Meeting at the fringes

Driving into a criminally early meeting this morning, I listened to Sen. Rick Santorum on NPR flogging his book — and flogging Hillary Clinton and liberals in the other sense of the word. His interviewer says that in It Takes a Family, Santorum attacks big government, big media, big entertainment, big universities and big business. Santorum says, taking off on his fellow senator’s book:

They say that ‘it takes a village’ but really what their ideology is based around is the individual. We understand that the basic unit of society is the family, that the individual needs to be nurtered and supported and molded and shaped through this family structure, through the real village, which is the church, the community organizations….

Sounds like a village to me.

But what’s interesting here is the talk — from both sides — about molding people.

Santorum goes on — listen up bloggers — to attack libertarians:

One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. The left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they come around in the circle.

He’s right but not at all in the way he thinks. Stay with me.

Santorum continues:

This whole idea of personal autonomy — I don’t think that most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. And they have this idea that people should be left alone to do what they want to do, that government should keep taxes down, keep regulation down, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, that we shouldn’t be involved in cultural issues, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world. And I think that most conservatives understand that we can’t go it alone, that there is no such society that I’m aware of where we’ve had radical individualism and it has succeeded as a culture.

Well, here’s the tasty irony to that: Santorum is trying to portray “individualism” as “radical” when I’d argue, and I’ll bet most of you would agree, that individualism — otherwise known as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — is the core of Americanism.

That’s not radical. That is the center of America. That is where most of us live — in let-us-be land. Santorum lives on the fringe, right neighborly with the PC folks who would tell us what to think and say.
Yes, the far right and far left do, indeed, meet at the fringes and that’s where Santorum is: They meet at trying to shape people and they only disagree about the mold — Christian or progressive — and to interfere in culture and language and in some cases business and in other cases the bedroom. That is the radical edge.


Now note also that Santorum is against something else that is essentially American in the conservative mold: big business (and big media). This reminds of me — dare I speak the name? — Bernie Goldberg. Go to his site and you will see a fancy show directed at Big Bad Media as the enemy.

What I saw that, I thought it was odd for a conservative: He’s looking for government regulation of and interference with media and busineess. I thought that government regulation was poison to conservatives.

Ah, but conservativism isn’t the thread that ties these guys — and their odd, mutated form of conservatism together: It is control. That, you see, is where these two fringes really meet: At the desire to control us, the way we live, the way we talk, the way we think. That is radical. It’s not true conservatism. It’s not true liberalism, either. It’s not true Americanism, as far as I’m concerned. Valuing the individual is American.


Watch out, too, for the internet in all this. The internet is the ultimate in individual empowerment. That’s what the internet is at its core: a way for each of us to do what we want and need to do. It is the ultimate expression of our individualism. And these guys hate that.

  • Angelos

    “Now note also that Santorum is against something else that is essentially American in the conservative mold: big business”


    Have you any idea how much he sucks the corporate cock? Against big business. Are you kidding me?

  • The title of “It Takes a Village” is taken from an African motto, which Santorum chooses to ignore while taking issue with it. He tries to tie ‘village’ with ‘big government’ – and either assumes the listener doesn’t have the discernment to know the difference, or is unable to make the distinction himself.

  • billg

    Mr. Santorum and his fellow travelers are obviously on the wrong side of the American Revolution. It certainly is refreshing to see one of these anti-democratic theocrats acknowledge their agenda and admit they don’t want the rest of us to be free. Mr. Santorum shares more in common with the folks who blew up London’s Tube than he does with our Founders.

    Good to see NPR help expose this seditous virus. And, thanks to Jeff for a fine on-target post.

  • Andy Freeman

    > The title of “It Takes a Village” is taken from an African motto

    Is it a real African motto or something made up for political purposes?

    Either way, why should we take it seriously? Are Africans known for their child rearing?

    Or, to be more snide, is that a Hutu or Tutsi village?

    And, note that the folks popularizing the village theory pretty much destroyed the American version (which did work) with the welfare state.

  • Sphaeron

    Great post Jeff… for a while now I’ve been trying to put my finger on what it is about Santorum that bothers me. He was on the Daily Show and in my my opinion he comes off as a very charismatic and devoted individual. Still, there’s something that makes me uneasy about his way of thinking– andyou described it quite well. Full circle, indeed.

