Monday, 1/20/14

    1. No place for conservatives in New York
    2. No place for conservatives in Woodstock
    3. Your free market at work
    4. Korematsu again?
    5. Penitential-Industrial Complex
    6. Efficiency or Diversity?
    7. Something surpassingly good from Kentucky


“No place for Conservatives” isn’t about Maria Conchita Alonso getting kicked out of Vagina Monologues en Español.

Rather, Pete Spiliakos has a very evocative little piece, Victory Disease, at Postmodern Conservative:

One thing that struck me about presidential elections in the post-1984 era was that, of the candidates who have serious hopes of winning their party’s nomination, the Democrats tried to seem more moderate than they really were while the Republicans tried to seem more radical than they really were …

The reelection of Obama has changed this perception. The mood of many on the left is [that in] a straight fight between a liberal and a conservative, they think they have the advantage – and an advantage that will only grow with time. This changes the dynamic within the Democratic Party. A candidate might think they can indulge a more obnoxious and divisive left-politics to win the nomination with less fear that it will suffice to destroy them in the general election. What is the median voter going to do? Vote Republican? Ha!

When Obama first came to national attention in 2004, he said that there was no Red America and no Blue America, only the United States of America. Now Andrew Cuomo seems to be experimenting at the state-level (laboratories of democracy and all that) with the idea that people who do not agree with the Democratic party platform have no place in America. It didn’t take long for the arrogance of power to take hold. This hubris will bring grief to the left and the Democratic party, but it will do damage to the country first.

I think Spiliakos has just said about the nicest thing about the GOP that can be said today: the Democrats, giddy with power, may quickly become so leftist and oppressive (he’s not really exaggerating the Cuomo remark) that there is, once again, a dime’s worth of difference — which might get me voting Republican in more close races and with a little more enthusiasm.

“America: Love it or leave it.” That sounds vaguely familiar, but I don’t recall the speakers being liberals last time around.


Ann Althouse quotes a question from a Pepperdine Forum on Tax Reform:

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being no damage and 10 being permanent long range damage, how much has the IRS and tax administration been damaged by the current IRS scandal?  (And I would append to that the question: was it a scandal?)

Shouting Thomas replies:

I live in the midst of the far left here in Woodstock.
You should hear what they have to say. I’ll boil it down for you.
Republicans are bigots. Bigots have no right to be involved in the political process.
Driving the bigots out of the arena is a noble achievement. The IRS is doing a good thing.

Maybe we should talk about Maria Conchita Alonso?


Meanwhile, in states not known as hotbeds of liberalism (Kentucky, Nevada, Missouri), the “free market” remains a sham and a delusion. You can’t start a new moving company without a Certificate of Need and as a practical matter, you can’t get that certificate if there’s a protest from anyone you’d be competing with.

And what do the protests allege? “[A]ll of them have asserted as grounds for protest that the new company would ‘directly compet[e] with’ the existing company and ‘result in a diminution of [its] revenues.'”

Remarkably, every time the Supreme Court has considered the constitutionality of laws like these, it hasstruck them down. And the Court has made clear that the government may only restrict entry into a trade or profession if its grounds for doing so are related to a person’s “fitness or capacity to practice the profession.” But Certificate of Necessity laws have no relationship at all to a person’s fitness or qualifications. Moreover, the Sixth Circuit—which governs Kentucky—has made clear that the Constitution forbids states from using licensing laws simply to protect established businesses against legitimate economic competition. Yet Kentucky laws explicitly forbid competition, simply to prop up existing firms. And not only do Kentucky bureaucrats deprive hard-working entrepreneurs like Raleigh Bruner of their right to earn a living—but while his federal civil rights lawsuit was going forward, they tried to shut down Raleigh’s business by suing him in state court! Fortunately,the federal judge put a stop to that. Here’s hoping the courts also put a stop to the Bluegrass State’s unconstitutional favoritism.


Perhaps the worst Supreme Court case of the 20th Century was Korematsu v. United States, a 6-3 decision that upheld an Executive Order interring Japanese-Americans during World War II. Justice Robert Jackson is a bit of a hero of mine for his dissent, which I’ll let Wikipedia describe.

I don’t think anybody cites Korematsu as good precedent for anything, but, son of a gun, there is a case going up to SCOTUS, Hedges v. Obama (docket 13-758, “an attempt to revive a constitutional challenge to Congress’s recent support of presidential power to detain suspected terrorists”), where it might be cited if anyone had the cojones or was willing to risk being derided by a justice or two or nine during oral argument. And so the most dogged foes of this dead dog are using the occasion to urge its overruling.

It seems maybe a little bit fishy to me procedurally, but, hey, break a leg.

Meanwhile, when the next Korematsu comes, you can be assured that the major media and 50%+ will be in support. The shame will only set in later.


I’m reminded that I live in a country where “Aramark Correctional Services” is not an invention of The Onion.

What do you want to bet that it and its competitors are pulling strings to assure that penitentiary management remains a growth industry? I claim dibbs on coining “Penitential-Industrial Complex.”


Systems are designed to optimize either for efficiency or diversity. We need finance that optimizes for diversity.

(Woody Tasch, Staring the Pig in the Face)


I don’t want to leave the impression that Kentucky is nothing but bourbon, quarter horses, and crony capitalists in the moving and storage industry. It’s also the home of polymath poet farmers.

(H/T Rod Dreher)

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

About readerjohn

I am a retired lawyer and an Orthodox Christian, living in a collapsing civilization, the modern West. There are things I'll miss when it's gone. There are others I won't. That it is collapsing is partly due to calculated subversion, summarized by the moniker "deathworks." This blog is now dedicated to exposing and warring against those deathwork - without ceasing to spread a little light.
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