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12/21/2009
REFORM IS A TRIUMPH OF PROCESS OVER PRUDENCE

I suppose it is too much to expect that either party could deal effectively with the health care crisis. In fact, I would argue that our system was not set up to make such massive changes in American life so quickly, that the very nature of the legislative process prevents prudent lawmakers from overreaching and trying to do too much, too soon.

Part of that is the dance that occurs between the majority and minority. True, the atmosphere in Washington has been testy the last couple of decades. But beyond that, there are systemic checks on the majority - most of them built in to the very fabric of the House and Senate rules while others can be found in the Constitution. The Founders saw the People’s House as a place where men were governed by raw passion, and that the supposed elitists in the senate (chosen by state legislators), would put a brake on any imprudent measures passed in the lower chamber.

No, the filibuster is not in the Constitution. But I have no doubt the majority of the Founders would have approved of how it has been used in the past as well as how it is being employed now. When the GOP wanted to ram through some judges who were seen as being either poor jurists, or too extreme, the Democrats balked. The New York Times favored the tactic back in November of 2004:

The Republicans see the filibuster as an annoying obstacle. But it is actually one of the checks and balances that the founders, who worried greatly about concentration of power, built into our system of government. It is also, right now, the main means by which the 48 percent of Americans who voted for John Kerry can influence federal policy. People who call themselves conservatives should find a way of achieving their goals without declaring war on one of the oldest traditions in American democracy.

And they were right. Of course, now that the shoe is on the other foot, the filibuster is evil incarnate if you listen to many on the left. But the principle is sound; legislation that either doesn’t have the support of the people, or is flawed thinking, or whose consequences cannot be easily seen, deserves the “check” that the senate can place on it.

Does this mean that there shouldn’t be health care reform at all? Some on the right would argue this but I think I’ve made my own position clear over the last few months; when millions who want insurance, or need insurance, who are either too poor to afford it or can’t get it because of a chronic condition, something is wrong with the system. The other big reason for reform is the cost of health care - and thus, the cost to government who spends about 40 cents of every health care dollar - are out of control and desperately need to be reined in.

We can’t simply say to those who can’t get insurance, “Too bad if you get sick or hurt. Try bankruptcy, OK?” I don’t see health insurance as a “right” but neither is it fair for families to be burdened for the rest of their lives with a health care bill from a car accident or a serious childhood illness. It is the same reasoning we use for assistance to the poor. If through no fault of their own, someone finds themselves unable to pay for food or shelter, the government must step in. Again, do we say “Too bad you can’t eat. Try a church pantry, OK?”

I am of the school that sees government as an agent to fill in gaps where doing so is prudent and makes sense. Clearly, there is a role for government to play in addressing the health care problem. A purely free market solution does not prevent itself, although certainly applying market forces to the cost curve would seem to make a good deal more sense than the arbitrary manner in which the House and Senate bills address this aspect of the problem.

But government alone cannot address these problems - a position utterly rejected by the far left in the Democratic party who are driving this reform bill over a cliff. If the bill simply addressed the problem of insuring the uninsured and trying to “bend the cost curve” in health care spending, I have no doubt that many Republicans would have enthusiastically thrown themselves into the process. But the overreach written into the bill guaranteed from the beginning that the GOP would be on the sidelines.

You don’t need comity between warring parties to get something done on health care. What is needed is the application of common sense and a little prudence. Indeed, prudence has been sacrificed on the altar of process - the abandonment of the principle of “good government” in order to achieve a purely political triumph for the majority.

As a civic virtue, prudence is underrated.

Russell Kirk:

Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away. As John Randolph of Roanoke put it, Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries. Human society being complex, remedies cannot be simple if they are to be efficacious. The conservative declares that he acts only after sufficient reflection, having weighed the consequences. Sudden and slashing reforms are as perilous as sudden and slashing surgery.

I don’t see how anyone can apply the principle of “prudence” to this legislation. And please note that Professor Kirk is inferring the existence of a body like the United States Senate to place a check on the passions of the imprudent.

In truth, the senate has traditionally been a “conservative” body in that its rules and traditions allow for a more thoughtful and measured approach to legislation. After all, it used to be that these cloture votes would occur after hundreds of hours of talking, as an even smaller minority than the 40 GOP senators (the rules used to call for 66 votes in favor of cloture) could tie up the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” for weeks by reading cookbooks, the Congressional Record, and other time consuming tomes.

Cloture itself is a relatively recent invention. It was created prior to our entry into World War I when just a couple of senators could hold up the business of the senate simply by not yielding the floor (See Jimmy Stewart’s one man filibuster in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington).

The practical effect of all this talking was that bills were considerably watered down in the senate before going to conference. In order to achieve passage in the senate, the minorities concerns were addressed. And it prevented the kind of wholesale changes in American society that we are seeing with health care reform.

President Obama is not a prudent man. He is a reckless, arrogant ideologue who is so concerned with his legacy and his place in the history books, that he is willing to foist this very bad bill on the American people and damn the consequences. It is so big, so broadly drawn, encompasses so much, that it would be impossible for any group of bureaucrats to write rules and regulations that wouldn’t horribly infringe upon the liberties of the people.

There is no blueprint, no roadmap that would reveal what the long term consequences of passing this bill might be. Guessing at its cost is akin to looking into a crystal ball. And Harry Reid ain’t no gypsy. In fact, the Democrats have tried to hide the costs of the bill:

For starters, as CBO notes, the bill presumes that Medicare fees for physician services will get cut by more than 20 percent in 2011, and then stay at the reduced level indefinitely. There is strong bipartisan opposition to such cuts. Fixing that problem alone will cost more than $200 billion over a decade, pushing the Reid plan from the black and into a deep red.

Then there are the numerous budget gimmicks and implausible spending reductions. The plan’s taxes and spending cuts kick in right away, while the entitlement expansion doesn’t start in earnest until 2014, and even then the real spending doesn’t begin until 2015. According to CBO, from 2010 to 2014, the bill would cut the federal budget deficit by $124 billion. From that point on, it’s essentially deficit neutral — but that’s only because of unrealistic assumptions about tax and Medicare savings provisions. By 2019, the entitlement expansions to cover more people with insurance will cost nearly $200 billion per year, and grow every year thereafter at a rate of 8 percent. CBO says that, on paper, the tax increases and Medicare cuts will more than keep up, but, in reality, they won’t. The so-called tax on high cost insurance plans applies to policies with premiums exceeding certain thresholds (for instance, $23,000 for family coverage). But those thresholds would be indexed at rates that are less than health-care inflation — forever. And so, over time, more and more plans, and their enrollees, would bump up against it until virtually the entire U.S. population is enrolled in insurance that is considered “high cost.”

