« Circling the Barn on Gun Control (Addended) | Main | American Progressivism - Epic Failure »

30 July 2012


Russ Steele

The Road Warrior was one of the few movies I have ever watched more than once. I am not a move fan and resist going to the movies or watching them on the flat screen. To watch one twice is an event for me. If our social structure were to collapse, regardless of the cause, we could all become road warriors to survive. Those prepared will survive the longest. Are you prepared?

I have been unable to get the Hanson essay out of my head, it keeps coming back time and time again, trigged by a news event or a blog post. But, then again Hanson's book Mexifornia was a hard one to dismiss, especially when driving through the valley, or watching news reports on valley violence every night on the evening news. If you found his essay interesting, or challenging, I highly recommend Mexifornia: A State of Becoming for farther reading on the cultural issues facing California.

When the CA economy collapse comes, the violence will start in the valley and then progress to the foothills when they run out of food and drugs in their neighborhoods. We have a reputation all across the Western United States for our annual harvest of marijuana. I am sure the folks in the valley know about it also. Are you prepared?

George Rebane


Paul Emery

You guys are so dramatic! Russ, are you saying that the pot starved Latino masses will flood into our enclaves to satisfy their dope habits?

Steven Frisch

Drama queens of the world unite.......

billy T

There are shades of Road Warrior, which replaced Harold and Maude as my favorite movie back when it came out. I, too, claim Road Warrior as the only movie I paid to see twice. Hanson's piece is eye opening to those who have closed their eyes. When a farm boy grows up and no longer walks the rural lanes of his home, that says it all. Keachie may be right in one aspect. Not only has public education abandoned teaching kids as its top priority, the kids have abandoned the school system and teachers as well. Whatever happened to greeting a neighbor or someone older as Mr. or Mrs.? The thing I do admire about Western Canada is their manners, education system, and great immigration policy. They have attracted highly skilled and educated foreigners with skills from all over the world. Walk the streets of Vancouver day or night and your feel like you are truly in the melting pot of the world and the world's happiest entrepreneurs. Safe, no trash and never see an abandoned TV set or mattress in an alley. Even in the crack head section of town you don't have to worry about being robbed or assaulted. Even the homeless have manners. Any school kid in some Canadian little rural schoolhouse can recite the 50 state capitals of the United States and tell you more about each state than I never knew. Drama queens? Perhaps. Why don't you walk through the streets of Oakland or worse, East LA right after the sun starts going down. You will see mothers with babies and people in parks scurry home and the parks become empty and eerily quiet. Then the post nuke tribal survivors take over. This is not merely decrying the moral and social breakdown of society in California. Nay, it a ominous warning for us lily whiteys with our white picket fences on tree line streets. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, a man is spending his 12th year in prison. He never criticized the government or uttered anything political. He was arrested 12 years ago for saying he is a Christian. Amnesty International does not even mention his name.

Todd Juvinall

Russ, I get your post even if the queen of Truckee doesn't. BillyT, you are right on the mark as usual. The VDH piece was sincere from a true Californian and his opinions are accurate.

I took the train from Auburn to SF last week and I tell you, the trash all along the way was disgusting. It reminded me of the outskirts of Puerta Vallarta and the resort in Jamaica. No pride to keep things clean and proper.

America is a different place and I blame the anything goes philosophy of the liberal. I have Friends in education who are conservatives and they are ostracized in the break rooms. They tell me stories about third graders screaming and swearing and whatever in the class room and they are unable to maintain order. The parents and the trial lawyers have neutered discipline. Disruption of early lives and now into the culture has made a mess of things. I too call a person older than me Mr. or Mrs. Just a habit of respect.

Russ and George served the country in the military and I appreciate their service. I did not serve but I tell you this, People like the Truckee drama queen and others who belittle our veterans have no respect from me.

Russ Steele

Paul @07:09 and Steven@07:28. Call me a drama queen if you like, but being prepared to deal with a social and economic collapse, regardless of the cause: total collapse of the California power grid, terrorist EMP attack, Solar induced EMP, 10.0 earthquake, global cooling induced droughts which limit the food supply, or total economic collapse is only prudent in a world of increasing risks.

Hanson is pointing to a cultural collapse in the valley. Any one of the events I described above could trigger an even greater hardship on the poor and poorly educated in the valley. Under this kind of stress, people do irrational deeds as they struggle to survive. Many will see the foothills as a place to escape and will be more than willing to take what they need to survive. Our local government is unprepared for dealing with more than a few thousand people and we will be on our own. Those who are prepared will survive. Those who choose to ignore the issue will be the first targets when hordes of angry, hungry and frightened people arrive on their door step. Yes, some will be seeking to reduce their pain with drugs, it is part of their culture.

