apparent work towards expecting a civil war (obvious) and returning this country to it's founding principles, it's now obvious that she's helping the destruction along, not the restoration!

When I first read BarackObama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crises, I thought it was a bit paranoid. But when I compare that article, what Obama's chosen mentors have said, and what he has said (see video here), it's clear that their idea of "change" is complete destruction. And Ms. Wolfe is helping them, not us! When she wrote the book "Don't Shoot the Bastards (Yet!)", she wasn't talking about the Fascists, she was talking about us!

Just consider what Malcom X, one of Obama's heros says at the beginning of this video clip:

"You will never get real freedom and recognition between black and white people in this country without destroying the country, without destroying the present political system, without destroying the present economic system, without rewriting the entire Constitution. It'll be a complete destruction of everything that America supposedly stands for."

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go earn more money so I can buy more guns.

jsid-1223574477-597609  DJ at Thu, 09 Oct 2008 17:47:57 +0000

And, Sarah, so far he demonstrates competence. Notice that the MSM has been damned nearly silent about the aftermath in Louisiana of the recent gulf hurricanes.

We'll see.

jsid-1223600646-597615  perlhaqr at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 01:04:06 +0000

Ed: Don't Shoot the Bastards was written by Claire Wolfe, not Naomi.

jsid-1223602672-597616  DJ at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 01:37:52 +0000

Obama is a socialist, you say? Really?

Whaddya s'pose the New York Times will say about this?

jsid-1223625002-597619  Ed "What the" Heckman at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 07:50:02 +0000


Oops! :: smacks forehead HARD ::

Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I got confused because both of them write on the same basic topics and I'm not that good with names.

I'm glad to be wrong about Claire.

Naomi, on the other hand, is still a loon. Come to think of it, I remember reading an article very similar to what she was saying. (At least as much as I watched. I stopped when it became apparent that she was not on speaking terms with honest scholarship.) If her list was anything like that article—and her first couple of points were—then some of her "characteristics" didn't describe fascism at all. For example, the principle of the rule of law does not describe fascism, but it is a principle the authors of the Constitution considered to be crucial.

jsid-1223647681-597626  Oldsmoblogger at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 14:08:01 +0000

The rule of law is the foundation of constitutional republicanism. Furthermore, the laws should be few, and their reach limited only to things that are malum in se based on a morality grounded in natural law (the law of Nature and Nature's God, if you forgive me pilfering the words of better men than I).

Democracy unfettered, on the other hand, is the rule of man, which is the law of the jungle.


jsid-1223651120-597628  Ed "What the" Heckman at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 15:05:20 +0000


Good point.

I would add that a cult of personality does seem to be one of the major attributes of fascism while unfettered democracy can be part of fascism for a while, but that it's generally incompatible with fascism's basic totalitarianism.

jsid-1223658586-597631  Reality Czech at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 17:09:46 +0000

Like I said, Jindal in 2012.
Jindal has drunk the same religious-whack Kool-Aid as Palin. He apparently endorses both creationism and exorcism.

jsid-1223665106-597634  Oldsmoblogger at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 18:58:26 +0000

Yeah, but if he tries to establish a state church (helpful hint: he won't), you'll still have your guns. ;-)


jsid-1223667171-597635  Ed "What the" Heckman at Fri, 10 Oct 2008 19:32:51 +0000

Reality Czech,

How many thorough and consistent conservatives do you know who are not christians. Yes, I know there are lefties who claim to be christians, but they don't actually believe the Bible. I'm talking about actual conservatives and where their foundational beliefs come from. There may be a few who are not actually christians, but they are a significant minority, and there's a reason for that.

And if you think creationism is "whack," you need to read up more on science. I'm currently reading The Cell's Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator's Artistry. Yes, the author makes a case for intelligent design as part of his book. He presents his arguments at the beginning and end of each chapter, but personally, I think those arguments are fairly weak. On the other hand, the bulk of each chapter (80 to 90% of the content) is simply clear and straightforward descriptions of how a cell works. That is where the author's true expertise and skill shines through. I was never good at chemistry or biology, but his explanations are so good that I almost never have trouble following what's going on.