Chicanery in budgeting is not limited to the Democratic party. But it’s a question of scale, isn’t it? We’re not talking about fudging some numbers on a new jet fighter that might show a couple of tens of billions of dollars less over 5 years. We are discussing trillions of dollars in federal spending that are being covered up because if the true cost of this bill were known, it would be even more unpopular than it is now.

Prudence is a lost virtue in Washington. Neither party adheres to its meaning or even its spirit. Profligate, wastrel, wasteful, uncaring of the future - there is more broken in Washington than what passes for political discourse between the parties.

By: Rick Moran at 11:05 am
38 Responses to “REFORM IS A TRIUMPH OF PROCESS OVER PRUDENCE”
  1. 1
    Richard bottoms Said:
    11:51 am 

    If the bill simply addressed the problem of insuring the uninsured and trying to “bend the cost curve” in health care spending, I have no doubt that many Republicans would have enthusiastically thrown themselves into the process.

    I have no doubt you sincerely believe that.

    But I just as sincerely believe that if Jesus Christ himself was at the negotiating table, the GOP to a man (or woman) would oppose any bill delivering of health care reform for one singular reason: the 2010 midterm elections.

    The strategy has been vote no on everything and pray unemployment is over 10% next November and that the economy is still on life support.

    I am telling you now, as a software developer, I have never seen such demand building on Craigslist. Not since 1997 have I seen a wave like this building, an come April it will be roaring like we haven’t seen since the internet gold rush.

    Can’t speak for Regular Joe type jobs, but my gut says the worst IS over and all that’s waiting is spring, for construction jobs to kick in fueled by stimulus money. That spark may just do it.

    There is huge demand pent up for all the things people have not bought for nearly two years. If we have an economy that is showing signs of real resuscitation by summer the GOP is flat dead.

    I don’t think you’re unaware of that very scenario playing out. Real jobs vs Teabagger Banshees, the Republicans lose.

    I sincerely hope you’re right - about the jobs thing. Lots of people have been hurting for a long time.

    Most analysts don’t agree so we’ll just have to hope for the best.

    Sure, there would have been probably 3/4 of Republicans who would have voted no. But then, if the Dems had simply narrowed the scope of the bill, it would have been a helluva lot more popular with the people. They may be conservative but they wouldn’t be stupid. A good bill where the hand of government was a lot lighter would have been supported by many in the GOP due to its popularity in their districts.

    ed.

  2. 2
    JHTRazor Said:
    3:37 pm 

    We are talking about something that once implemented will be hard to ever undue, like social security. The way this bill was passed (middle of the night, Christmas week, no time to read managers amendment, payoffs to buy votes) shows that President Obama and Reid didn’t have faith that the bill could pass on its own merits.

    They didn’t have faith in their Senators to take a three week recess and get assailed by their constituents who would tell them they didn’t want them voting for this bill.

    If Obama and Reid had faith in their bill, they would have given the Senators weeks to discuss, debate and amend it before voting on it.

  3. 3
    michael reynolds Said:
    4:44 pm 

    He is a reckless, arrogant ideologue who is so concerned with his legacy and his place in the history books, that he is willing to foist this very bad bill on the American people and damn the consequences.

    You are so hopelessly clueless in your read on this guy that it’s no surprise you’re so often wrong in your broader analysis.

    You’re seeing what you want to see and need to see for ideological reasons, not what’s there.

  4. 4
    lionheart Said:
    8:10 pm 

    He is a reckless, arrogant ideologue who is so concerned with his legacy and his place in the history books, that he is willing to foist this very bad bill on the American people and damn the consequences.

    Furthermore, he’s a pathetic narcissist of seemingly unremarkable intelligence that is so accustomed to having his flank covered by Chicago goons that he still doesn’t understand how deep a hole he has dug for himself, his party, and sadly, his country.

    Funny how this site’s troll-in-chief, as partisan and ideological as anybody I have ever read, is so comfortable accusing you of seeing what you “want to see and need to see”. It’s always someone else, never them, huh? Tu quoque seems appropriate.

  5. 5
    michael reynolds Said:
    9:45 pm 

    Lionheart:

    Arrogant ideologue . . . pathetic narcissist . . . seemingly unremarkable intelligence . ..

    Questions:

    1- Which ideology was served by increasing Predator raids into Pakistan?

    2 - Which ideology is served by continuing to carry out Mr. Bush’s agreements on Iraq?

    3- Which ideology is served by vastly increasing US forces in Afghanistan? Is that a communist thing, or would you say it’s more a secret Muslim thing?

    4- Was it his “pathetic narcissism” that enabled him to get a 5000 man commitment from NATO?

    5- Which ideology was he serving by steering clear of open support for the public option beloved by most of his own party?

    6- Unless Bob Byrd croaks in the next few days Obama will have gotten a health care reform plan that Clinton could not. Is that his unremarkable intelligence at work?

    7- Was it that same unremarkable intelligence that allowed him to avoid stepping into the middle of the Iran green revolution and undermining our possible friends?

    8- You’ll have to tell me whether it was ideology or narcissism or stupidity that caused him (along with Mr. Bush) to rescue this country from a financial meltdown of epic proportions. I can’t guess.

    You guys have tried out every insult you can come up with: fascist, communist, Islamist, Kenyan, naive, Bambi, stupid, crooked, evil, racist and none stick. You know why? Because you’re idiotlogues who see only what they want to see and what they need to see to validate pre-existing prejudices.

    Now, if you had come to me I could have told you what Obama is: ruthless, suave, unflappable, intelligent, patient and secure. He’s also cold, lacking in empathy, distant and arrogant.