    I don’t consider myself to be much of a libertarian, but I don’t consider myself as fitting cleanly into any other policital category, either. What I AM, however, is rational, understanding, and sympathetic towards the circumstances of others.


  • greg

    I’m guessing Accuweather is not one of the big businesses Santorum attacks.

  • John

    Just remeber, when CQ does it’s polling he has consistently been named as the “Dumbest” Senator. A title that many strive for but he has easily defended.

  • Does Rick Santorum show his opposition to Big Business when he rides around in a Wal-Mart corporate jet or when he votes against workers rights?

  • nick foresta

    Andy Freeman writes:

    “And, note that the folks popularizing the village theory pretty much destroyed the American version (which did work) with the welfare state. ”

    Really? What evidence do you have to back up that claim? And define what you mean by the “welfare state”.

  • Ah, Jeff you’re painfully in need of a good editor.

    Less rambling, more point/counterpoint.

    And pick a more challenging target. It’s too easy to sanction Santorum.

    (And change that muddy-looking graphic at the top.)

  • Ahh, Santorum, slowly helping the GOP lose support from libertarians like me. I hope you lose in ’06, jerk.

    Great post Jeff.

  • “the left and the right only disagree about the mold” Well said. What on earth has happened to the Republican party? The right wants to teach my kids creationis.. er. ID and the left just wants to take my money, outlaw cigarettes, legalize weed and inflate bureaucracy. What’s a voter to do?

  • On Santorum and big biz, yeah, it was an interesting positioning….
    Dan “K:” Still critical, eh

  • Tim

    Santorum? You must mean

  • Jarvis:

    Take a look at instapundit and see the range of topics Glenn’s covering. You should be writing at least about ten posts a day, short, incisive and to the point. And don’t do all that quoting. If people need to, they’ll follow the link. YOU NEED SOME SORT OF EDITORIAL STRATEGY or change the people you hang with.

    Baby, ’bout time you got serious about bloggin. Buy me lunch and I’ll lay it all out for ya.

  • Gunther

    Re Instapundit, it’s easy to write at least 10 posts a day if you don’t bother to check facts and talk out of your ass most of the time. I would also imagine that being a tenured university professor leaves one with a fair amount of free time.

    Also, the graphic at the top is not “muddy looking” — it’s “sepia toned”.

  • Sounds like the junior Senator from Pennsylvania and charter member of the American Taliban has, like his church, been perverted by decadent liberalism.

  • Gunther, yer cracked, and adjust the color on your monitor.

    “Valuing the individual is American.” And quit wit these platitudes. I’d say, “Valuing the individual who spends his paycheck completely every week is American.”

    Glenn covers science, technology, medicine, culture (or lack thereof), food, guns, etc., besides politics. Time to widen your horizons big buzz macher.

  • billg

    The blog belongs to Jarvis, not us. He can write about anything he chooses, at any length. If your attention span can’t take it, watch Fox.

  • BuzzMachine gets plenty of traffic as is.

    People who want Instapundit can go there.

    There is no reason to change BuzzMachine to make it more like Instapundit.

  • Angelos

    Guide to conservative blogs

    1. Instapundit – Calling Glenn Reynolds intellectually lazy would be to praise him. He doesn’t write, he grunts. Has gained prominence by posting a lot and never making his audience think; has done those things by never thinking too much himself. Never met a Democrat he couldn’t casually accuse of treason.

    2. Michelle Malkin – Far-right affirmative action hire who is so bigoted she’d arrest herself for trying to cross a border. Famously published a book praising internment of Japanese-Americans that was (a) incoherent and (b) probably not written by her. If she didn’t have tits, she’d be stuck writing at

    3. Powerline – Bilious Minnesotans led by someone who nicknamed himself “Hindrocket.” Talk about being manly in that protests-too-much way.

    4. Little Green Footballs – If LGF didn’t exist, Dave Neiwert would have to invent it. Heady stuff for young rightwingers, like the Völkischer Beobachter was in the good old days. Site gives off a strong scent of roast pork.

    5. Captain’s Quarters – Every so often on the subway, I find these screeds written in colored marker, in which the printing goes from edge to edge on the paper, often with words cut off in random spots at the end of the line and continued on the next. I am told that this style of writing is common among very delusional people. Ed Morrissey has the benefit of blogging software that paginates the words for him. He will deliver pages on any subject at all, always proving in his mind the perfidy of liberals and always making absolutely no sense. I bet Ed makes even other far-righters nervous.