In June I went to an ammo sale at the Range, and arrived later than usual. There were over 400 people waiting for the doors to open. Alone, I just stood around and listened to the conversations as I move about the crowd. I was surprised by the number of people sharing stories on how they plan to survive during any future disaster. From the conversations one could surmise there are several survivalist groups in our community. Membership seems to be by invitation only, depending on the skills you can contribute to the group.

I suggest you all look around. There are many people preparing for some future dooms day in the County. You can deny it will never happen, call them drama queens if you like, but many in the County are prepared and preparing. It is up to you, deny nothing will ever happen or prepare. Your choice!

Todd Juvinall

Not to belabor the point but all counties in California (maybe the whole country?) have emergency management departments. They train all the time as do the cops and the fire personnel. So Truckee queenie, why do you think a individual would be a drama queen for doing the same thing?

Russ Steele

Todd@09:30. True, but they are planning on a few thousand, not 10 + thousands or more.

Paul Emery

I still have a Y2K beans and rice stash to get me through.


Consider please, you are used to 100,000 people living in Nevada County. California holds 37,000,000 people, 370 folks for each one you are used to. Not all will survive but if even 1% make it through to Nevada County, this place will be very, very crowded, and lots of dead bodies outside your residence will simply indicate to future folks that somebody is protecting something.

If you wish to be safe, you need to not only be well away from any paved road, you'd best be underground and self contained, with no need to go outside. Now that would be, "being prepared."

The military is seeing the need to be independent of gasoline and diesel,might nowt be a bad idea for the rest of us: http://grist.org/climate-energy/why-the-military-is-trying-to-reduce-its-fossil-fuel-use/

Paul Emery

On a different topic what a laugh I had watching Romney gush over Israels "Socialist" health care program.

from the Washington Post



" When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs."

From the WP

Romney’s point about Israel’s success in controlling health care costs is spot on: Its health care system has seen health care costs grow much slower than other industrialized nations.

How it has gotten there, however, may not be to the Republican candidate’s liking: Israel regulates its health care system aggressively, requiring all residents to carry insurance and capping revenue for various parts of the country’s health care system.

Israel created a national health care system in 1995, largely funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance: They get to pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans. Those insurance plans have to accept all customers—including people with pre-existing conditions—and provide residents with a broad set of government-mandated benefits.......


"3700 folks more than you are used to"

George Rebane

The topics of this post are not easy for our liberal readers as witnessed by their derision and slapstick.

However, changing the subject again to nationalized healthcare - about which my feelings are very clear - and using Israel as a poster child for it is dubious at best. Israel is a America's friend, strategic partner, and client state. We have given Israel over $123B in aid and continue to support them annually. None of their socialist programs are sustainable, and ongoing US aid is critical to their survival. Economic comparisons therefore are specious.

We continue to benefit from Israel's brain drain to our shores because their socialist government is still worse than the one we aspire to with the help of friends, some of whom are RR readers and commenters.

George Rebane

TomK 1015pm - has it ever occurred to you that our military is controlled by and must answer to the Obama administration?


I would not call what I posted about post apocalyptic California derision and slapstick, but rather a cold hearted but accurate assessment.

Michael Anderson

I think these characterizations of the Central Valley are both spot on as well as overly simplified.

I think the apocalyptic scenarios are justified, but the solutions are easier than we think:

1. Get rid of the meth culture. The first thing to be done to achieve this most important goal is to make marijuana legal, regulate it like beer, wine and spirits.
2. Create a Guest Worker program. Not amnesty, but a program that deals with the reality of migrant farm worker labor.
3. Single-payer health care in California, but only for US citizens. No more free health care in the ER: first time, from out of the country? OK, we'll take care of you. Chronic use of ER for primary health care? No, you get moved to a different process.
4. Serious tax and education reform. Which will only happen when enough cities in California are bankrupt. I think the magic number is 27.

PS The over-the-top worries of mass panic are silly, and Miwall is making bank on the fear. We are still fairly comfortable in California (compared to the rest of the planet), and it will take a lot to topple that comfort.

Paul Emery


I never expected you to support the Socialist health care system in Israel, I was just pointing out the irony of your guy Romney getting so gooey over their system. It shows where his roots are for sure.