    Ranting and raving and calling him names won’t work. Here’s what’s going to happen: the jobless number will come down. We’ll have a recovery coming off a stronger-than-expected Christmas. (The stock market is already up.) More banks will pay back their TARP funds. Fewer mortgages will default than we fear. And about, oh, four months from now it’s going to dawn on people that the HCR hasn’t destroyed their world.

    Then all you crazy people on the far right will have a hard time remembering quite what it was that so filled you with hate and rage. (Aside of course from Obama’s pigmentation which is what a good half of it is.)

    We’ll be out of Iraq, showing a sort of phony progress in Afghanistan, the banks will start lending again, taxes won’t skyrocket, the economy will rebound (it always does) and you and your party of spittle-flecked nuts will feel the hot air leaking from your sad little balloon.

  6. 6
    sota Said:
    7:35 am 

    Aside of course from Obama’s pigmentation which is what a good half of it is.

    A well-reasoned and mostly reasonable response thrown out the window with one short sentence.

    A good half? Really? It’s that quantifiable? Nonsense. Again.

  7. 7
    busboy33 Said:
    7:56 am 

    “I have no doubt that many Republicans would have enthusiastically thrown themselves into the process. But the overreach written into the bill guaranteed from the beginning that the GOP would be on the sidelines.”

    “Sure, there would have been probably 3/4 of Republicans who would have voted no.”

    So even as someone that believes that the Reds would have put duty ahead of politics (which I will respectfully disagree with), you don’t give them credit for more than 10 Senators that would vote for health care reform which you believe in as a Conservative goal (albeit in a different form) . . . and that’s “many Republicans”?

    If you think the goal is worthwhile and 75% of the Reds would STILL oppose it, then (respectfully) the problem isn’t with the bill as crafted.

  8. 8
    busboy33 Said:
    8:05 am 

    @JHTRazor:

    “The way this bill was passed (middle of the night, Christmas week, no time to read managers amendment, payoffs to buy votes) shows that President Obama and Reid didn’t have faith that the bill could pass on its own merits.”

    Exactly how long would you like the bill to have been debated? Heck, roughly how long?

    Does the fact that Repubs have publicly and repeatedly stated that one of their goals was simply to stall for as long as they could get away with (not work on, not counter-propose . . . just stall) in any way merit for you “going forward”? Do you think that more debate would have pursuaded Republicans to support the bill? If more debate and delay would not have changed the votes . . . why delay?

    @MikeReynolds:
    “Here’s what’s going to happen: the jobless number will come down. We’ll have a recovery coming off a stronger-than-expected Christmas. (The stock market is already up.) More banks will pay back their TARP funds. Fewer mortgages will default than we fear. And about, oh, four months from now it’s going to dawn on people that the HCR hasn’t destroyed their world.
    Then all you crazy people on the far right will have a hard time remembering quite what it was that so filled you with hate and rage.”

    No — they’ll just credit all that to the sound policies of W or Regan.

  9. 9
    lionheart Said:
    9:03 am 

    I could have told you what Obama is: ruthless, suave, unflappable, intelligent, patient and secure.

    You and Chris Matthews. I wouldn’t want to be around either of you if Obama actually touched you. Your schoolgirl crush on him is pathetic.

    Continuing the daydream:

    the jobless number will come down. We’ll have a recovery coming off a stronger-than-expected Christmas. (The stock market is already up.) More banks will pay back their TARP funds. Fewer mortgages will default than we fear.

    I hope you’re right, but I’m pretty sure you’re not.

    As far as your list goes, there is nothing there that makes your point. Every military decision has been reluctantly agreed to, politicized, and is usually too little and/or too late (e.g. McChrystal asks for a minimum of 30K, the great military genius Obama decides that he knows better, and after months of delays, gives him 25K). Steering clear of the public option? You’ve got to be kidding me. Unfortunately for him, there are these things call “video records” of his commitment to a single-payer system (not being aware of that simple fact seems to support my assertion of unremarkable intelligence).

    But what I love most is the invocation of the racism ad hominem, thus proving that Godwin’s Law does indeed have racism corollary.

  10. 10
    Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » The Senate bill that stole Christmas in today’s podcast Pinged With:
    9:28 am 

    [...] In today’s podcast at 11AM, Rick Moran talks about how REFORM IS A TRIUMPH OF PROCESS OVER PRUDENCE. [...]

  11. 11
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:43 am 

    Every military decision has been reluctantly agreed to, politicized, and is usually too little and/or too late …

    Obama called for Predator raids inside Pakistan during the campaign. John McCain attacked him for it.

    Obama called for focusing on Afghanistan all through the campaign. He rushed troops there the instant he was elected. And now he has added still more men. Smething the REPUBLICAN Mr. Bush did not do.

    As for racism, only a fool denies that racism is a very significant part of the tea party/Glen Beck/Rush Limbaugh party. It is not coincidence that the GOP is all white and mostly Southern and rural.

  12. 12
    CZ Said:
    11:07 am 

    “Prudence is a lost virtue in Washington.”

    Since Chicago democrat thugs have taken over Washington it will get much worse in the year to come. Look for even more secrecy, scheming, back room wheeling and dealing along with outright theft of public funds by special union interests.

    How’s that hope and change working out for YOU?

  13. 13
    busboy33 Said:
    11:14 am 

    @lionheart:

    I understand that your disagreement with Obama is purely because of his policies . . . but what should I as a citizen think when I see the Courious George dolls at McCain rallies during the campaign, the gorilla jokes (and the watermelon jokes, the welfare jokes, etc., et. al.,), the blackface cartoons, “Barack the Magic Negro” songs, and so on?

    You comments on any racial bias against Obama sound like its all a plot of the liberal MSM to frame conservatives. And that just belies the facts on the table.
    How could anybody think there was racism in the opposition to Obama? Honestly, with crap like that how could anybody NOT think that there was a racial component to the Obana opposition?

    Am I wrong? Was all of that race neutral? Tell me that there’s no racism involved in all this . . . but if you do, you’re going to have to explain all that stuff to me. I guess I’m a little dense . . . but that sure sounds like some racist $h!t to me.

    Now, you want to disagree as to how great an extent it plays into opposition to Obama, that’s a different (debatable) question. Maybe its a little. Maybe its a lot. But your comments make it sound like allegations of racism are just laughable — and claiming that with all this on the table is pretty uncredible to me.