    6. Volokh Conspiracy – Doctrinaire right-wing lawyers who intellectualize and ward off reality, interspersed with flashes of viciousness. Fortunately, Volokh is so tone-deaf he has already excluded himself from the judgeship he obviously desires – he’s described himself as a “law and order conservative” (code for putting blacks in jail) and praised torturing prisoners before executing them.

    7. Hugh Hewitt – Death to Muslims! Death to Muslims! Death to Muslims! It goes on like that.

    8. Dean’s World – Dean Esmay is popular among right-wingers as one of those centrists who just happen to hate liberals and Democrats. A proud dry drunk, he works out his unresolved childhood issues of being raised in a union household by writing about his crackpot theories on HIV/AIDS, feminism, and capitalism.

    9. Buzzmachine – A man with a face for radio, Jeff Jarvis has used his “credentials” as a television critic for TV Guide to get himself tapped by cable news as the “blog guy.” Like TV news, Buzzmachine lurches from outrage to self-righteousness to the furious riding of several creaky hobbyhorses. Like TV pundits, Jarvis comes up with meaningless catchphrases that he repeats endlessly (“News is a conversation” being the most vapid) and poses as another neutral observer who just happens to hate liberals and Democrats. And like TV generally, Jarvis’ presentation of any given issue is shallow and knee-jerk, and only really exists to promote the product, in this case, Jarvis. Caution: name-dropping zone.

    10. RedState – Formerly known pseudonymously as Tacitus, formerly considered by some liberals as a reasonable conservative, Josh Trevino found that neither was conducive to promotion in Republican circles, so he dumped the name and his former site and founded RedState. Democrats or liberals are both banned and regularly accused of treason; Muslims are presumed dangerous. Darfur is an especially favorite topic, because it both shows Islam in a bad light and has the advantage of not having to actually do anything.

  • Angelos

    That’s really weak.

    I konw you hate those guys and gals but does that have to blind you to how painfully lame those observations are? “A face for radio, furiously riding hobbyhorses, name-dropper”… dude come on.

    BTW if tits (sorry) define Michele what makes Katrina vanden Heuvel so popular.

  • Sphaeron

    Funny… I more often consider myself to be on the liberal side of the spectrium and never really felt there was anything conservative-leaning on Buzzmachine. Reading anything at any of those sites usually makes me queasy, if not outright sick to to my stomach. Quite the opposite here.

    I’m with Eric — what would be the point of trying to make the site more like another site you like better? If you don’t like it, go somewhere else. That’s the beauty of a blog, it’s not even hogging up a channel on your precious digital cable guide. :) I’ll never understand the people that read for a while, get bored, and then just bitch rather than deleting the damn bookmark and moving on. Sheesh.

  • Sphaeron

    Am I the only one that uses smileys anymore? Are smileys “out” or something? ;)

  • Angelos

    Some are funny, some miss a bit.

    Lighten up.

    I just figure it was an interesting coincidence I saw this link today, and here we were talking about Glenn Reynolds on Jeff’s site. 2 out of 10 ain’t bad.

    She’s not a hateful, ignorant, bigot? That probably helps Katrina’s cause. Also, and she can put together complete, gramatical sentences.

  • I love the people who say that you not supposed to express an opinion, then argue for free speech.

    And, how can you profess to be an expert on blogging, if you don’t do it well?

    The world is a big place, and you can cover many topics without overlapping the Glennster.

  • “She’s not a hateful, ignorant, bigot? Is that what you call lightening up?

    I like insult humor. NY Press’s “50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers” has some hits.

  • I’ll just echo the CW here in saying that this was an excellent post, Jeff. I have a word for guys like Santorum: socialists.

  • Horatio –

    Do socialists ride in Wal-Mart corporate jets?

    Do socialists support “tort reform” to protect corporations like Wal-Mart from accountability when they injure people?

  • When did we have “radical individualism” succeed as a culture? Right here in the good old U.S.A., from about 1776.

  • Sorry that was an old link. Here’s the 2005 version.

  • quesera

    @Horatio, etc. The word for a centrally controlled government is “fascism”.

    Fascists come in “conservative” and “liberal” flavors, but they’re still fascists.

  • Conservatives != Libertarians.

    This is well known. They agree (widely) on business. They don’t agree on sex. Smarter conservatives understand that there’s some problem in their ideology here, since sex sells.

