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  1. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    13 Jun '13 03:02
    Scowling face of the state


    By George F. Will


    As soon as the Constitution permitted him to run for Congress, Al Salvi did. In 1986, just 26 and fresh from the University of Illinois law school, he sank $1,000 of his own money, which was most of his money, into his campaign to unseat an incumbent Democratic congressman. Salvi studied for the bar exam during meals at campaign dinners.

    He lost his campaign. Today, however, he should be invited to Congress to testify about what happened 10 years later, when he was a prosperous lawyer and won the Republican Senate nomination to run against a Democratic congressman named Dick Durbin.

    In the fall of 1996, at the campaign’s climax, Democrats filed with the Federal Election Commission charges against Salvi’s campaign alleging campaign finance violations. These charges dominated the campaign’s closing days. Salvi spoke by telephone with the head of the FEC’s Enforcement Division, who he remembers saying: “Promise me you will never run for office again, and we’ll drop this case.” He was speaking to Lois Lerner.

    After losing to Durbin, Salvi spent four years and $100,000 fighting the FEC, on whose behalf FBI agents visited his elderly mother demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son’s campaign, where she got “that kind of money.” When the second of two federal courts held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the lawyer arguing for the FEC was Lois Lerner.

    More recently, she has been head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, which has used its powers of delay, harassment and extortion to suppress political participation. For example, it has told an Iowa right-to-life group that it would get tax-exempt status if it would promise not to picket Planned Parenthood clinics.

    Last week, in a televised House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Salvi’s former law partner, told the riveting story of the partisan enforcement of campaign laws to suppress political competition by distracting Salvi and entangling him in bureaucratic snares. The next day, the number of inches of newsprint in The Post and the New York Times devoted to Roskam’s revelation was the number of minutes that had been devoted to it on the three broadcast networks’ evening news programs the night before: Zero.

    House Republicans should use their committee chairmanships to let Lerner exercise her right to confront Salvi and her many other accusers. If she were invited back to Congress to respond concerning Salvi, would she again refuse to testify by invoking her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination? There is one way to find out.

    Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, defeated Salvi by 15 points. He probably would have won without the assistance of Lerner and the campaign “reforms” that have produced the FEC’s mare’s-nest of regulations and speech police that lend themselves to abuses like those Salvi experienced. In 2010, Durbin, who will seek a fourth term next year, wrote a letter urging Lerner’s IRS division to pay special attention to a political advocacy group supporting conservatives.

    Lerner, it is prudent to assume, is one among thousands like her who infest the regulatory state. She is not just a bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan. Now she also is a national security problem because she is contributing to a comprehensive distrust of government.

    The case for the National Security Agency’s gathering of metadata is: America is threatened not by a nation but by a network, dispersed and largely invisible until made visible by connecting dots. The network cannot help but leave, as we all do daily, a digital trail of cellphone, credit card and Internet uses. The dots are in such data; algorithms connect them. The technological gathering of 300 billion bits of data is less menacing than the gathering of 300 by bureaucrats. Mass gatherings by the executive branch twice receive judicial scrutiny, once concerning phone and Internet usages, another concerning the content of messages.

    The case against the NSA is: Lois Lerner and others of her ilk.

    Government requires trust. Government by progressives, however, demands such inordinate amounts of trust that the demand itself should provoke distrust. Progressivism can be distilled into two words: “Trust us.” The antecedent of the pronoun is: The wise, disinterested experts through whom the vast powers of the regulatory state’s executive branch will deliver progress for our own good, as the executive branch understands this, whether we understand it or not. Lois Lerner is the scowling face of this state, which has earned Americans’ distrust.
  2. 13 Jun '13 03:17 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Scowling face of the state


    By George F. Will


    As soon as the Constitution permitted him to run for Congress, Al Salvi did. In 1986, just 26 and fresh from the University of Illinois law school, he sank $1,000 of his own money, which was most of his money, into his campaign to unseat an incumbent Democratic congressman. Salvi studied for the b ...[text shortened]... it or not. Lois Lerner is the scowling face of this state, which has earned Americans’ distrust.
    Collectivists depend upon trust to sell their ideology. For you see, their policies effect us all and ends up being a one size fits all for society. This means that the person or people promoting that policy must be presented as being gifted intellectually and perhaps the smartest of the most intelligent people ever to walk the earth. If not, then we are left with the notion that someone has decided for us what is best, even though they are no better than ourselves. The thought of that is laughable, and why it is the greatest threat to the myth of collectivism.