    Like I said, maybe I’m just a pawn of the liberal media. Maybe there’s a perfectly non-racist explanation for all that. If there is, I’d love to hear it. But having seen all that (and still getting race jokes in my e-mail pretty much every day), simply saying “tut tut, only a silly liberal would think that” makes you look like either you are covering it up out of embarassment (you’re not racist, many conservatives aren’t, but there are some jackholes that are and they are making the party look bad) or you are complicit in the attitude, since I can’t fathom you honestly didn’t think those things were racist (which is the only other possible explanation I can see). I mean that as a compliment, because if you DIDN’T know that was racist then with all due respect you are a complete idiot . . . and I don’t think you’re an idiot.

  14. 14
    CZ Said:
    11:23 am 

    Race was used to this clown elected. Anyone who doesn’t see that is an idiot too.

  15. 15
    mannning Said:
    12:36 pm 

    Let us admit to several unpalatable memes, because truth should out.

    1) There is indeed a race component to the opposition to Obama, but it isn’t a simple color issue at all. It is an issue born of a virulent black culture that hates America, and wishes to wreck its revenge on the white majority–think Reverend White–and Obama is its titular leader. To support this ideology is to support the downfall of white America.

    2) The GOP has failed to grasp and hold its position over the past 9 years, and seems to be quite leaderless just now. The “Big Tent” has fractionated into its various subsets, such as moderates, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, evangelicals, and the far right, and there doesn’t appear to be a charismatic personality that can glue them back together in time for the 2010 elections.

    However,

    3)The Obama Left is doing itself tremendous damage with its spendthrift legislation and government takeover policies, that may well create an effective opposition of necessity out of the fractionated GOP subsets and disaffected independents in spite of their many continuing internal squabbles.

  16. 16
    michael reynolds Said:
    1:39 pm 

    Manning:

    Exhibit A next time I need to demonstrate the racism at the heart of so many on the right:

    1) There is indeed a race component to the opposition to Obama, but it isn’t a simple color issue at all. It is an issue born of a virulent black culture that hates America, and wishes to wreck its revenge on the white majority–think Reverend White–and Obama is its titular leader. To support this ideology is to support the downfall of white America.

  17. 17
    lionheart Said:
    1:42 pm 

    busboy33:
    I do not deny that there is racism in America. Some whites hate some blacks, some blacks hate some Hispanics, some Hispanics hate… you get the idea.

    But to lump blatant racism in with an entire political party (as the resident troll does) is as stupid as blatant racism itself. I have hundreds of conservative friends and acquaintances, most of whom have donated to and/or lined up to support Allen West (I live in Palm Beach County and work as a weekend volunteer for his campaign). Is Colonel West a “special negro”? Do we hate Obama because he’s black, but put our magic white-skin glasses on when we work to get Colonel West elected? Perhaps the rest of the country’s conservatives are different than Florida, but neither I nor any of my friends hate Obama because of his skin color. I don’t hate him at all- but I sure hate what he is doing to this country.

    So you’ll have to pardon me for scoffing at fools that have the knee-jerk reaction of accusing me of racism when I criticize Obama. Furthermore, you’ll have to forgive me if I think the liberals that accuse conservatives of being “filled with hate and rage” are hypocritical assholes. Never in the history of our country has more hate, rage, and gnashing of teeth been directed towards a president than the last 4 years of Bush 43.

    One last thing: you and I clearly are on different email distributions and watch different news shows. On my children’s life, I swear that I have no idea what you are talking about with the “curious George” comment. As far as racist jokes or cartoons, I have probably received two dozen or so in the past 18 months, most of those from a single person. So my question to you is this: do you really get that much racist email, or are you projecting as fact something you’ve heard. And if you are getting racist email, perhaps you should consider “unfriending” the offending party.

  18. 18
    mannning Said:
    8:53 pm 

    A race component as I described it above in and of itself is not the total rationale for rejecting Obama and the leftist legislators in congress. It is merely one piece of the indictment, and it does not rest solely on the Right, either, to have this racist component in their hearts and minds.

    But, then, the Left assumes that it’s members are free of such memes when they are manifestly not free of it at all! I have heard more whispered racist critiques and “meaningful nods” about Obama and Co. from my Democratic friends than from my Rightist friends at the many social gatherings of this season, much to my surprise. Even the hypocritical Democratic faithful here are beginning to see that the Emperor has no clothes.

  19. 19
    mannning Said:
    10:33 pm 

    MR: Where did I say that the racist meme I alluded to was only a Rightist meme?

    It simply exists in many hearts regardless of political persuasion, I have found.

  20. 20
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:08 am 

    Manning:

    You’re not getting it: your statement was blatantly racist.

    . . . born of a virulent black culture that hates America, and wishes to wreck its revenge on the white majority–think Reverend White–and Obama is its titular leader. To support this ideology is to support the downfall of white America. . .

    In your mind you separate black America from white, define them in terms evoking disease, define them as hostile and anti-American, reduce them to their worst elements, and posit that they desire to destroy “white America.” And then, just so you can be extra crazy, you identify Obama as the leader of this alien, anti-American fringe.

    The Ku Klux Klan or Aryan Brotherhood could have written that. Word for word.

  21. 21
    mannning Said:
    1:00 pm 

    MR: I do think you ARE getting it, but slowly!

    You have obviously nestled in your home and haven’t been on the streets for a long, long time. You have not been face to face with the black goons that do the bidding of nefarious organizations, nor have you delved into ACORN, or Wright’s (Obama’s minister–you know, the church he attended for 20 years?) church, or the many equally anti-white America versions of it that populate our cities, one of which I could almost hit with a stone right now. They do espouse a virulent black culture and they promote it on the streets, against whites. You can hear their preaching from the sidewalk outside, until their 250lb “ushers” menace you to move on, and it is not pretty.

    Once you have been accosted and roughed up a few times,and told that you are a mark for black revenge on whites, perhaps you will wake up to the realities all around you. But I seriously doubt it. You would claim it was a one-off situation, not to be repeated, but I could take you to the precinct station a few blocks from here and let you read the reports week after week of black-on-white violence. Oh, they do not run to the newspaper unless it is exceptionally violent, such as for murder.
    Since half of the police force is black, guess how many incidents are handled? Many are simply covered over.

