Friday, May 2, 2008
Personal Asides: For Economics WonksWhat Is Progressive About Taxation?...A Daley for Ever-Changing Seasons Where is the Black Leadership Condemning Wright?...Expelled Gets Thumbs Down from Roeper: What a Piece of Garbage Mission Accomplished?
We turn now from theological wonk-ism to economic wonk-ism. The same rules apply. No search engines. Rely on your own background of knowledge. The great central plank of western liberalism is the graduated income tax: the view that taxes can be regarded as progressive when they fall more heavily on higher incomes than on lower, that taxes can be regarded as progressive if they fall more heavily on higher incomes than on lower. Ralph Martire, a friend, has said that Adam Smith endorsed the concept of progressive taxes but I cannot find any pertinent referencenor can Greg Blankenship. My question to you isis such taxation progressive? Where did it find positive acceptance? Your assignment today without boning up but using your own native resources: write a paragraph either defending or assailing the concept of progressive taxation. Use either Readers Comments on my personal email.
One further point. Every so often on Readers Comments there appears a scatological comment which we remove promptly. On the Theological Wonk it so ridiculed apparitions of the Virgin Mary as to be demonic. It salaciously uses a ridicule of a female living human beings body as an identification. Do me this favor: Please ignore it; do not respond to it--for it will not be there long. Its hysteria, in fact, seems demonic. Rather than answer it, stay away from commenting. You can apprehend by its comments that it is twisted, perverted. Weekends are when it likely strikes, when the webmaster is not working. Were it in a room with us, a splash of Holy Water or holding aloft a crucifix would likely cause it to writhe and disappear. We cannot do that here but rest assured the webmaster will remove the comments. Thank you.
Our Own Sir Richard Rich Richard M. Daley.
Rich Daley is todays Sir Richard Rich. The man John Kass used to call Little Big Man, the Irish Catholic who has backtracked on abortion and opposition to gay rights, two principle teachings of his church in order to keep secure his 70% reelection margins, Daley places the utmost priority on keeping stride with the left, counting on his Irishness and clever invented ungrammatical put-ons rants (what do I gotta do, take down my pants?) to solidify him with working folks. Were he to remain fast to his faith, his reelection margin would probably be down to 68%. But he will do anything to survive politically.
He has supported the unrepentant Billy Ayres whose only regret is that he didnt do more than participate in 25 bombings. But have you noticed, Sir Richard Rich er Daley has not yet spoken out against Jeremiah Wright, allowing Barack Obama to fight the battle against his raving racist ex-pastor himself: Wright is popular with blacks, you know so Daley doesnt want to take a side. Gutless wonder. Thus Obama has had to fight the battle so far alone. Where is the bellowing Daley now?
Gutless and smartly duplicitous (he weeps when the news media inquire about his son Patrick who got involved as a secret partner in a sewer firm with a city contact: Patrick is in the service, you know prompting the tears that will dissuade further questions) he is little more than a shouting, red-faced rudderless carcass of opportunism and expedience. But he is not alone.
A Sir Richard Rich Catholic is the only suitable way to describe Daley and all other Catholic politicians who violate their conscience on abortion and gay rights in order to accommodate the liberal electorate (the list of legion: Durbin, Lisa Madigan, Dan Hynes, Emil Jones, Todd Stroger, Judy Baar Topinka: whom have I missed?). The flaccid, ever-parsing archdiocese here (and most other dioceses in the nation excluding a handful including St. Louis) allows them to get away with it and receive the sacrament anyhow, sharing in the gutlessness, differing only in degree from their eminences Thomas Wolsey and Thomas Cranmer.
But, who was Sir Richard Rich [1496-1571]? He was the pillar of Jello and accommodation in the play and later film by Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons based on the life of Sir (later saint) Thomas More [1478-1535], More, the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, was the senior and most important lay functionary in the government. At a time when Catholicism dominated England, More was an exemplary one: ruled by his conscience. He refused to sign a letter asking the Pope to annul Henry VIIIs marriage and resigned rather than take an oath of supremacy declaring the king the supreme head of the English church. Bolt used the testimony of Mores son-in-law in a play which details Mores resignation as Chancellor rather than betray his conscience and his refusal to attend Henrys wedding to Anne Boleyn. More refuses to attend, refuses to sign a new oath of support of the King and is convicted of treason by the serpentine Richard Rich. Informed that Rich was promoted as attorney general for Wales as a reward for prosecuting him with perjured testimony, More says: Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the whole worldbut FOR WALES?
Which leads to the questions locally: Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the whole worldbut for MAYOR OF CHICAGO? And to the archdiocese: Why your eminences, excellencies, monsignori, it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the whole worldbut to avoid embarrassment for the DEMOCRATIC PARTY? Meaning the whole disgusting crew of Pelosi, Kennedy and others who received the sacrament when the Pope was in Washington. And liberals of the Republican party viz Rudy Giuliani and Topinka locally et al?
Where is the Black Leadership on Wright?
Now that Ive asked where Mayor Richard M. Daley is lets ask this: When does the so-called black leadership in this city or nation weigh in on Jeremiah Wright? Have you heard any big-time black leaders issue condemnatory words on this raving racist who yesterday reiterated the sick theories of eugenics that blacks think with one side of their brains while whites are the obverse (Klan talk)? Where is the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson? Is not Barack Obama his candidate for president who is being taunted by Jeremiah Wright who shouted to an audience the other day Barack HUSSEIN Obama? Why doesnt Jesse Jackson speak out? Why dont other black leaders speak out? Todd Stroger. For that matter where is Fr. Michael Pfleger? Where is Emil Jones? Where is Donne Trotter? Where are the black aldermen? Black state legislators?
