Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
This guy is making the point I’ve been trying to make: That it’s a mistake to observe so-many people voting as democrats, even registering as democrats, and presuming they all uphold democrat values with every fiber of their being. True, the democrats ask for the abuse themselves; they’re constantly holding themselves aloft as standard bearers of some vague and undetermined brand of morality, and when we see the morality in action, we see it is not morality at all. It’s like they don’t understand how that looks.
But if you apply tests in terms of what liberals are actually expected to believe, you see there really aren’t very many “liberals” around at all.
Here’s a test I invite you to take. Watch C-Span’s morning call-in show and listen to what people who phone in on the “Democrat” or “liberal” line have to say. When is the last time you heard a caller say, “We should all pay higher taxes so that the government can provide us with universal day care”? Or how about, “We should all pay higher taxes so the government can provide us with universal long term care”? I bet you can’t remember ever hearing that.
Here is what I suspect you will hear: Teachers complaining that teachers aren’t paid enough. Union members complaining about competition from workers overseas. Senior citizens whining about the meagerness of Social Security or Medicare benefits. Minority callers advocating more affirmative action. And what is the common denominator of these comments? Self-interest.
Yes, I know. Special interests are in both parties. Why wouldn’t they be? Yet as I wrote in my analysis of “progressivism,” the left in America has elevated special interest privilege to an art form.
Here’s the point: people wanting more, more, more are nothing more than people pursuing their own self interest in politics. They are not in principle different from any other special interest group. Importantly, they have nothing in common with what we normally have in mind by the term “liberalism.”
There is a reason for that. There are very few people around who want to give government more power over their money, their property or their lives.
Here is a second test. Keep watching C-Span. After the outside callers are gone, most days you get to watch Congress in action. Have you ever watched a series of speeches on the House floor? Have you ever watched a real Congressional debate? Try it some time. Then ask yourself this question: Do you trust the people you are watching on TV to manage your retirement pension? Or do you have more confidence in your employer or Fidelity or even Merrill Lynch? Do you trust the people on the House floor to manage your health care? Or do you have more confidence in your employer or even UnitedHealthcare or Aetna?
Congress in action most days reminds us of school children insulting and taunting each other. It’s like a group of adolescents desperately in need of adult supervision. It’s the opposite of the civil, rational deliberation that the Founding Fathers must have hoped for.
It takes a very special kind of person to watch lunacy in action and then decide to give the lunatics more control over your life. There are such special people, of course. They are disproportionately congregated in Hollywood, on the campuses of the nation’s colleges and universities and in the elite news media. What are the common characteristics all too many of them share? Arrested development (they never bothered to grow up), aversion to the rest of humanity (they really are elitists), a lack of common sense (they’ve never really managed anything) and a failure to master the syllogism (they approach the world emotionally, not logically).
Here is something you need to understand: liberalism is not an ideology. It’s a sociology. It’s not a way of thinking. It’s a way of responding to the world emotionally.
It all comes down to this: We have these “moderates” running around voting for democrats. They don’t believe in the liberal/democrat outlook on life. Many of them might respond to the world emotionally, because it takes less effort, but they don’t really believe the solution to our problems is to send more money to Washington.
I’ve become fond of an analogy to describe these people: Two kids get in a fight on the schoolyard, and the kid who threw the first punch ended up losing the fight. So you have the kid who started it and the one that finished it. Who gets punished? Part of the liberal ethos is to punish the stronger kid who won the fight. They’re never too excited about correcting the behavior of the person who actually created the problem, they’d much rather punish strength than errant behavior. No sane people agree with this. The moderates side with the conservatives in saying the troublemaker should be sent to detention, or something, and the person who exercised self-defense should walk scott-free, because that just makes sense. If he didn’t start anything, and ends up in trouble, that’s not justice. In fact that could invite a whole different and new kind of bullying.
But such common sense is not to be tolerated in uber-tolerant liberal-loonie land. Real life sides against the troublemaker, and the system will side against him, too? That’s just not how it’s supposed to work! Fight for the underdog! What a great opportunity to show some compassion.
It’s all got to do with incentives. Normal people believe in ‘em, and liberals don’t. Well, in order to side with the liberals on that, you somehow need to exclude from the thought process the plain and simple fact that you respond to incentives; either because you haven’t been exposed to enough situations that you’re forced to reckon with this truth, or because you want to argue dishonestly. And both of those last two options describe the true-blue liberal to a tee.
You’ll notice liberal politicians tend to lack “real” experience on their resumes. They’re lawyers, or bureaucrats, or lawyer/bureaucrats. They come from some background in which their job is to ignore incentives, and the statements that would define all the efforts in which they’ve been engaged would all begin with “The rules say.” That’s the world in which they live; there’s some rulebook, and then there is the universe of real life, and then when the two diverge and start moving in different directions, that universe is just gonna have to shape up and get with it.
Whereas, the rest of us say, if it’s a good rule it should reflect real life, and the human characteristic of predictable responses to incentives.
The problem is not that the moderates are in favor of liberal policies. The problem is that the moderates aren’t remembering much. They don’t have bad value systems, they’re just failing to vote for things that would reflect those value systems.
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