    My grandson and three of his friends were brutally beaten by such a roving black gang down in Greenville, NC, last year, just a block away from ECU. The band was caught, and they told the story of it being a rite of initiation into their gang of hundreds to beat up whites. They were from a town miles away from Greenville.

    We have roving bands of blacks here in my dictrict that are looking for whites to beat up also, and last Summer three of them found two VCU students just across the street from my home, jumped out of their car, and put both of the students in the hospital–one died. We are talking about a genteel neighborhood where the average cost of a house is about %700,000, and many are afraid to go out at night–especially unarmed.

    I was accosted by a huge black and threatened in front of my house, but was fortunate that two neighbors saw what was going on and came out to help run the guy off. I have been armed ever since.

    My Mother was mugged by a black here in front of the house, but that was a few years ago.

    A block away there have been three rapes this Fall with aggrevated assault, all by blacks.

    We are literally at war with SOME blacks (note the emphasis: I do not lump all blacks in the same category) in the heart of the Capitol of Virginia. So don’t tell me about black-on-white violence; I am in the middle of it, and moving to the suburbs won’t help either–they have the same problems with rovers. The police reports tell the story of over 2,000 such incidents in this district of about a thousand homes last year.

    It seems that many of the members of these gangs, a few of which have been put out of business, are regular attendees at one or another of the black power churches, or so they confess, and from that you can draw your own conclusions.

    You see, I am not a racist, but I AM going to defend myself and my family from these vicious blacks, and I will support voting to eradicate those blacks that abuse their positions from their power of office, all the way up to the President, where the crimes are far more “white-collar” and refined, but still quite effective in robbing my bank account.

    It would be exactly the same, note you well again, were it to be whites, blues, or purple gangs that were doing the harm, but it is odds-on here that an intruder, a mugger or a ruffian will be black and probably a black power organization member or church-goer!

    You have obviously not had the fear of grevious harm smashed into your consciousness by a black, nor had the threats and actual violence we have here from them to contend with. So good luck to you and your gossimer fantasy world.

    Yes, the KKK could well have written what I wrote, if they had the same cause to defend–themselves, their families and homes that I have–from the brutal blacks we know here.
    So what? Any man would do the same, if he is a real man, that is.

  22. 22
    michael reynolds Said:
    1:27 pm 

    Manning:

    What a lovely job you’ve done of proving my point. You’re a racist. Period, end of story, clearly demonstrated.

    As for your notion that I’ve never had any unpleasant experiences with African-Americans. Age 11, I was molested by a black guy. Many years later my wife was pistol-whipped by a black man in the course of an attempted rape.

    I was also held up at gunpoint by a white guy. (My those nine mills do look big when they’re pointed at you.)

    Had an apartment I was managing trashed (smeared with feces) by a white guy and subsequently fought him in the street.

    Stepped between a white guy and his white wife as he was beating her in the street.

    Ditto a second time with a different white guy and had a lovely stand-off with many loud threats.

    Had my family threatened by the KKK many years ago in Florida.

    Was threatened by a drunken, gun-wielding white biker in a bar.

    Was attacked in my room by a drunken white guy roaring that he wanted to kill me. (Attack suspended when he rammed his arm through a reinforced glass door. Much blood and excitement.)

    Chased through the streets of Crocket California by a white biker who’d just ripped me off. (Very Hollywood chase scene.)

    I don’t recall ever having a problem with an Asian, but I assume I will someday.

    But I don’t conclude from that that blacks are inferior, aggressive or evil, since I’ve had at least as much trouble with white folks. In terms of being scared sh*tless I’d have to give the edge to white folks.

  23. 23
    mannning Said:
    7:04 pm 

    It is a shame that you, MR, do not read very well, and do not take what you read into your brain. You must have had a very poor upbringing. You want desperately to label me as a racist, and against all blacks, but it won’t wash. But if your pea brain wants to call me that, be my guest, I have been called worse in my time.

    I am a thousand percent against just those blacks, or any other color/race, that do evil in this world, most especially to me and mine. The rest of the law-abiding members of any race, any color, are fine with me. So get off it, dummy.

    Nowhere did I say anything about inferiority, most particularly not against an entire race, not for the evil of a few. There you go again reading into my words what isn’t there. Such as you are also evil if not downright dangerous.

    The pattern of your encounters with other men is rather suggestive of a recurring problem of yours. What is it?

  24. 24
    michael reynolds Said:
    9:34 pm 

    Manning:

    You’re not just a racist. You’re the dictionary illustration of “racist.” Why deny what is patently obvious to any objective observer? Why not own it?

  25. 25
    busboy33 Said:
    12:09 am 

    @manning:

    How can you say –
    “it isn’t a simple color issue at all. It is an issue born of a virulent black culture that hates America, and wishes to wreck its revenge on the white majority–think Reverend White–and Obama is its titular leader.”
    – and then say that you are only opposed to the criminals that happen to be black? Your first statement identifies a “virulent black culture” “with Obama as its titular head”. What “culture” are you talking about? The culture of mugging and raping? The ‘Anti-Klan’, dedicated to the destruction of white society? “Culture” is a society-wide trait. This isn’t a critique of individuals, despite what you say. It is an attack on a people.
    Reinforcing that is naming Obama as “its titular head”. What connects Obama to the guy that mugged your mom? What connects him . . . aside from his skin color? Do they attend the same secret ‘let’s destroy the white people’ meetings? Any reports of Obama reading “The Anti-Protocols of the Elders of Zion”? No.

    You seem to be looking at Black Americans as ALL members of the secret society . . . and then place the burden on individuals to convince you that they are somehow free of its evil clutches.

    I’m sorry to say, that’s pretty damn racist. Maybe not intentional, maybe not “god I hate me some big-lipped ni**ers” . . . but racist nonetheless.

    It pains me to type everything I’ve just said. I do respect you and your opinions. But I because I respect you, I have to be honest with you and tell you what I see in what you write.

  26. 26
    mannning Said:
    12:13 pm 

    busboy, MR: Listen up, and listen up good.

