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Well said. Fundraising specialist organizations often take the overwhelmingly greater part of what they raise as fees. It's not just true in politics. The problem manifests itself in every venue in which a cause organization subcontracts its fundraising. Donor beware, indeed!
In response to:

Is Obama Waging Jihad?

Francis W. Porretto Wrote: Jul 18, 2014 5:12 AM
"We have to take our President at his word." Why should we, when Obama regularly, even habitually, says one thing and does the exact opposite? Do not make the fatal mistake of projecting your own moral-ethical structure into the mind of your enemy.
"I suspect that many of them have come to accept a large, "energetic' federal government..." You suspect? You ***SUSPECT???*** You're normally more insightful than this, Mr. Limbaugh. The Republicans -- the GOP Establishmentarians, at least -- are merely the Democrats' dance partners. The preservation of certain illusions is crucial to the maintenance of our political status quo. The very definition of an establishment is that group which is embedded in and maintains the status quo in its demesne. In particular, our political Establishment is determined to defend the cherished myth that the federal government can be trusted with a degree of power over private Americans and their businesses many orders of magnitude greater than that the Founding Fathers fought a revolution to overthrow. They who seek to wield power love power. When out of power, they will struggle to regain it. They will not attack power itself. Neither will they attack the institutions through which they might some day wield it. Thus, they will defend even those institutions of power that are in an adversary's grip. They hope to displace the adversary and take the power he wields into their own hands. To allow the utter and complete corruption of the federal government of these United States to become plainly visible would evoke a popular revolt that would pull it down and destroy it. Never mind that that's exactly what it deserves. Never mind that that government now "rules by naked force." (Glenn Reynolds) Never mind that it isn't even candid about its premises and its agenda. They who seek to wield its powers will protect it from the just consequences of its worst excesses. With or without music, the Potomac Two-Step will continue until we take the musket down from the mantel and march.
It's an Alinskyite principle that ridicule is a weapon against which there is no countermeasure. Inasmuch as liberals consistently lose when they try facts and reasoning, and have been largely deprived of the "race card" and other attacks on their adversaries' motives, ridicule might just be the last tactic available to them. Unfortunately for them, it's a sword that can cut both ways, as that reporter learned to his dismay.
Good Lord. The labels are failing us, one and all. "Libertarian" does not and should not be equated with "fiscally conservative and socially liberal." For one thing, there aren't many conservatives who really agree with libertarians on economic and fiscal policy. For another, there are many self-nominated libertarians who disagree passionately with liberals on virtually everything they're passionate about. A few examples: Conservatives argue for a "balanced budget" but without reference to what the money will be spent on. Libertarians generally say "If it's not authorized by the Constitution's Article I, Section 8, no money should be spent on it!" Liberals argue for special rights for blacks, homosexuals, women, animals, trees, moss, and rocks. Libertarians will tell you there are only three rights -- to your life, to your liberty, and to your honestly acquired property -- and that there can never be any others. Conservatives will grant subsidies or tariff protections to industries they claim to be "vital to national security." Libertarians wouldn't. Liberals keep invading non-political institutions -- e.g., business, private clubs, and marriage -- and trying to politicize them. Libertarians know those things are no business of the State. Conservatives try to forbid private vices; liberals try to protect their devotees from "discrimination;" libertarians merely say "To each his own, as long as he doesn't try to force it on me." The overarching premise of the conservative is that the State is there to make us all behave. The overarching premise of the liberal is that the State is there to give us the goodies we want. The overarching premise of the libertarian is that the State is there to defend the nation, control the borders, keep peace in the streets, punish aggressive violence and fraud, and adjudicate disputes over contracts -- and nothing else. Now: Knowing yourself to be a decent fellow who takes responsibility for his own conduct and material well-being, who do you want to have power over you? The conservative, who'll check your underwear when you leave the house and issue you a ticket for not having your collar buttoned? The liberal, who'll insist on overseeing everything you do with your money? Or the libertarian, who'll happily leave you alone, as long as you agree to do the same toward him?
In response to:

Tea Party: Learn From Al Gore

Francis W. Porretto Wrote: Jul 10, 2014 7:55 AM
-- "In Mississippi, they're attempting to destroy a good Republican. --" A "good Republican?" Who campaigned on higher Federal spending? Who viciously slandered a decent man to attract the votes of Missouri Democrats in a Republican primary? Whose public behavior has become erratic enough to suspect dementia? Not your best column, Ann. Nor is it nearly your best thinking. Go have a long sit down and think this one over again.
-- " One of my biggest complaints about contemporary conservatism -- in and out of politics -- is that it has lost sight of the importance of storytelling." -- And a serious shortcoming it is. The Right needs skilled storytellers more than ever. A plausible narrative shows important principles in operation among people, rather than presenting them in the bloodless manner of a debate. Our failings at persuasion are largely due to the shortage of persons capable of animating our principles among believable, sympathetic characters trying to meet important challenges.
In response to:

Spending and Morality

Francis W. Porretto Wrote: Jul 09, 2014 10:58 AM
America was the first country to found its government on accepted moral precepts: the State and its agents were in no way exempted from the moral law. What would be criminal for a private citizen would be criminal for a government or any of its employees. I was born too late to live in that America, but I miss it terribly nonetheless.
Though overwrought, this column contains much truth. The key element is this one: -- ...the not-so-hidden desire of the left to wipe out every competing power center in society, and religion is a competing power center. -- Though I would have called religion an alternate source of moral authority rather than a "competing power center," the core insight is dead on target. Left-liberals see society in terms of power blocs, and it is in the nature of competing power blocs to want to wipe out their competitors. Politics begins to become perverse from the instant people view a political affiliation as the sole touchstone for all acceptable thought and opinion. Sadly, here in America that point was reached some time ago.
-- But the cost of benefits would be more than offset by increased economic growth. -- That is an assumption, and a contested one at that. But let's get to the meat of Tanner's assertion: that deporting persons discovered to be here **against our laws** would somehow be wrong or a violation of American principles. Here's an American principle for you, Mr. Tanner: the law applies to everyone equally. That includes immigration law and illegal aliens. If you choose to reject that principle, you'd better move very slowly around me, because you'll have forfeited all basis for trust. It might not be immediately practicable to "round up" and deport all the illegal aliens in the U.S., but the law still applies to them. When, as, and if they become visible to the law, they must be apprehended and deported -- and whether the regime in power does so will tell us if the Rule of Law still means anything in these United States.
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