By the way, how long can we support Socialist states such as Israel with our billions in aid?

To many Y2K was a real threat. It's not slapstick to point that out and to compare it with the latest apocalyptic hysteria.

For my taste "A Boy and his Dog" was far more entertaining than Blade Runner which I found to be ham fisted and predictable.

George Rebane

Given my story, I'll be the last to predict when and where the mass panic will start. But today its potential starting sparks are many, and the 'system' has multiple interlinked components each inching toward instability.

As recorded here, I support MichaelA's 1218am points 1,2, and 4 as an approach to extinguish some of the sparks. However, other touch points like those outlined in RussS' 920pm are out of our reach.

Living in the LA area for over fifty years taught all how easily urban warfare can start and lay entire regions of the city to waste. And the mass migrations of civilians in 1944-45 Europe of which I was a part were anything but "silly". The greatest danger is hubris - 'It can't happen here, cause we're Americans.'


California creates fra more food than it eats, but it is remarkably dependent on knowledge folks who know how to prepare the soil, plant the seed, water and fertize, and finally harvest. These folk are very few in number, and know how to run farm equipment technologies, some of which are the size of a 727. If they are prevented from doing their jobs by starving hordes locusing their way through the Central Valley, there will indeed be massive food shortages. I doubt very much that the quest for drugs, be they MJ or meth, would have much to do with anything. As for moving arounnd, I know from experience that I could knock off 50 to 100 miles a day on a bicycle as a young man, including Berkeley to Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite (Tioga Pass at 9982 or so, I dragged my bike up a nearby trail to claim 10,000 foot climb) in three days. We are very reachable.

Anything less than a stone house will be promptly burnt to the ground to harvest the canned goods inside, and especially if gunfire comes from within. Still prepared?

Might be a better idea to work on some of Michael's algorithms for a Better California.


"locusting" "fertilizing" "knowledgeable" misplaced computer glasses.


For a taste of what might come, especially if we don't decentralize to solar on every home, or close to it: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/31/us-india-blackout-idUSBRE86U0C520120731


'We' need a student union (someone to focus on educating the kiddos). At least the teachers union doesn't pretend to be focused on the kiddos.

Progressives should study the word "value."

Californian taxpayers (a dying breed) are getting less and less value.


California taxpayers, a dying breed, because they don't have jobs because the jobs have been exported, which was done at their direction, not their employers, so that they could all sit back on their arses. Isn't that right, MikeyMcD?

And the teachers unions, right? They're all to blame for this:


billy T

Think the question is when and how. In the movies we have Post Global Thermal Nuclear War or post some Virus that escaped from the lab, usually an evil government experiment. Then there is the slow glacial movement that causes things to be lost in as little as 3 generations. "Father Knows Best" has been replaced by "Family Guy". When I worked with inner city kids as my first summer job in high school, it was easy to control the rowdy ones by saying "I am going to report this to your parents." One ruffian even started crying. Won't work today. Instead I would be verbally assaulted like that elderly woman school bus monitor back East. California is not Greece because of our economic diversity and export strengths. We have Uncle Sam to carry us along. We are the food basket of the Western USA and beyond. But, the signs of Road Warrior are evident. Hint: never sleep at a rest area on our highways. Road Warrior or Escape from New York. While we have a strong sense of community here in our little corner of the world, we are becoming the exception, not the rule. We are unable to control our own borders and have become slaves to The Great White Father in Washington. Our current President dismisses the term "rugged individualism" as UnAmerican. We might suffer more as we have become soft. Just look how people whine and blame to the highest heavens when the internet goes out for 11 hours or a snowstorm knocks out power for more than 2 days. Its the end of the world!


What Obama actually said about rugged individualism, etc. is well explained here, in contrast to the FOX propaganda that purports to be what he said:



Now of course if the workers in Los Angeles had what the Londoners do, they'd be able to work for lower wages: Reid Priddy, USA Volleyball Olympian, Tweets on London: "The TUBE is pretty awesome. I wish LA had a developed metro system! "

George Rebane

Re TomK's 1128am - Obama's speech first gave the characteristics of America and previous public policies such as rugged individualism and tax cuts. These he then described as "simple theories" which have been tried and don't work. Most people quickly understand that equality and freedom in a society are bought at the cost to the other; however to many more this simple precept is not accessible. To repeat ourselves, we view history and the national experience through two widely different lenses.


Mr. Kenworth, your lack of understanding all things economic is showing.