    The paragraph I wrote was explicating what I OBSERVE HERE ALL AROUND ME AND HAVE TOLD TO ME, not what I believe myself. You are trying to credit me with BELIEVING WHAT I OBSERVE AND SET FORTH AS WHAT MANY, MANY OTHERS THAT I KNOW WELL REALLY THINK. I do believe I represented very accurately what these others of literally all political persuasions have voiced to me over the past year, and especially after the impact of the Obama spending spree took hold, and at the social gatherings of this season. Real feelings representing a significant trend in this locality is what I was documenting.

    Many have speculated to me very seriously about the Rev. Wright issue, and what they perceive as a disingenuous act of Obama’s in disassociating himself from Wright openly and publically after being with him for 20 years, only to have him in the White House on more than one occasion afterwards. You must realize what impact the Rev. Wright’s words had here in Richmond, and the subsequent actions that appear to belie Obama’s intent, and then what is observed in a similar vein on the black church scene here in Richmond as well.

    I also believe that I have very accurately expressed what I DO believe in several other comments, to wit that I am totally opposed to thuggery, theft, rape, murder, violence or intimidation by blacks AND ANY OTHER RACIAL GROUP, and that I do not condemn the entire black race for what a few have done.

    You see, what I expressed in that paragraph represents a rapidly growing trend around here, and that many people actually voice such opinions more and more openly as we proceed. That is the rather unpalatable truth I was laying out. I also gave some insight into why the whites in my district are reacting to what they experience that tends to reinforce such opinions.

    This is a serious problem, and it affects us all, if only because such reactions, when known, cause more of what they perceive as the problem in the first place, since the blacks react to it.

    My own reaction to many such violent events is to stay aware of my surroundings, to avoid the streets where violence has taken place, to avoid being on the streets late at night, and to be armed if I must go out. All are rational reactions to the local situation and are not at all racist, per se. This works for any kind of thug!

    I have also worked with the police to encourage more frequent patrols of this area, and that seems to have been effective, as the crime rate was over 4,000 incidents in this district in 2007 to 2,000 incidents as I cited in 2008. So far this year there has been a further decrease, but the final figures are not yet available, but it is still well over 1 incident per household on the average.

    It is interesting to me that my attempt to lay out a truth about this locality on the race issue, has immediately become an accusation that I am racist, and to hell with the problems I was addressing. That shows rather clearly how volatile the issue is, and how misreadings can be trouble. Perhaps I should have clarified what I was about in that paragraph somehow, but I believe it would have been the same regardless.

  27. 27
    mannning Said:
    12:35 pm 

    After reading your last over again, busboy, I was struck by what seems to be your total disbelief in the black power movement and the many-faceted subsets of it that are quite well recognized or speculated upon here.

    Be that as it may, I am not one to promote conspiracy theories, nor do I give credit to them, but my neighbors in the district appear to be very skillful at it, and in finding their own reasons for their beliefs, some based on facts and, most likely, much base on speculation.

    Many of them know a hell of a lot more than I do about local aspects, and it thus becomes a big job to try to run down all that has been claimed. The thing is, as this meme grows and grows, it will ultimately create a lot more problems for you and me, whether it is factual or not. That is my growing concern.

  28. 28
    busboy33 Said:
    4:43 pm 

    @manning:

    “The paragraph I wrote was explicating what I OBSERVE HERE ALL AROUND ME AND HAVE TOLD TO ME, not what I believe myself. You are trying to credit me with BELIEVING WHAT I OBSERVE AND SET FORTH AS WHAT MANY, MANY OTHERS THAT I KNOW WELL REALLY THINK.”

    Let me emphasize — “not what I believe myself”

    And yet, to demonstrate how you don’t believe this yourself, you write:

    “You have not been face to face with the black goons that do the bidding of nefarious organizations, nor have you delved into ACORN, or Wright’s (Obama’s minister–you know, the church he attended for 20 years?) church, or the many equally anti-white America versions of it that populate our cities, one of which I could almost hit with a stone right now. They do espouse a virulent black culture and they promote it on the streets, against whites. You can hear their preaching from the sidewalk outside, until their 250lb ‘ushers’ menace you to move on, and it is not pretty.”

    So you don’t believe it . . . but it is in fact true. You are certainly not espousing white pre-emptive protection against the black power movement which seeks to destroy White Amerika, but . . .

    “I was struck by what seems to be your total disbelief in the black power movement and the many-faceted subsets of it that are quite well recognized or speculated upon here.”

    Pick one or the other manning. Either there is a horde of dangerous militant Negros plotting the destruction of all that is White and we as Whites must repel this most insidious threat to all that we hold dear . . . or that’s crap that you reject and do not believe. The two positions are absolutely contradictory.

    I am well aware that there are blacks that are revolutionary, or at least preach revolutionary ideals. I am aware that there are whites that are revolutionary. Frankly, I’ve seen far more activity from the whites in this area than the blacks.

    But the bigger point is you are crossing two unrelated issues, and your doing so raises the racist spectre. On the one hand, you’ve got blacks that preach struggle against white society (like the Nation of Islam). On the other side, you’ve got personal and anecdotal stories of petty black criminals. The guy who mugged your mom almost certainly had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with any organized (and totally ineffectual) societal upheval. He was a mugger. As he mugged her, did he espouse any revolutionary ideology? What possibly rationale could you articulate to take a common criminal and relate them to a national conspiracy? Those examples serve only one purpose — justifing why people should fear blacks. Connecting it to a (non-existent)* revolutionary threat simply takes a tragic occurance and inflates it to a nation-threatening apocalyptic danger . . . and that act serves only one purpose.

    You claim you don’t believe this meme — but you are defending how justified it is. If its justified, why don’t you believe it?

    “I am not one to promote conspiracy theories”

    What is the difference between defending and promoting?

    “nor do I give credit to them, but my neighbors in the district appear to be very skillful at it, and in finding their own reasons for their beliefs, some based on facts and, most likely, much base on speculation.”

    Do you realize that this last comment is the FIRST TIME you claimed to NOT accept these beliefs? Especially after you said;

    “We are literally at war with SOME blacks (note the emphasis: I do not lump all blacks in the same category) in the heart of the Capitol of Virginia.”
    “It seems that many of the members of these gangs, a few of which have been put out of business, are regular attendees at one or another of the black power churches, or so they confess, and from that you can draw your own conclusions.”