I gotta tell ya, the internal mechanics of a cell is absolutely amazing. I've even had my mind blown several times by the concepts embodied in a "simple" cell's functions. For example, imagine writing a meaningful sentence that's made up of at least 100 three letter words. (Basically impossible to do even on purpose.) Now imagine dropping the first letter of the sentence, adding one letter to the end, and adjusting the position of the spaces so all the words are still three letter words and having the new sentence still be meaningful, though different. That is exactly how some single celled organisms can create different proteins from exactly the same strand of DNA. (For example, Mycoplasma genitalium)

I've run through the math before on the odds of single strand of DNA necessary to create any single simple protein (there were simplifications in the math which always favored naturalism) and the odds against it occurring without intelligence massively dwarfed the number atoms in the entire universe times the number of seconds the universe has been in existence. (Using NASA's 13.73 billion years estimate rounded up to 15 billion.) And then to find out there is such a thing as overlapping genes was literally jaw dropping.

(I can run through the math if you really want me to.)

You should check into what goes on within a cell. You don't even need to read the specific book I linked to. Just make sure it uses language you can understand. If you think it could have "just happened by chance" after learning the real science and how deep the complexity goes and precisely tuned everything is, I will be very surprised. The more I learn about the actual science, the more amazed I become that anyone could ever take Darwinism seriously.

BTW… There's another excellent book I can also highly recommend called I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. The authors make a step by argument based on well established science for the existence of God, and from there for the reliability of the Bible. What will probably surprise you, is that they do not even assume the existence of God, let alone quote the Bible, until they've shown that God's existence is likely based entirely on well established scientific theories and practices.

You are perfectly free to refuse to believe in God, but personally, I'm not into intellectual suicide.

jsid-1223737091-597654  Unix-Jedi at Sat, 11 Oct 2008 14:58:11 +0000

Now, Ed, that's just insulting.

Granted, you were replying to an-insult-in-kind, and much more eloquently, but:

You are perfectly free to refuse to believe in God, but personally, I'm not into intellectual suicide.

is just a wee bit too far.
No, a lot too far.

How many thorough and consistent conservatives do you know who are not christians.

More than I know who are Christians in one stripe or another. People who are mostly conservative based on logic and not just a reverse-Markadelphia thought pattern make up most of the people I know, both online and off.

Most of my entire friendbase explodes in laughter when we're being accused of various beliefs and activities because we're brainwashed fundamentalists.

If you think it could have "just happened by chance" after learning the real science and how deep the complexity goes and precisely tuned everything is, I will be very surprised.

Control your surprise.

The more I learn about the actual science, the more amazed I become that anyone could ever take Darwinism seriously.

Maybe it's because it's rather easily proven for some trivial cases, and the science and investigation of evolution (which is leaps and bounds ahead of Darwin, who was studying stuff with at best a microscope keep discovering and working and reinforcing the basic idea Darwin is famous for publishing.

This also tangentially relates to the anti-science ideas fundamental to "Intelligent Design", namely "Ah, we know what we know, any further down, and it's God." Despite the fact that the more we do go down the farther we find to go.

Your comments about DNA would be impossible had we stopped in the 30s with our genetic knowledge. Instead, we kept questioning, and almost yearly our genetic knowledge is further enhanced by newer discoveries. And guess what there has been as our knowledge has increased exponentially from the time of Darwin?
That the systems work in a manner consistent with evolution.

The mechanisms have yet to have a supernatural component. Everything we discover - so far - is natural. And not just "chance" - that's misused in the ID false academic environment.

Darwin wasn't right about everything - he was limited by what he could investigate and how deep he could go. But nothing discovered since he postulated the "survival of the fittest" has realistically refuted him.

But if you really want to argue Darwinism, go look up the Galapagos Islands inhabitant and check out the DNA tests on them. Where it's obvious that most of his rough (by today's standards) guesses as to the lineage and ancestry of those animals were completely correct.

Hey, if you want to be religious, fine by me (and the other irreligious conservatives I know.) But spare me the 1) sanctimonious assumption that we agree, and 2) lay off the insults about our knowledge and the scientific investigation into the world. Those books you're reading couldn't have been written 50 years ago. The ones written 50 years from now won't be possible today - unless we stop the investigation and throw our hands up and say "It's God's work! Tada! We're done!"

jsid-1223750073-597657  LabRat at Sat, 11 Oct 2008 18:34:33 +0000

Ed, how much reading DO you do in biology? I don't need you to be able to read and understand a technical article aimed at other biologists (although to claim the level of understanding necessary to say that it's ridiculous that "anyone takes Darwinism seriously", you REALLY SHOULD BE ABLE TO), but I do definitely mean that which is written without a religious agenda.

