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Weekly Opeds 13

by Christopher Chantrill

The Four Freedoms: 75 Years of Liberal Betrayal
In the second half of the 2000s liberals did a fine job of blaming Bush for everything that went wrong in the US. His “neo-con” supporters, they asserted, were just as bad.

Now that President Obama and his signature legislation are a twin disaster the same opportunity beckons for conservatives. It’s not just Obama,

|  more  |  12/31/13

Megastate Fail: Do You Hear Me Now, Liberals?
So now President Obama has started to repeal Obamacare by delaying the individual mandate, as a courtesy to six Democratic senators mostly running for reelection in red states. The

|  more  |  12/24/13

How The Grinch Stole Health Care
You know what I am talking about. This is the year that the Democrats “have blown up the American health-care system.” The quote is from Peggy Noonan’s qualified approval of the Ryan-Murray copout.

You see, back in the golden age

|  more  |  12/17/13

Battling Inequality with the President
In his speech on “economic mobility” on December 4, 2013, the president used the word “inequality” 26 times and “growth” only 9 times. So you can see where he’s coming from.

President Obama did his

|  more  |  12/10/13

Barack Obama: One-dimensional Man
A couple of things have come over the transom lately to remind us how cramped and limited is the man President Obama.

The first is his asinine remark that he’s not that ideological. Good grief, man. If

|  more  |  12/03/13

People of the Lie
We all know why kids lie. It’s a weaselly effort to escape punishment. We also know why businessmen start to lie. We saw that in the crash of 2000 when the masters of the universe at the Enrons and the WorldComs tried to hide the shame of their losses for one more quarter or one

|  more  |  11/26/13

Obama and Gruber Reveal True Face of Collectivism
Most politicians are crafty. They hide the mailed fist of political power in a velvet glove of caring and compassion, and they conjure up an appealing picture of competence to hide the reality of blundering ineptitude.

But not Barack Obama. He believes his own propaganda; he’s even

|  more  |  11/19/13

Give the President a Break
Everyone seems to be piling on the president about the lie that killed a million health plans. But I feel sorry for the president; really, he is a victim.

What would you expect from the son of a naïve young liberal co-ed who selected a father for her child that would be outta here in a couple of years? What would you expect from a man

|  more  |  11/12/13

Liberals Getting the Politics Wrong
The troubles of Obamacare serves all those liberals right. But you can still feel for CNN’s kid now in medical school that voted with enthusiasm for Obama and now wonders what went wrong.

But if the kid still thinks that the Affordable Care Act is

|  more  |  11/05/13

Women: Sold Down the River
Conservatives are all shouting delighted fiascos at the pathetic debut of Obamacare. Like the chaps at La Scala we take equal delight in an utter fiasco as in a glorious trionfo.

But I do not feel any lift from the disaster.

It is, after all, ordinary American women that are getting sold down the river by the fundamental

|  more  |  10/28/13

I Ache for a President That Loves America
If there is one thing that bugs me about the Obama years it is the palpable fact that Obama doesn’t love America. The last two weeks has intensified that feeling.

We know why he doesn’t love America. It’s because he identifies with his Kenyan father’s hatred of western colonialism. If that weren’t enough, Obama

|  more  |  10/21/13

It's Not Just Failed Obamacare
Obamacare rolled out last week in utter chaos. The ruling class conceit that anyone could stitch together a national system of health insurance exchanges went up in a billowing cloud of failure. Who could have seen that coming?

So what went wrong?

Let’s start with the usual liberal narrative. Back in the bad old days capitalism

|  more  |  10/14/13

Obama's Shutdown and Public Choice Theory
More and more, as we Americans trudge through the mire of the Obama years, we have to ask if the president is just plain ignorant. He doesn’t seem to have bothered to study the political classics that tell a political leader why he should avoid dividing his people and avoid creating scapegoats.

