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Special Video Post: Foundations of the Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business
Thank you for posting, Dark Wraith. Proponents of ...shall we say..a "loose" wall on separation are prone to deny the establishment clause outright or- even when acknowledged- their literal view seems to preclude recognizing the practical effect of preferential sanction which can be cumulative. (in keeping with a static version of law I suppose!)
They will often point out that merely utilizing common resources for religious promotion as an example is not a literal assertion of theocracy...even if it constitutes de facto establishment practically.
That is why it is so important to make those distinctions between the views of the Constitution. Further, I wonder what they see as the role of Case law and Administrative? Folly?
I assume that you touch more on regulation in other sections, but I hope that it is linked to the notion that the Constitution intends for the common defense- whether compulsory court or the military- and I wonder why we do not see regulation in that context? If I had a dollar for every person who said that regulation of industry is beyond scope of government-I'd be rich. Touting pure free market without reconciling right to life and asymmetrical information seems inconsistent with a literal interpretation. They will say that a business has the right to be managed with free will. Where is that stated? And to our detriment?
Perhaps I was drinking as you advise, but common defense seems paramount.
Here's my question, at long last: do you think the allowance for the ceremonial use of "God" (as the basis for use on money, pledge, etc) contributes to the gray area in some people's minds?
Good evening, Lynn.
Although I am troubled by state-sponsored references to God, it is only because of those who would use that as a wedge for sliding in substantive invocations thereto.
One of my remaining brothers likes to point out that "under God" was not part of the Pledge of Allegiance as he recited it in school many decades ago; it is, instead, a modern invention to provide the pious with an outreach to their attentuating interests.
Unfortunately, the flip side of that coin is that, because so very many people (not just Americans, and not just modern people) are keyed at a decidedly base level to model the world and their place in it with reference to a higher being or beings, denying them a God for their referential outlet in the State is a dangerous gambit because it can lead to a political/social climate where the State, itself, or some leadership embodying the spirit of that State becomes the higher being for which those follower types are looking.
Personally, that scares me far more than does a well-crafted, cabined recognition of God permitted to the State to satisfy the needs of the majority of its people.
Now, I know good thinkers here will disagree with me on that argument, and I am not blind to its dangers. On the other hand, having known more than a few "religiously conservative" politicians in my life, I will tell you right now that most of them were not nearly as frightfully hyper-religious as they made themselves out to be. In many cases, these men saw themselves as something like a bulwark that could appease, provide support, and give political expression to their religious base while crafting good and rightful policy nonetheless. Not always would that policy be "good" in a large sense, certainly not on issues like abortion, the death penalty, and the State's responsibilities to historically oppressed classes of people.
In some ways, George W. Bush is an example of the dual-faced politician gone completely awry, simply because he is too stupid to understand how to craft anything like good policy in spite of his personal lack of deep religious convictions; as such, his sycophantic underlings--every one of them from Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice, clear through to Monica Goodling--become empowered to construct genuine and thoroughly dysfunctional policy in religious frames of mind; and those who don't err because of their real and foolhardy religious beliefs are so amorally venal as to be even more frightening than their religiously zealous counterparts in the White House.
In a situation like that, you will see me have far more concern than I would in a normal environment in Washington where there were some, but not many, apparently hard-core religious types in Congress while most of the Legislature and the personnel in the Executive Branch were far more moderate, even if they did occasionally play with references to religion and "Judeo-Christian values" and other fluff for the masses.
I must ask you to forgive the rambling nature of what I wrote above, but I would also ask that you find within that the answer to your question, as well as perhaps the answer to a question that might occur from time to time when I honor in mourning on this Website the passing of someone with whom I and most of the readers here would have disagreed on almost everything during that individual's tenure on Earth. It's not just a matter of my way being to respect the dead; it's also a way of conveying that, at least in some circumstances, I had information and belief about a person that gave me the impression that he or she could be so wrong on so many issues in his or her public life, but still be a fundamentally good person who did more to benefit than harm the American political experience. (It is not, however, always the case that I note passings out of deep and abiding respect.)
I will not, in any case whatsoever, honor any of the neo-conservatives or the others within this Administration. They deserve no honor because their work is only to the wrong ends without the slightest heart to anything better, even though most of them know very well how deeply, immorally wrong they and their lives have come to be.
The Dark Wraith has only so much patience with those who cannot find rectitude.
"it is only because of those who would use that as a wedge for sliding in substantive invocations thereto."
But that IS exactly what many do and it further crystallizes the belief that America is a "Christian nation" as this view, via celebratory exception, is thereby perpetuated by practical if not legal application. Separation is added to the list of liberal mythology. Somewhere under dinosaurs and climate change.
And as I said elsewhere recently, the notion that religion even remotely forms the basis of policy where Bush is concerned is ridiculous considering the transition from pax americana to the inclusion of material interests which constitutes a departure from a strategic tier. Resource wars are in opposition to the framework of most major religions. if we WERE a Christian nation we would have to reckon with just war principles. An example is found in Catholicism (p 2309 Catechism) where there are conditions that specifically correlate to war policy but a semblance of just war doctrine is pretty common to many denominations and indeed, religions- including Bush's professed faith.
It seems odd then that the very same people who use Christianity as political currency then see fit to snub these doctrines, no?
Well, yes, Lynn, it is odd, but not so much so in the context as I explained it in my Wednesday lecture on the difference between formalist and consequentialist thinking: the distinction between the "desirable" and the "desired" is so important because it creates a tension that is satisfied only by policy that reflects the former while conveying in implementation the latter. It is unfortunate that, in this era, we are swinging like some civil pendulum instead of finding a way by which the polar forces can hold the plumb in balance at a level articulate of the sovereign state both stoic and immediately free.