    Smarter Libertarians … well, if that’s not an oxymoron, let’s just say since it’s a fantasy “philosophy”, they never have to confront their problem.

    Just to point something out, the Interent is the very essense of a society, a network – an individual site is nothing by itself, the value is in the *cooperation* among sites.

  • Chancy

    “I more often consider myself to be on the liberal side of the spectrum and never really felt there was anything conservative-leaning on Buzzmachine”

    I agree with this observation by Sphaeron

    —————However I do agree with the original critic here who said Jeff needs to tighten up his posts and do more editing.

    But Hey — It is his blog. And he can ramble if he wants to ……
    Speaking of some of the critiques here re Buzzmachine–

    And I thought only girls were bitchy and jealous of success….

    You go Jeff…..

  • Dan: You write your blog and I’ll write mine.
    Angelos: I do not know what possessed you to do that. You go to a troll and repeat his rantings for what reason: simply to insult me and without going to the trouble of creating your own insult.
    Neither of you is adding to the discussion at hand.
    You are guests in my home on the internet and this is how you behave? Didn’t your mothers teach you to be polite when you are a guest in someone’s home? Or didn’t they at least tell you to say something relevant if you’re going to join a conversation?
    You want to disagree with me about Santorum or “radical individualism” and have something to say: Bravo. You want to inult me: I have no reason to take that.
    I really have no tolerance for this right now. Behave, please.

  • penny

    The right wants to teach my kids

    Give me a break. You are painting the “right” with very broad strokes. It’s a very very small segment of the “right” that adheres to creationism. Nice try at smearing a large group with the behavior of a fringe element.

    Michelle Malkin – Far-right affirmative action hire…

    Real smarmy, Angelo! You displayed you essential bigotry and you are too stupid to see it.

  • Seth says:

    Smarter Libertarians … well, if that’s not an oxymoron, let’s just say since it’s a fantasy “philosophy”, they never have to confront their problem.

    Just to point something out, the Interent is the very essense of a society, a network – an individual site is nothing by itself, the value is in the *cooperation* among sites.

    First of all, nice actual argument and evidence against libertarianism. Slogans don’t substitute for argument.

    Second, the way you describe the Net is *exactly* the way many libertarians describe how markets and civil society more generally work. To be an “individualist” in the sense that Santorum is not, is NOT to believe that individuals are “atoms.” In fact, it is only when we value the individual sufficiently that the sorts of forms of social cooperation you mention can arise. We’d have no internet without individual freedom to contribute or not.

  • penny

    Don’t bring my mother into this you fucking asshole. You know nothing about her and how or if she raised me. It’s so typical of an old white guy to assume it is the mother’s job to teach manners.

    Wow. Not often that you witness a drive-by by a flaming anti-social whose mother probably has a parole officer.

    “Fuck” Fine, either you are a joke or a crime scene?

  • I listed to the interview on NPR this morning and what bugged me the most about it was the Santorum took the position of one who is oppressed. He claimed that when he spoke his views were opposed (why yes, that’s called public debate). But what really bugs me is that he wants to impose his morality and religion on me and doesn’t see how that makes me feel oppressed.

  • Penny’s is a non sequitor because i killed an earlier post to which it refers. And I will kill posts from people who cannot control themselves.

  • As well you should, Mr. Jeff.

    John Frost, this tendency of Christian fundamentalists to cover themselves with victim perfume and whine about their oppression annoys me as well; I think they should be happy they’re not lion food any more. But you can see where it comes from: their holy book tells them they have to kill their children if they talk back, and that they have to kill their neighbor if he works on Saturday. The law gets upset when they do that, but they’re just following their religion.

    Unfortunately, we have a pluralistic society in which their views are b y definition just as much entitled to a hearing as anyone else’s, but fortunately they’re also just as much entitled to ridicule.

  • Actually, I’m as much confounded by Andy Freeman as by Penny. He questions the origins of ‘village’ and questions East Africans’ ability to raise their children. Penny is just, as always, ignorant and dives into profanity when she can’t express herself.

    Jeff, Richard, abuse is not the natural reaction to self expression and the internet goes on because most of us aren’t going to play that game.