    (wink wink, nudge nudge. Lord knows, when I think of street gangs, I always think of politically organized societial revolution. Its not simply criminal street gangs, no sir. Now, I’m not SAYING that they are the organized military wing of the organized black revolutionary movement . . . but I’ll sure as hell suggest that exact thing and slyly wink.)

    “You see, I am not a racist, but I AM going to defend myself and my family from these vicious blacks, and I will support voting to eradicate those blacks that abuse their positions from their power of office, all the way up to the President, where the crimes are far more ‘white-collar’ and refined, but still quite effective in robbing my bank account.”

    Black street gangs to the president — the blacks are out to get me and mine! I must fight against this black threat!
    But I’m not viewing blacks in a negative light because they are black. Nope. I’m viewing blacks in a negative light because they are a threat. Certainly not ALL blacks . . . that would be silly. Buts lots of them blacks are a threat (relation of the President and a street hood? They’re both black), and WE have to defend from THEM. The President is the same as a street criminal. Both are out to get ME and MINE, and they are doing so because we are white, and they are black.
    Btw, let me emphasize I’m not racist. And how could anybody read all of that and come to that conclusion? Why, that’s just crazy!

    No. No, its not. You (and the whites around you) are at WAR with the Black Menace. A war consisting of Whites fighting the Blacks that are a threat. There’s a term for that — its called a race war. What you are saying is that you certainly don’t want a race war, but it is currently happening. The Blacks (sorry, SOME blacks) are engaged in war with you and yours, the basis of that war is race (black on black crime? just crime. Obama policies that harm blacks? Coincidence. Either of those things harm a white person? Conspiracy!), and you have to defend yourself — and that race war extends all the way to the President. Why include the President? Well, his policies are (according to you) hurting you financially. And he’s black. And you’re white. So there you go — it’s all part of the same race war. No difference between the Obama Administration and somebody getting jumped by a street gang. They both involve a White harmed by a Black.

    Of course, you don’t believe this, or espouse it, or promote it, right? I mean, you actually did exactly that — but you didn’t mean it. Do I have that right?

    After all that this may sound disingenuous, but I mean it sincerely — Merry Christmas to you and yours (and everybody out there), and I hope this unpleasant topic does not diminish your enjoyment of the holiday and (hopefully) spending some quality family time with those you love.

    *: let me clarify “non-existent”. As I said, there are blacks (and whites) that preach such revolutionary thoughts. What steps have occured in furtherance of those ideals? None. What actual threat do those people pose? Absolutely none, as far as I can see. How much legislation have they championed and passed? What political representation have they secured? What organized riots have they created? Criminal societally-destabilizing sprees have they pulled off in the last 30 years? The answers as far as I know are none, zero, none, and zero.
    How is that a threat? It isn’t.
    I actually used to follow the Nation of Islam quite closely in Ohio (they always annoyed me because they’d never sell me their damn newspaper — I always had to send a black friend as a proxy to buy it for me). As far as I could tell, their main goal, despite all their revolutionary proclimations . . . was to milk blacks for money. Buy the latest lecture from Sister Whatever. Buy the latest book from Reverend Whatever. They never actually DID anything, just sold the same crap over and over to the same receptive audience. No rallies, no marches, no actual impact on society of the laws governing the town — just a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Sad certainly . . . but no threat to society or me and mine.

  29. 29
    michael reynolds Said:
    5:08 pm 

    The pattern of your encounters with other men is rather suggestive of a recurring problem of yours. What is it?

    Um. . . that I don’t like wife beaters and don’t like being robbed? That seems to be the only repeated theme.

    You’ve already revealed yourself as a racist, you aren’t really going to defend wife-beating now are you?

  30. 30
    michael reynolds Said:
    6:56 pm 

    MaNNNing:

    Oh, the Google is a lovely thing, isn’t it? I always wondered why the three ‘N’s in your screen name.

    Turns out if you Google “NNN” and “race” you go straight to New Nation News — a neo-Nazi web site that specializes in reporting black on white violence. Which it turns out is your particular kink

    Quite a coincidence. Dontcha think?

  31. 31
    mannning Said:
    9:06 pm 

    MR: NNN! What a gas! You win the prize for first putting Nazi into this discussion. Idiot.

    busboy
    I haven’t the time on Christmas Eve to set forth the full set of opinions that I have tried to express here drawn as carefully as I can from the people I know. It is long and involved, and it seems to boil down to white fear of blacks, blacks that acquire power, blacks that are not trusted by whites to be impartial with their power, and blacks that roam the streets looking for victims, blacks that extort payments to Rainbow for racial peace, blacks that attempt to block a polling place, and yes, blacks that have ascended to powerful positions in the government. Perhaps there is also an element of white guilt, too, that wonders whether blacks in power now would truly be impartial and trustworthy. These seem to be the main concerns of my “informants”. I cannot make all of the linkages that they can up to the top, but I am reporting that they see it that way which is the most important thing.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  32. 32
    michael reynolds Said:
    11:13 pm 

    I always enjoy a nice non-denial denial.

    Every word you’ve written on this subject — every word — could be written by a Klansman or a member of Aryan Brotherhood.

    “Your informants.” That’s very funny.

    Merry Christmas.

  33. 33
    busboy33 Said:
    11:45 am 

    @manning:

    So in comment #21, when you say we are at war, or that you will defend you and yours from the Obsidian Menace . . . you are role-playing?

    “It would be exactly the same, note you well again, were it to be whites, blues, or purple gangs that were doing the harm, but it is odds-on here that an intruder, a mugger or a ruffian will be black and probably a black power organization member or church-goer!”

    Again, you’re not saying this as manning, but as a person who talks to manning? That the threat to the whites you care about are blacks, and members of a seditious anti-white black organization?

    I gotta say, it sounds an awful lot like it’s written from the perspective of manning. It doesn’t sound at all like manning is merely reporting the ideas of “manning’s friend”.

    “but I am reporting that they see it that way which is the most important thing.”

    And there are people that think the planed will be destroyed in 2012 because the Mayan calendar ends then. They are idiots, and frankly I don’t give a damn about their opinions.