Instead, we swing wildly.
And the Dark Wraith thereby has the impetus to lecture to the nation's college students with a nearly uncontained rage.
I do believe your irresponsible rage remark drove away the others.
Nobody wants to trigger a Wraith on the edge!
One wonders if a held plumb is possible. It might be the nature of things that its not. Will consider it my civic duty to swing until the alligators chomp my heels off.
The Dark Wraith definitely needs to buy that diesel-powered espresso maker for this lounge.
Dark Wraith....with your cogent comments on business and corporate rights, perhaps you could comment on how in hell Blackwater Security can sue four families of employees (messily) killed in Iraq a couple years back. The families were forced to go to court to try getting questions answered about how and why the men died. Blackwater counter-sued for $10 million to cripple and silence them----I can't find out what the grounds for the suit were and am baffled and dismayed beyond words. Suddenly, freedom of speech is at risk from a rich guy's privately hired army? http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/53460?page=1
Umm, "the Constitution - at least the story goes,... - was written by Jefferson" ?
Wasn't TJ in France at that time, gushing over the use of M. Guillotine and the bloodbath of the French Revolution? Please explain!
I are confused!?!?!
Brother Dark Wraith:
Having weighed in with my own rant about cop shows and prison rape jokes, I now really want to comment on the exchange rate videos but the topic has been closed and no more comments are allowed.
Well, I enjoyed part 4 so much that I'm going to comment here even though this is not a finance topic per se.
I'm not going to get into the details of it, but I had to ex-patriate this past January -- no, I'm not the guy in the second story I wrote about. For various reasons, Panama City, Panama was the optimal place for me and here I am, happy as a mudlark in a real, secular democracy which has finally shaken off its American colonial masters. As far as I can tell, if George W. Bush himself wanted to take a look at my bank statement, he would not be allowed to do so.
Irony of ironies, the president is none other than Martin Torrijos, the son of the populist General Omar who was summarily dispatched in favor of Noriega by the vary same family who have a son on Pennsylvania Avenue, and who later summarily dispatched Noriega in favor of some puppet named Ford. Unlike NYC, CdP has paid tribute to its slain by leaving the areas decimated by Operation Just Cause just the way it was in 1988, bullet holes, bombed-out husks of homes, etc.
The puppets are gone. The canal belongs to Panama. And there are no longer any treaties with the USA. Panama is what Switzerland used to be before 9/11. Torrijos is a bright and decent guy. Left of Kirchner, Right of Chavez. Generally in keeping with most of Latin America now, ex-Mexico and Colombia. Center-left by the world's standards, maybe like a Bernie Sanders or Ted Kennedy by America's standards.
That said, the Panamanian Balboa is not a real currency. The USD is. Prices are labelled in Balboas but the Balboa does not exist. The Panamanian economy is booming and as a result, we have an immigration "issue" here, too. It's kind of similar to the issue in the USA. The earliest immigrants, Jews, Arabs and Chinese, gripe a little about this wave of immigrants, Central Americans and Colombians. The discourse is nowhere near as ugly as it is in the USA. A Panamanian Lou Dobbs could not exist.
But hold up just one second. The Colombians who've come to participate in the economic boom are finding out that the USDs they're earning in Panama to send back home are dying on the vine as against the Colombian Peso! I know a woman who bought a number of taxis and medallions in Bogota on consignment, figuring she'd work here to make the money to pay for the cars, but the USD has depreciated so much against the Peso that she's completely jammed up and the cars and medallions figure to be repossessed.
Eventually, the government here is going to have a very tough decision to make, even though the country's fiscal house is in order while the government maintains a Western European style social policy. The problem is the dollar because Panama has no exports. It's economy is based upon banking, trade and real estate. They can gut it out and stick with dollars. They can create actual floating Balboas or they can switch from dollars to Euros. Choice one is the most likely. The international banks would not let the government gamble on choice two. And, boy, if they chose choice three, Hugo Chavez, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would be distant memories to Americans and Martin Torrijos would become the embodiment of evil. Sometime during George W. Bush's third term, a team led by John Negroponte would discover possible WMD-making materials in the Mercado Super Kosher's household supplies department and Joe Lieberman would probably urge the incineration of all 150,000 Panamanian Jews. "They're not really Jews, you see," he'll tell Tim Russert, "they get along too well with Islamist radicals."
So, for the time being we'll assume they'll stick with the dollar, we'll chill out here and hope that we're not headed for Commodeland.
The most bitterly ironic thing about all of this is that of course George W. Bush is not welcome here, so his Boy Genius sends Condoleeza Rice probably figuring that she'll go over gangbusters because there are a lot of folks here who have the same complexion she does. Oh boy, did Rove guess wrong on that one. With her hectoring of Venezuela's representative at the latest meeting of the Americas down here, she has driven even Panama's most rapacious capitalists beserk. I know some of these guys from the cardroom and they are scared out of their minds that the USA will destabilize the entire region by taking another run at Chavez and not the other way round as Ms. Piano Teeth presents it.
People here basically feel about Venezuela the way people from New Jersey feel about Massachusetts -- that is if Alabama was about to invade Massachusetts and assassinate Governor Deval Patrick. In your crazy country, that actually doesn't sound implausible.
Kelso- in the event that this post scrolls off and escapes notice, known to happen as conversation moves onto the next thing... post your thoughts at your place and we can talk about the exchange rates vid there. OK? I am not sure if people will come back to this topic.
Lynn: The post is still alive so I'll keep it here until it rolls off because ostensibly there are some economics and finance fans here. They might be interested in my observation of another of Bush's many fuck-ups: beggarng the world's reserve currency
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