  • Jeff, it sounds nice to compare the “radical individualism” Sen. Santorum speaks of with the ideals of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” espoused by our founders, but does so at the expense of accuracy. In 1776, despite having origins throughout Europe, the population of the colonies shared many common elements of culture and morality. Yes, our fore fathers struggled for their freedom, but I believe they did so with a stronger sense of community that was derived from a moral rather than a governmental basis. They wanted their economic freedom and the ability to live free from the arbitrary whims of nobility (leaving aside the practice of slavery for the moment), but do you honestly think a leather queen’s individuality would have been more respected then than now?

  • It’s a pretty natural reaction to abusive self-expression, isn’t it?

    Jeff wants to maintain a certain level of decorum, and that’s a Good Thing.

  • Ruth, I don’t think it’s the idea that “it takes a village” i sreally the problem. It is more the undertone that somehow the government either creates the village or assumes a role as a surrogate village.

    Richard, it’s hard to see sarcasm over the net, so excuse me if I took your rhetoric as too earnest. Christians are frustrated because the law won’t let them kill their children? That’s a nice snarky way to parse the Bible, but either you don’t know many Christians or you know it just doesn’t square with reality. I was raised Christian but if pressed today would probably say my thonking lies more in line with Buddhism, but it has always been my experience that I meet far more Athiests who display unreasonable hostility toward Christians than the other way around.

  • owl 1

    Angelos listed some of my daily reads. Great blogs, just like this one.

    Ah Jeff, not Bernie. I like Bernie. Now Santorum just hits me wrong. I seem to never like his subject matter and it always seems a little off. He opens mouth and inserts foot. Needs to join with Carter and go quietly into a corner and just shut up for a while.

  • I was raised Christian but if pressed today would probably say my thonking lies more in line with Buddhism

    Sounds like you’re moving in the wrong direction; next stop for that train is head-hunting and cannibalism.

    But my point is simply this: American Christians are not oppressed, they are self-deluded. There is no such thing as virgin birth, and if your wife or girlfriend ever tries to tell you she was knocked-up by the Holy Ghost you should dump her. If Joseph had done that 2000 years ago, he would have saved the world a lot of misery: no Crusades, no Inquisition, no Salem witch trials, and no Discovery Institute. Things would be much better.

  • penny

    “American Christians are not oppressed, they are self-deluded. There is no such thing as virgin birth”…

    Well, Richard, for starters, very few Christians take the Bible as literal. Most of us are intelligent enough to understand metaphors/allegories/symbolism. If some want to think of the “virgin birth” as literal then that’s ok too. It’s faith, recognized as wholesomely different from reason; not a bad thing, if it harms no one.

    If Chrisitanity bothers you so much then count your blessings that you live in a secular democracy where it isn’t an issue if you believe or not rather than a theocracy like Islam where you die for your dissention.

  • Right, Penny, just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you believe in Christianity.

    The issue, of course, is making sure that this country remains secular. There are certain pressures, you see, to push us toward a theocratic model. That’s the whole point of this thread.

  • Angelos

    Jeff, I’m here every day because I enjoy your blog. I don’t always agree with you, but you can write, and you can express your opinion in an intelligent manner.

    I posted that link because of the coincidence of it. Just like I said earlier. I thought it was funny. Were I to respond to it in his comments, I would have said 9 out of 10 buddy.

    His “rantings”, and summations of the other 9 blogs, are highly accurate. All hatred and bigotry. But that’s the Republican way.

    Prey on fear.

    Just look at the Schmidt/Hackett race.

  • whodat

    Richard, I usually find your opinions well-founded and sound, but it looks like you could use a refresher on Christianity. “But you can see where it comes from: their holy book tells them they have to kill their children if they talk back, and that they have to kill their neighbor if he works on Saturday. The law gets upset when they do that, but they’re just following their religion.” That’s just wacky. Actually the Sabbath starts Saturday night. “Keeping the Sabbath Holy” has nothing to do with work.

    And just because your a Christian doesn’t mean you believe in Christianity? What does that even mean? While some things are symbolic in the bible, the virgin birth is not one of them. And if God can make the world I’m pretty sure he can make a woman pregnant.

  • I never was clear on that whole Sabbath thing, whodat, thanks for clearing iut up. But I’m curious about something, whodat. If you heard a voice in your head claiming to be the Almighty, and he told you to kill your child (or some other handy child if you don’t have one of your own) , would you comply?

    If so, why, and if not, why not?

    Just curious, like I said.

