Mark Steyn, as usual, is must-read material:

Commissar Sebelius isn’t the only one interested in “striking the appropriate balance” between individual liberty and state compulsion. Everyone talks like that these days. For Canada’s Chief Censor, Jennifer Lynch, freedom of expression is just one menu item in the great all-you-can-eat salad bar of rights, so don’t be surprised if we’re occasionally out of stock. Instead, why not try one of our tasty nutritious rights du jour?

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Acting Against Interest

February 28, 2012

I was reading a piece by a certain liberal columnist recently, and it struck me that the author, and other liberals I’ve heard, have two very different ways of thinking about voters’ acting against their (presumed, by liberalism) self-interest:

  • If they’re poor or middle-class, and they support lower taxes and less spending on “entitlement” programs (i.e., they want to seize less of the property of the wealthy for themselves), it’s treated as some kind of bizarre anomaly that cries out for explanation (possibly involving staggering stupidity), even a moral failing (e.g., by Paul Krugman or blog commenter Snoodickle). Read the rest of this entry »

Abortion and Suicide

February 19, 2012

Sudden thought: If “pro-choice” people think we have no right to use the government to force them not to have abortions—privacy, bodily integrity, “keep your laws off my body”, etc.—shouldn’t they be even more opposed to the laws against suicide? If it’s intrusive for the government to claim authority over the woman’s middle parts for nine months, surely it’s even more intrusive to claim authority over her entire body for the rest of her life?

Read the rest of this entry »

Last August, the Department of Health and Human Services announced new regulations requiring all “new health insurance plans” to provide contraceptives (among other things—“well-woman visits”?) “without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.”  A narrow religious exemption was made only for such employer as

(1) Has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose;
(2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets;
[and]
(3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets . . . .

Read the rest of this entry »

Catholic and Hillsdale history professor Paul Rahe offers a very interesting discussion of how the American Progressive movement co-opted the American Catholic Church.  Excerpt:

In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States — the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity — and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism — the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.

Hat tip to Rush Limbaugh.

John Derbyshire

February 8, 2012

This morning I had occasion to go back to an old John Derbyshire column.  I haven’t read him much lately, but I should; he’s insightful and funny, and as a bonus that column also includes some (surprisingly timely again) reflections about Rick Santorum.