Under their respective beds, thats wherebecause they fear to antagonize the number of their constituents whom they fear are attracted to Jeremiah Wright. The standing ovations of parishioners and audiences bouncing off the walls at the excitement give the so-called impregnable black leadership pause. Where is Mary Mitchell who so passionately wants Obama to win? Why is she taking such a soft tone against Wright in fact criticizing Obama in a recent column for not picking up a telephone to softly work it out with Wright. Where is the other oracle of black reportorial analysisClarence Page? A little soft-spoken and evasive about Wrights racist demagoguery, isnt he? If a white said that black kids dont think with the parts of their brains that whites do, meaning that black kids are suited more for hip-hop than mathematics, would we not have heard from them? Would not Pfleger have led a march somewhere with placards waving? Double standard, isnt it? It really depends on whether bigoted words are used by whitey, isnt it? When used by blacks, well lets calm down, folks. After all, hes one of ours.
Expelled Gets Thumbs Down from Roeper.
Continuing the newspapers slavish subservience to Sun-Times editor-in-chief Michael Cooke who believes in nothing personally but who has ordered an almost unalloyed liberal newspaper (along with the a sex therapist and 99% lefty opinion columning bias), Richard Roeper dissed the film Expelled yesterday as a piece of garbage not because it seeks to encourage universities to consider Intelligent Design in their overwhelmingly pro-Darwin classes (Roeper sees no reason why evolution and intelligent design cannot comprise a curriculum) but because its producer Ben Stein finds notable agreements between Darwins and Margaret Sangers eugenics and that of Nazi Germany.
The film debuted at No.9 and took in about $3 million in its opening weekend April 18-20. Despite its limited release, per screen ticket sales put Expelled at No. 5, topping Nims Island (21) and Dr. Seuss Horon Hears a Who. Liberal reviewers like Roeper had betand hopedthat it would be dead on arrival but they were far wrong.
No one but Roeper and his liberal fellow reviewers attempt to deny Darwins theory of natural selection was attuned to breeding cripples and defectives out of the human race any more than Sangers super race theories. The similarities are strikingly closebut Roeper who has an image to keep of an earnest young liberal dismisses them out-of-hand with no rebuttal. As a hurler of the imprecation garbage, Roeper has first-hand experience with the same. His paper is fast becoming the oddity of world journalism doing such tricks under Cookes direction as printing its main headline backwards to attract attention.
Expelled has some amateurish production values nevertheless is a masterpiece of scholarship as can be expected from an intellectual like Stein. Ben Stein is dismissed by Roeper as a comic and former Nixon speechwriter. Period. In the interest of accurate reporting of which the columning Roeper obviously knows little, Stein is an attorney, who was a poverty lawyer in New Haven, Connecticut, an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission, a professor of social policy of mass culture at American University, Washington, D. C., and the University of California, Santa Cruz, a professor of law at Pepperdine University law school, currently writes a regular column for The New York Times business section, has written for The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Barrons and has written a book on the Michael Milken Drexel Burnham Lambert junk bond situation in addition to seven others including a 20 non-fiction works and a novel. That he was a speech-writer for Nixon and Gerald Ford means all the difference in the world to Roeper. Stein also has been an actor in a good many motion pictures and a TV series where he was recipient of an Emmy. Not enough for Roeper.
Why didnt Roeper make at least a feeble effort to inform readers of Steins pedigree beyond being a comic and,,,ugh Nixon speech-writer? Roeper is a sardonic little twerp who fills a hip kid niche in Cookes soon to be vanished paper, who got into the big time as a newsroom sycophant of Roger Ebert. Ebert is a film criticnow ailingwho made his huzzas among far-left oracles by pushing lefty ideas (he was the one who convinced Michael Moore to deliver a hotly anti-U.S. speech at the Academy Awards), a very popular venue. He is distinctly second-rate compared to the erudite Joe Morganstearn of the Wall Street Journal and the general outstanding criticism of Terry Teachout. But at least Ebert, born a Catholic, now agnostic, knows the film craft. Roeper knows precious little more than the average popcorn enthusiast lazing through afternoon matinees. When Eberts longtime partner in TV film reviewing, Gene Siskel, died, Roeper tried out and though, notably undistinguished, survived the cut. He varies his reviewing by writing columns in the Sun-Times that purveys predictable mishmash in styleless form producing unutterable tedium.
Why dikd Roeper diss Stein? Stein is a pro-lifer which has incurred the wrath of pro-abort Catholic Roeper and is distinctly at odds with the overwhelmingly (with the laudable exception of its fine cartoonist Jack Higgins) pro-abort Sun-Times. So to get even Roeper blacked out Steins background and made him appear as a pro-Nixon stumblebum. Thats class for you from what is quickly becoming classless porridge which if justice serves should get Cooke fired as he was earlier by the New York Daily News, but here not just for his own incompetence but because the Internet has been turning the daily newspaper into an atavism, slowly garroting the survivors.
Mission Accomplished? What Will it Take?
Yesterday as the mainstream media were quick to note was the anniversary of George W. Bushs landing on an aircraft carrier and bounding out of the jet to be greeted by a banner proclaiming Mission Accomplished installed by his staff. Bush admitted today that it is something he will live with foreverbut it leads to the question: what will it take for the Iraq mission to be really accomplished?
Probably four things. First, since the Middle east is of incalculable importance to the U. S., mission will really be accomplished when Iraq becomes a stable statea not impossible or ad infinitum project. Second, it is not important to me whether it is presided over by a Strongman or a representative republic, although polls show the latter is too optimistic. It cojld be partitioned into several homogeneous territories, each ruled as its popoulations wish. Third as a state it should be oriented to the West and Fourth it should be our ally against extremist Islamism.