  • Jim Dermitt

    This is on Sen. Talents Iraq Blog in the comments area.
    “I am very glad to receive your Blog, it brings the big picture into my vision more truly than newspaper reporters.” VNR

    The Senators are promoted as better than the newspaper reporters or regular old writers. VNR has a point. These guys are giants in the emerging Senate Media & Book Club. Sen. Santorum could be moving on and starting a new life as an author. Sen. Talent could take Judith Millers position at the New York Times, being able to bring the big picture into vision and all. Deliver us from evil.

    AS IS: I haven’t verified this, but it is sort of funny.

    Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight It, by J. Edgar Hoover, 1958

    “EVERY CITIZEN has a duty to learn more about the menace that threatens his future, his home, his children, the peace of the world — and that is why I have written this book.”

    Well, Hoover didn’t actually write the book itself. It was written by Agent Fern Stukenbroeker, a Bureau researcher on subversive groups who was employed in the Crime Records Division. As researcher Frank M. Sorrentino explains, it appeared under Hoover’s name as part of a public relations effort to portray the director as “an expert, a sage, almost a saint, ready to deliver the nation from the forces of evil.”

  • Jim Dermitt

    P.S. I haven’t verified this, but it is sort of funny. I’m not sure of the source. I’m not sure of a whole bunch of stuff, but I try.

  • Jim Dermitt

    There was a woman who wrote sermons. Her husband was a pastor and was always busy visiting sick and dying people in the hospitals or nursing homes so time for writing was tight. The congregation never knew she wrote the sermons, but she sung in the choir and played the organ and everybody got along just fine. I can’t tell you my sources, but I can count on them in an emergency so don’t worry be happy.

  • Angelos

    Penny, Christians and Catholics alike use the bible only when it suits their needs. You excuse your bigotry and scientific ignorance with the bible. So when a cynic asks you about virgin birth and such, you can’t just say “we don’t take it literally”…

    It’s like that joke e-mail letter to President Numbskull, asking for clarification of various biblical points:

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, as we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    So Penny, so we believe in fairy tales, or not?

  • Jim Dermitt

    It looks like we just reached the fringes here. Maybe this is the point where you shut the comments off and start the presses rolling when you have enough to get something good into print. Fix your little problem and light this candle.

  • By the perfect life of Christ, that is NOT a COMMAND he would give.

    (Please don’t bring up that old Testament stuff. All that was totally replaced by Christ’s life – as in Christian and the New Testament)

  • Jim Dermitt

    Let the light shine through. Once the zealots get going, the whole series of comments turns destructive and dark. I guess it’s a power trip. I have my dark moods too.

  • Chancy

    Lynn—You are SO right–Thanks

    Chancy (Lights another candle)

  • Richard, I withdraw my statement about Athiests being hostile toward Christians and replace it with Athiests being hostile toward anyone with thoughts or beliefs they cannot personally and phenomenologically verify.

    Thank you for demonstrating my point better than I ever could have.

  • Angelos

    Too funny.

    You realize you’re in a cult right? You’re no different from Scientology, Mr Kool-aid, Heaven’s Gate, Charlie Mansion, and on and on.

    Code words and phrases (And also with you, good news, etc.). Silly rituals (wine and crackers). Accepting the impossible on “faith.”

  • Jim Dermitt

    If you don’t believe in God (which is up to you), why argue with those who do? Do your thing, do nothing and believe nothing. If I want to put lights up all over the house and haul a big old tree into my house every December, who should say I shouldn’t.

    The problem with some people of faith is that they are always trying to reach out and save the scum from themselves. I worked with these kind scum at an airport. The industry killed itself trying to keep them employed while they robbed the place blind.

  • I argue with Godists only when they try to impose their irrational dogma on me or my children. As long as you people stick to yourselves I don’t care what you do, just don’t mess with the rest of us. The symbolic cannibalism of the Holy Communion is fine, in other words, just don’t practice literal cannibalism.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Telling people not to tell people what to do. Then telling people what to do.
    No wonder there are problems.

  • I think what really strikes people as so bizarre about Rick Santorum is that he’s a real, honest-to-goodness conservative. I don’t mean an American conservative, which could just as easily refer to a fringe-element, heroin-shooting, prostitute-paying libertarian. No, I mean a philosophical conservative. An Edmund Burke or an Aristotle. He said these things about individualism because he fundamentally believes that that’s not how society is appropriately ordered.