    How do YOU se it? You manning, not you manning’s informant? Do you fear for the safety of those you love who are white from a black threat? Do you think a black street gang is part of a larger organized racial menace? Do you think some street punk making their bones with the gang is targeting a white person to destabilize the societal power structure? Do you think the President of the United States is plotting specifically to harm white Americans?

    You’ve said that this is all what your informants tell you . . . but you didn’t say that you disagree with any of this.

  34. 34
    mannning Said:
    6:16 pm 

    busboy
    Till now, I was more than willing to further the discussion, but once I have been accused of lying or such, it is all over. You take me at my word or you can go pound sand.

    One last remark, take it or leave it, I don’t care: I do not believe in the black conspiracy theories that the others that I know do. I do believe in safety, and I do feel threatened by blacks that war on the streets almost daily here. Any reasonable person would. I do have grave doubts about the President’s programs and spending plans, and I am persuaded that he is very socialistic. I do not appreciate the Wright mentality, nor what I perceive as the dishonesty of the President in throwing Wright under the bus to get elected. I do not know whether this is the tip of a great conspiracy, because I do not have definitive information on the situation. Others believe that they have such information, or at least circumstantial evidence of it. That is what I reported. End of story.

  35. 35
    busboy33 Said:
    8:23 am 

    @manning:

    I wasn’t aware I called you a liar. Just went over my comments here and I didn’t find it.

    Why is it disingenuous for Obama to renounce Wright?

    What does being socialist have to do with black power?

  36. 36
    mannning Said:
    2:22 pm 

    I gotta say, it sounds an awful lot like it’s written from the perspective of manning. It doesn’t sound at all like manning is merely reporting the ideas of “manning’s friend”.

    You were told at least three or four times in different comments that I was writing about some of the racial attitudes of my many contacts here of all political persuasions, yet you imply here that I was not telling it like it was, but that I was expressing my own opinions—i.e. that I was lying. I do not lie, so I find this to be insulting.

    That is it for this thread.

  37. 37
    busboy33 Said:
    12:39 pm 

    @manning:

    Take it as you will.

    You wrote in the 1st person perspective. If you are suprised that writing “I need to defend my loved ones from the black menace” leads people to conclude “I” means “manning”, then I suggest you bone up on your English comprehension skills.

    The fact that your “this is what others think” qualifier came later, in enitrely different comments, doesn’t help.

    I do take exception to being accused of calling you a liar. I don’t see how that is possible for two reasons.

    First, my comments stated how your 1st person comments sounded. They don’t tell you what you think (according to you). I said that your statements sounded like they were written from the perspective of manning . . . and it does. The tell is in the use of words like “I” and “my”. You say you are reporting what your informants think, but that doesn’t change that what you wrote sounds like its from your perspective.
    Here’s an example:
    “I want to destroy America because of what it has done to my family”.
    Does that sound like I am saying that, or does it sound like I am speaking for somebody else? If you responded “busboy, it sounds like you hate America”, whether I do or not your statement isn’t incorrect, and its not calling me a liar. Even if I tell you I don’t endorse that statement, it still SOUNDS like it reflects my beliefs. That is what I said.

    Secondly, and far more relevant . . . according to you, you haven’t actually said what you believe.
    If I’m understanding your comments, you’ve made several 1st person statements, and then said that those statements are what your friends believe. Whether your friends believe those statements or not has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on what YOU believe. Here’s an example to illustrate that:

    statement one: I like ice cream
    statement two: statement one reflects what my friend Fred thinks.

    Now, based on those two statements . . . do I (busboy33) like ice cream? Fred and I can both like ice cream. Fred can like ice cream and I can hate it. Under both of those circumstances, under your explanation I can stand behind the two statements.

    The closest you came to saying how YOU feel (assuming we don’t attribute any of the 1st person perspective comments to you) is saying you don’t endorse or promote conspiracy theories. But that is irrevelant to the topic, because you haven’t said that the ideas of your informants ARE conspiracy theories.
    To illustrate, let me add a third statement to the ice cream example:

    statement three: busboy33 does not like bad food.

    Do I like ice cream or not? Have I said I don’t? Have I said I do? Do I disagree with Fred? Do I think ice cream is “bad food”? Do I think Fred is right or wrong for liking ice cream?

    That’s an extremely confusing “side-step” of the question. I stand by my position that your comments on this are confusing. You made racist comments in the 1st person voice. You say this is what your friends believe. You don’t say what you think. To say “this sounds like it reflects your beliefs” isn’t calling you a liar . . . because it DOES sound like that and you never said that it DOESN’T reflect your beliefs. Hell, you never even said it doesn’t SOUND like it reflects your beliefs. If you did make that statement, I’ve missed it. If you did then I apologize, and I’m a sloppy reader. But if you didn’t . . . then I never called you a liar, and your umbrage is unjustified. If I was supposed to imply you didn’t from your statements, then you need to be more clear. And as someone who is demonstrably skilled at the written word, I firmly believe that you know that (a guess). If you choose to leave the reader to their own devices, and expect them to deduce your personal beliefs . . . don’t be offended if the reader takes the 1st person voice to mean you. If you want people to think you don’t believe what you say in the 1st person voice, then SAY THAT.

  38. 38
    mannning Said:
    6:19 pm 

    busboy
    I did not set out to voice my own beliefs, but the beliefs of others.

    Beyond stating clearly that I am not racist, nor do I sign up to the evolving conspiracy theories here and elsewhere, there is little else I need to say, and that is that.

    The fact is, there are some blacks on the streets that I, and anyone, must be aware of and to avoid if possible. They are thugs. For example, we listen to gunfire almost nightly, especially in Summer. I had to go buy a scanner to find out whether those strings of popping sounds were pistol shots or firecrackers. They were reported very often as “shots fired”. That is the war going on, and I have no idea who they were each time, but when the radio says that the four blacks that were shooting at another group fled the scene, I take the police at their word. Happens all the time within blocks of my home. Stray bullet holes are not unusual to find, either. The point is that it is black thugs doing this nine out of ten times here. Maybe not elsewhere, but definitely HERE!

    If I was gramatically deficient, so be it.
    You, as a reader, painted a tangled picture, so it must be true, and to sort it all out again is a waste of time, I think. It would not be the first time the voice change method failed. I do become concerned by implications that I lied, however.

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