Thursday, July 19, 2007

Somebody needs to give Bill O'Reilly a reading assignment.

From Kirk Russell's The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Elliot:
Any informed conservative is reluctant to condense profound and intricate intellectual systems to a few pretentious phrases; he prefers to leave that technique to the enthusiasm of radicals. Conservatism is not a fixed and immutable body of dogma, and conservatives inherit from Burke a talent for re-expressing their convictions to fit the time.
See that, Bill? Talking Points that spoon feeds us a few phrases (ego-inflated rather than pretentious, I suppose) are for spaghetti-kneed liberals. Oh, the irony is delicious.

Oh wait, Bill, I know what you'd say. You'd remind me that the following sentence in the passage I've truncated reads:
As a working premise, nevertheless, one can observe here that the essence of social conservatism is preservation of the ancient moral traditions of humanity. Conservatives respect the wisdom of their ancestors (this phrase was Strafford’s, and Hooker’s, before Burke illuminated it); they are dubious of wholesale alteration.
So, does that fit into Scalia's "original intent" framework? Doesn't that pretty well kibosh the revisions made to Article I, Section II of the Constitution? Or the 13th, 19th and 21st Amendments, right? Aren't those alterations that could be classified as "wholesale"?

I'm obviously not directly addressing Bill here. But if I were, Bill and I might agree on Russell's final point:
[Conservatives] think society is a spiritual reality, possessing an eternal life but a delicate constitution: it cannot be scrapped and recast as if it were a machine.
So...there you go. Just like we can't pack everything up in Iraq in a suitcase and Fed Ex it over here, so we can't fine-tune our laws and liberties to fit a particular agenda...any agenda.

(Note--this whole post exploded over a segment I can't find online, which makes me feel somewhat ridiculous, and a homework assignment about conservatism, which I have abbreviated here. Indulge me.)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This phone takes crappy pics. Or is it that his image doesn't show up on film?
Some freeloader is eating all my food and babbling about concerts and suburban festivals. Get him the hell out of here.