    He’s not a socialist by any means and he certainly has no real affinity for much of anything the left wants to do. Where they do agree, though, is that they both believe that government has a (prominent) role to play in shaping the character of its citizens. I don’t often agree with what he wants, but I can respect him because I understand where he’s coming from.

  • Jim

    Ryans analysis seems very reasonable. I always thought that the citizens shaped the government through the elections and democratic process. If you look back at the history of government shaping character or government helping people, you can see why President Reagan was so popular. The message was get the government out of the way. It was a power to the people platform and people responded. Now the conservatives are pushing the we know best, trust us and not yourselves to shape you agenda? Huh! Iraq is in a way a test for this. The President and his men said, here’s what needs done and we are going to get it done. All that the average citizen could do was take them at face value and trust that they would get the job done. I guess that in the end the results speak for themselves and the individual American can judge for themselves if the government policies worked. It seems to me that the individual is flexible and the government is rigid. In fighting terror, this is good since the government is unyielding to threats. The last thing we need is more culture war and debate over what we or the family should be in a free country. The family is a victim of war, so the sooner the war is over the better for the family. What is good for the family is good for the individual and it should be good enough for the government. Unfortunately the government seems to only be good at destroying and punishing individuals who don’t yield to authority. The result of this has usually been violence and extremism. The Cold War ended because the democratic governments didn’t yield and the individual citizen was stronger without government policy shaping his or her beliefs. In our country, you are free to make mistakes and people will make mistakes. It isn’t up to government to correct them, it makes its own mistakes on a much larger scale. The difficulty is that the individual must correct the mistakes that are made by the government. That can only be possible in a free society of individuals and families that form the basis of a culture worth living in and in the case of war dying for.

    Instead of getting the American people to understand the virtue of family and freedom, people such as Senator Santorum would serve better by getting the people of Iraq to find common understanding and develop a free society based on democratic process. We already have this and it is well established and understood by a majority of Americans. The senator is preaching to the choir. Securing peace is difficult work, much more difficult than writing a book because you are concerned with the threat of radical individualism. This is almost funny, the radical part that is. I guess it’s a book for rascals, Washington insiders and power players. Many people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions.

  • jay

    I think you took umbrage at the criticism of libetarians and went into a snit.
    Your erroneous portrayal of Santorum’s weltenschaung is no different than a piss-poor msm newsstory.

  • Jim Dermitt

    Don’t write like you are MSM. Avoid any professionalism at any cost. Make sure you have at least 5 links to other sites that aren’t MSM or related to anything that is published by an author of books or somebody else in the MSM. Don’t even tell anybody you read MSM materials. Make all sorts of mistakes to keep the MSM off balance and throw in some geek code that will confuse the MSMers who could be snooping around here for clues and ideas. Don’t give the MSM any ideas that could turn into MSM stories that will be printed or published electronically by the MSM. You should check with jay as often as possible.

  • You go to a troll and repeat his rantings…

    Jarvis, you should know better than to refer to me as a troll. When I used to come here, when I was under the impression you were a person who could be reasoned with, I made substantive arguments. Anyway, someone whose main talents seem to be self-promotion and coining alliterative phrases should not be calling others trolls.

  • owl 1

    Wow…..coming back and reading……now I can’t decide if my above comment was too harsh or too kind.

  • The Fighting Quaker

    Who votes for this guy? I don’t. Never have in fact. Nobody I talked to ever admits to it either.

    I would like to personally apoligize as a resident of Pennsylania for Santorum. Unlike most of the people in this state, I only have one vote, as does my dog, named Mr. Charles Kassell, and we have both consistently voted against Santorum. Yet he still comes back, like toe fungus, to convince the thinking public that there is a secret lobotomy clinic at the State Capital.

  • Well, here’s the tasty irony to that: Santorum is trying to portray “individualism” as “radical” when I’d argue, and I’ll bet most of you would agree, that individualism — otherwise known as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — is the core of Americanism.

    In a way, he’s right. The first meaning of “radical” is “Arising from or going to a root or source.” In that way, it means something similar to “fundamental.”

    Both meanings suggest that you’re doing something to the core of the matter. It’s just a matter of “returning to the original core” vs “altering the original core.”

  • Jon

    For more on the views of American Taliban stalwart Rick Santorum, see:

    “Unrepentant: Rick Santorum on the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal.”

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