And now, in an interview on NPR, the

|  more  |  10/08/13

"There Has to be a System"
Some years ago I was discussing conservative health care ideas with a liberal ex-pat Brit. This was when Obamacare was just a gleam in Obama’s eye. Her comeback was that “there has to be a system.”

I mentioned that to Lady Marjorie, who is blasting into orbit right now that her individual health insurance plan has been

|  more  |  10/01/13

Who Rules: Politicians or Wall Street?
Want to get the voters riled up for the next election? Blame the banksters. The politicians had a grand old time blaming the greedy bankers for the Crash of 2008, and President Obama was still at it last week with his Five

|  more  |  09/24/13

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and Ronald Coase
While President Obama is floundering in Syria, Americans are thinking about jobs, writes Salena Zito from a farmers market in rural Pennsylvania. People are learning about canning vegetables while they worry about

|  more  |  09/17/13

Discredit Liberalism Utterly
Conservatives have a Hamlet question this week. Whether to ’tis nobler in the mind to back President Obama as commander-in-chief, right or wrong. Or to take arm against a sea of troubles and defeat the president on his Syria war resolution.

Or, perchance to dream that, at this point, what difference does it make?

Either way, this

|  more  |  09/10/13

A Return to Sanity
I went down to the Jersey Shore last weekend, and I got to talk to a small businessman trying to make it in the Obama economy. You big dogs sitting in your bunkers along the commanding heights might like to lend an ear. We might all learn something from “Bob”.

Bob runs a small franchise selling blinds and window coverings to

|  more  |  09/03/13

Douthat Can't Say It, But I Can
It would be easy to critique Ross Douthat’s column “A Different Kind of Division” as lily-livered RINOism. He is gently, ever so gently telling his liberal audience that, fifty years after Martin Luther King’s “I

|  more  |  08/27/13

Next Up: The Privacy Moms
Politics always seems to be about women. First it was soccer moms that swooned over midnight basketball. Then it was security moms that wanted the president to keep us safe. Then, in a less kinder, gentler era, it was the Republican war to make Sandra Fluke pay for her own contraception.

Now let’s Move On -- to the age of the

|  more  |  08/20/13

The American Dream: Not This Way
The maddening thing about being a conservative these days is watching our liberal ruling class, rotten to the core, prancing around the public stage acting all pure and innocent -- and getting away with it. I suppose that’s why God invented divine justice, so that people could at least hope that the bad actors would get their just

|  more  |  08/13/13

Obama and "A Streetcar Named Desire"
You tell me. Is President Obama best understood as liberalism’s Stanley Kowalski, battle-hardened WWII GI that demolishes the Old South relict Blanche DuBois with his domestic violence and ethnic Polish aggression?

Or is the president Blanche DuBois, weaving fantastical tales of lies and fantasy to divert her sister’s attention

|  more  |  08/06/13

GOP Outreach: I'm Flummoxed
All the wise heads are telling the GOP that it needs to reach out: to Hispanics, to blacks. Last week it was Michael Medved’s turn to deliver avuncular reach-out advice.

And then there are the missing white voters of 2012. Sean

|  more  |  07/30/13

We're Done Mr. President
It is pure coincidence, but in the week that the president’s speechwriters were beavering away on his “35 years ago” soliloquy, Lady Marjorie and I watched a couple of DVDs with a racial subtext.

The better of the two was the

|  more  |  07/23/13

No More Mr. Nice Guy
The theme of the 2008 presidential election, you will remember, was post-partisan, post-racial. It was a meme started by young Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004 in the lull between the publication of his primary opponent’s divorce records and his general election opponent’s divorce records.

Well we know what the young

|  more  |  07/16/13

Liberals to the Law: Get Lost!
After eight years of listening to liberals hyperventilating about the illegalities of President George W. Bush, it is really annoying for conservatives to watch the utter disregard for the law coming from the Obama administration.