Because I generally believe that if I'm going to deem a group a pack of liars and fools- and I definitely do feel that way about "Intelligent Design" as it exists as a movement- I should probably go read their arguments and their literature. And I have, and what I find is a hell of a lot of misrepresented biology combined with specious arguments and the systematic omission of those (rather large) parts of biology as a field that don't jibe with them. If you are not that familiar with the field in general, it's basically impossible to see this.

For example, I STILL on a regular basis encounter ID proponents that sonorously hold up the bacterial flagellum as an example of irreducible complexity, and claim wide-eyed that if anyone were able to demonstrate how this could be done by means of natural selection, ID would be "falsified". (This usually in the process of claiming that ID is so a science and therefore falsifiable and this is why.) The problem is that that paper is over a year old- and the system was far from unstudied when Michael Behe first bandied about as "irreducible complexity". (And, in the same book, claimed the field of molecular evolution did not exist, which greatly annoyed the molecular evolutionary biologists who had been under the impression that it was thriving.)

I've argued with you before and believe you to be an honest man, which is why I don't consider YOU a liar or a fool. But when you say things like "just happened by chance" (there is relatively little chance involved in evolutionary biology), it rather gives the impression that you don't understand the field you're claiming is nonsense.

jsid-1223792403-597672  Mastiff at Sun, 12 Oct 2008 06:20:03 +0000


A lot of religious folks of all stripes are hung up on this notion that God's existence is provable. They're barking up the wrong tree.

In order to preserve free will, God's existence cannot be provable. If it were, free will would be fundamentally crippled.

Mind you, there's plenty of circumstantial evidence I can point to, but you'll never find a showstopper of a proof. God wants it that way. Deal with it.

(I speak of rational principles here. Direct experience via mystical practice is another thing entirely, but that kind of thing usually doesn't impress those who haven't experienced it for themselves, so free will is preserved.)

jsid-1223792518-597673  Mastiff at Sun, 12 Oct 2008 06:21:58 +0000

(Of course, my statement assumes that God wishes to preserve free will… but I say He does, therefore He does.)

jsid-1223868854-597694  Stephen R at Mon, 13 Oct 2008 03:34:14 +0000

"How many thorough and consistent conservatives do you know who are not christians"

I'm an atheist. So is Kevin, the author of this blog.

jsid-1223947928-597709  Kevin Baker at Tue, 14 Oct 2008 01:32:08 +0000

I don't qualify, Stephen. I'm not a "thorough and consistent conservative." I'm a classical liberal.

jsid-1223957785-597716  Stephen R at Tue, 14 Oct 2008 04:16:25 +0000

I think it's a matter of sematics. To many, "conservative" ~= "religious right". To them "Conservatives are Christians" is a tautology.

Other than the religion thing, "conservative" to me is basically the same as "classical liberal".

If you disagree, in what ways are they different?

jsid-1223989469-597721  Billy Beck at Tue, 14 Oct 2008 13:04:29 +0000

I beat Sensing to it.

On the very day that the Y2K election was resolved in the Supreme Court, I wrote that Bush would be a "spectacularly rotten president".

I win.

jsid-1224086073-597748  Adam at Wed, 15 Oct 2008 15:54:33 +0000

"...I wrote that Bush would be a 'spectacularly rotten president'.

I win."

I'm not aware of what your criteria for such an evaluation is (if I had to make an assumption it'd probably be wrong), so my lack of knowledge here kind of begs a question:

What (not necessarily who) would constitute a good president? What criteria and evaluations would you use to denote an "average" president?

I'm not challenging the results of your evaluation (though my use of language does have some inherent connotations to that effect) - I'm actually curious.

Would you mind sharing? :)

jsid-1224169513-597759  Billy Beck at Thu, 16 Oct 2008 15:05:13 +0000

"What (not necessarily who) would constitute a good president?"

Indeed. Do you see the difference between Sensing and me, now?

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