    No one person has all the answers, and they certainly don't have any that works for us all. But to admit this would the be death of the collectivist ideology. To combat this, they must sell the myth that the collectivists are but benevolent gods that walk amongst us. My guess is that is why collectivists tend to mummify their leaders under glass like was done with Lenin, Mao, Chavez etc.. You see, they are not really dead after all. We still have some hope left if we can but see their dead faces through a glass.

    I guess if the collectivist cannot have all the answers that meet everyones needs, the least they can do is be all knowing with programs like prism.
  3. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    13 Jun '13 03:37
    Originally posted by whodey
    Collectivists depend upon trust to sell their ideology. For you see, their policies effect us all and ends up being a one size fits all for society. This means that the person or people promoting that policy must be presented as being gifted intellectually and perhaps the smartest of the most intelligent people ever to walk the earth. If not, then we are l ...[text shortened]... any that works for us all. But to admit this would the be death of the collectivist ideology.
    The statements from both sides of the ideological spectrum regarding the unprecedented NSA scandal is revelatory. Both Republicans and Democrats have come out in strong support of the program; both Republicans and Democrats have come out in strong rebuke of the program. Charles Krauthammer, the most strongly pro-Israel conservative columnist whom I believe sometimes goes too far, comes out strongly in favor. George Will, whom I regard as more intellectually sophisticated as Krauthammer, comes out against. Eugene Robinson - against. Greg Sargent - for. Maureen Dowd - not sure, but I still love her legs.

    The ideological divide seems to be more nuanced than conventional conservative beliefs vs. conventional liberal ones. Today, the divide seems centered on collectivism vs. individualism, and frighteningly for this country, collectivism seems to have been embraced by a significant portion of the polity.

    If you think of the conventional liberal position on LBGT issues (whatever order the letters go in), here, the left wants society to embrace an individual's right to be different, to be an individual. The social conservative's position contains an undercurrent of judgment about those lifestyles; the conservative would be more comfortable with conformity here.

    If you think about taxes, the conventional liberal position would be that higher taxes generally make a better society. The conventional conservative position holds that higher taxes discourage work, encourage laziness, and distort economies by distributing wealth in ways that an efficient market would not.

    We could probably go down the list and demonstrate apparent inconsistencies in individualism vs. collectivism in each of the two major ideologies; in fact, that might be a good exercise to begin the thread. I know better than to try to moderate a discussion here, maybe we'll see how it goes.
  4. 13 Jun '13 03:56
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    The statements from both sides of the ideological spectrum regarding the unprecedented NSA scandal is revelatory. Both Republicans and Democrats have come out in strong support of the program; both Republicans and Democrats have come out in strong rebuke of the program. Charles Krauthammer, the most strongly pro-Israel conservative columnist whom I be ...[text shortened]... hread. I know better than to try to moderate a discussion here, maybe we'll see how it goes.
    The ideological divide is an artificial construct. The push towards collectivism can be seen in both as you point out. For example, the whole gay marriage debate is about one side pushing for the federal government to allow marriages for gays as well as heterosexuals, and the right only pushing for heterosexuals. In reality, the federal government has no business in marriage or any other sexual union. Neither side is willing to accept this. They may say that they want government out of the bedroom, but nothing could be further from the truth. What they want is for government and society to only accept certain types of sexual unions while snubbing others via marriage. Why must either side push their self righteous views on the matter?