The jewel in the crown of this imperial presidency is of course the pre-holiday decision violate the text of the

|  more  |  07/09/13

Egypt Runs Out of Other Peoples' Money
I don't know too much about Islam and the Prophet. But I do know this. Governments tend to fall when they run out of other peoples’ money.

So it doesn’t matter whether the government in Egypt is run by Gamal Abdel Nasser or Hosni Mubarak or Mohamed Morsi or whoever. The government is broke, and that means it can’t keep

|  more  |  07/02/13

Ruling Classes Without a Clue
What are we to think about the market falling out of bed after Gentle Ben Bernanke’s hint last week that he might start tapering off the money printing operation at the Fed? Was it because the Fed is, in fact, following a dangerous deflationary policy, as Larry Kudlow writes? Given that gold and other metals are down 30 percent from their

|  more  |  06/25/13

The Consequences of Liberalism
Here we are at the mid-point of the Obama years, assailed on every side by looming consequences of liberal hubris and liberal corruption. But the Obama Scandals don’t get me all riled up with partisan outrage. What’s the surprise? If liberals in the media, in the academy, and in politics stigmatize conservatives as monsters,

|  more  |  06/18/13

The Enemy is Us
It’s great for President Obama to grandly assure the world that “This war, like all wars, must end.” That’s what liberals have been wanting to do since about ten minutes after 9/11. But the president wants to

|  more  |  06/11/13

Conservatives and the Individual
Last week Ross Douthat helpfully introduced the New York Times faithful to the notion of “reform conservatism.” Someone had to do it. He did, I think, rather short-change the reformers when he asserted that “the crucial idea that

|  more  |  06/04/13

Riots and Liberals
After a few nights of “youth” riots in Sweden, the ordinary Swedes had had enough. So they took to the streets to protect their property. Fortunately the police knew just what to do. They attacked the

|  more  |  05/28/13

Liberal Barnacles Show How Not To Do It
With the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal and the AP scandal, it is almost time for educated, intelligent people to start wondering just what President Obama meant when he promised in 2008 to heal the nation’s partisan divide.

Everybody knows that conservatives are haters and homophobes. But still, healers don’t use the IRS to

|  more  |  05/21/13

Austerity: Krugman's False Message
Austerity is failing, crowed Paul Krugman last week in “The Chutzpah Caucus.” By austerity, he means the policy of “slashing” government spending. The case is clear, he writes.

Claims that spending cuts would actually

|  more  |  05/14/13

Entitlements: What Difference Does It Make?
Last week they announced the results of the second year of the Oregon experiment, asking the important question: what difference does Medicaid make? The answer, as Megan McArdle reports, is not

|  more  |  05/07/13

Politics Isn't Just Tactics
Many of the commenters on my article last week on “Democrats: End of the Big Push” took me to task for underestimating the ruthlessness of the Democrats.

Maybe I do underestimate them. But here is something to back up my point. A well-known

|  more  |  04/30/13

Democrats: End of the Big Push
Last week, the pundits told us, was one of the worst in President Obama’s presidency. They could be right. He lost on gun control in the Senate. Ninety percent of Americans, apparently, want more gun control, but the president couldn’t push it over the finish line. Obamacare is shaping up as a “

|  more  |  04/23/13

Why They Hate Her
Many years ago I met on an airplane flight a young woman that demonstrated maturity beyond her years. It turned out that she had been working in her mother’s business since her early teens.

She had not, in other words, been confined 24-7 in some government child custodial facility, or taken the free-contraceptive veil in some secularist

|  more  |  04/16/13

America's Locust Years

President Post-partisan is submitting a bait-and-switch budget to Congress this week: more taxes, more spending, and it’s only two months after the legal

|  more  |  04/09/13

How Liberals Corrode Society
In the girl section of the Wall Street Journal last weekend Matt Ridley had an article on nice vs. nasty, cooperation vs. competition. Researchers have found, he writes, that families that stay together cooperate better than families that are far

|  more  |  04/02/13

We Can Do Better Than This
The Cypriots, according to news stories, are outraged about the German idea of taking a hit on their banking accounts in order to recapitalize the island’s failing banks. Maybe they don’t know when they are ahead, writes Peter Schiff. “Rank and file

|  more  |  03/26/13

Looking Beyond the Budget Duel
For the past two years, usgovernmentspending.com has featured the budget resolutions authored by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), so US citizens and others could compare the GOP vision of the future with the president’s vision.

Unfortunately, all during this period the Senate Budget Committee, despite

|  more  |  03/19/13

If I were a Lefty Strongman
Well, well, Mr. President. it looks like “another fine mess you’ve got us into” with the sequester squib. Not that I’m complaining, not a bit. Your government by phony crisis does wonders for the revenue at my usgovernmentspending.com.

But now your chubby partner Ollie

|  more  |  03/12/13

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Wants to Dominate
While we are waiting for the hammer of God to fall on the sequester, let us note the fluttering of the dovecotes over Marissa Mayer. The CEO of Yahoo has just decreed an end to telecommuting.

Obviously this is heresy, because you are not allowed to question the virtue of work/life balance in America, especially on the 50th anniversary of

|  more  |  03/05/13

Liberals Should Have Known
One of the favorite parlor games of our liberal friends is “The Germans Should Have Known” about the Final Solution, about the war crimes, the slave labor. Part Two of the game is to blame everyone from Nietzsche to Hegel to Herder to Heidegger for setting the stage for Nazism. Some people are even able to parlay the parlor game

|  more  |  02/26/13

Dr. Ben Carson and the Responsible Self
Conservatives were electrified last week by Dr. Ben Carson’s appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast. Partly it was because he was taking it to The Man.

But partly we were all thrilling to Dr. Carson because he is a living breathing poster boy for the idea of personal responsibility.

Put simply, we conservatives thrilled to

|  more  |  02/19/13

The Liberal Bubble of Self-Deceit
Back in 2008 I decided to vote for Barack Obama because I wanted the Democrats in charge of foreign policy. I never thought that they would do a good job, but I felt they needed to own US foreign policy for a while. For eight years they had been ragging on President Bush as the stupidest, most warmongering president in history, who was flushing

|  more  |  02/12/13

Why Liberals Hate Inequality
Last week Jonah Goldberg wondered why Republicans are doing so well at the local and state level, but striking out at the federal level of politics. His answer to the question is simple: state and local government is

|  more  |  02/05/13

Conservatism is More Than Growth and Opportunity
President Obama either signed conservatism’s death warrant last week, with his second inaugural’s theme of entitlements forever, climate wars forever, and equality forever, or he sent the liberal Army Group A heading for the Caucasus. But don’t worry liberals: the Sixth Army will take care of Reagangrad.


|  more  |  01/29/13

Democrats Thinking Inside the Bubble
The conventional wisdom for this week is that President Obama will divide the Republicans and Nancy Pelosi will take back the House in 2014. In fact, according to Ron Brownstein in “Expect Obama to be more aggressive in his

|  more  |  01/22/13

Liberals: The Necessary Delusion
Normally, I can’t get interested in the daily liberal partisan output, but when I saw RealClearPolitics’ link to Andy Kroll of Mother Jones on “Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to

|  more  |  01/15/13

President Obama and the Prisoner's Dilemma
The word about negotiations is that Speaker Boehner has vowed not to negotiate one-on-one with President Obama any more. Not after being stiffed twice by the president: first in the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, and second in the fiscal cliff deal.

In this the speaker is merely admitting to a little piece of settled science: the iterated

|  more  |  01/08/13

President Obama Will Never Have a Plan
Now I get it. I get the bone-deep mendacity of President Obama’s politics. Here is the money quote from from President Obama’s Meet the Press interview on Sunday.

GREGORY: “Would you commit to that first year of your second term getting significant [entitlement]

|  more  |  01/01/13



Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990

Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures

German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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