THEMIKETMCD: Eliminate BART from the Bay Area and what happens to productivity there? Not to mention air quality and overall health and family stability. See Tracy Stocton for details.


"rugged individualism" is not a public policy and Obama does not address it as such. If we could harness the torque of the FOX spinning wheel, we could do away with all other sources of power.


George, can you point out where in the Bible Jesus comes out against " kumbayah philosophical underpinnings?

billy T

I will address Dr. Rebane's first point: education. Volumes have been written on these pages on the subject. Nothing seems to change as more inflation adjusted dollars are poured into a product with diminishing returns. How could a small school house near Mt Diablo in the 40's teach jr high students the equivalent of today's college freshman chemistry? But all is not lost. As repulsive as it is that our public education system continues to perpetuate its downward spiral, there are a few patriots that are willing to take back the streets. A true modern day David vs Goliath story. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7399481n


" How could a small school house near Mt Diablo in the 40's teach jr high students the equivalent of today's college freshman chemistry"

maybe there was more interest in how to make explosives back then?

maybe if the parents became proactive within the existing system, it would have a positive effect? At a high school of 2,000, Galileo, I saw 120 staffers and 20 parents show up for a parents night.

Paul Emery

Tom K

Cavalier biblical expostulations such as " kumbayah philosophical underpinnings" are some of my favorite excesses on this site. It comes by having a personal communication with the Guy In The Sky that not all of us more earthly beings can grasp. It makes for good fun though.

And George, should we as a nation be crusaders for Christianity worldwide? Can you show me where in the Constitution that is scribed as a roll of government?

George Rebane

TomK 120pm - Never claimed that Obama addressed 'rugged individualism' as public policy as a more careful read of my 1238pm shows.

PaulE 300pm - Nowhere did I suggest that "we as a nation" should crusade for Christianity, nor that the Constitution specifies it as a role of our government.

But I do suggest that American and European Christians should perhaps be as concerned about the worldwide treatment of their co-religionists as are some other faiths, say, like Judaism and Islam.

These over-the-top interpretations sure do a good job of filling in for debate every now and then ;-)

Ben Emery

Faith and spirituality should be a personal experience not dictated by a central church. Many have died pursuing this very idea for a very long time. If we are linked to the church we went to as a child, I would be Catholic. I think studying the Protestant Reformation would be a good exercise for many regulars on RR.


George Rebane

BenE 352pm - You gently imply both error and ignorance on the part of "many regulars on RR." Please expand on how you draw these conclusions.

Todd Juvinall

100 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide. Most are in Islamic countries.

I would ask BenE and PaulE where on the planet they can find a person who has not banded together in a religion of some sort and are prospering? I would suggest people of like or similar thinking get together for protection of those ideas and ways of thinking. The USA seems to be the one country where the people of the other 200 countries want to come to prosper and practice their religions. Why is that fellows?


What Obama said was:

" Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn't trickle down, well, that's the price of liberty.

Now, it's a simple theory. And we have to admit, it's one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That's in America's DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn't work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It's not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the '50s and '60s. And it didn't work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory."

Thus he referred to and negated the Theory of Trickle Down Econmics. He did not include rugged individualism, nor governemnt that was too big.

However your sombrero reads:

" Obama's speech first gave the characteristics of America and previous public policies such as rugged individualism and tax cuts. These he then described as "simple theories" which have been tried and don't work."

And so underit you included Obama negating rugged individualism. If you had intended merely to indicate that he was discrediting Trickle Down economics, you would have had to have written:

" Obama's speech first gave the characteristics of America and previous public policies such as rugged individualism and tax cuts. The LATTER he then described as "a simple theory" which had been tried and didn't work.

Paul Emery


So many things,,,

First of all thanks for clarifying that you weren't advocating a national policy to crusade for Christians in unfortunate circumstances. Actually the plight of Christians in Iraq has greatly declined under the so called friendly democratic regime that replaced Saddam. By any assessment they were better off before the US invasion

" Recent assessments say that Iraq’s Christian population has now fallen by more than half since the 2003 American invasion...."


Todd, I have no idea what you're talking about. It's like you're having a dialogue with an invisable

Ben Emery

It is written in our founding documents that religion and government shall be separate and there will be no religious test to hold public office. I find what the republicans are doing to Muslims within the US and abroad is atrocious but you don't seem to mind as long as it isn't your particular religion.

Paul Emery


I had a premature expostulation

invisible adversary. Any individuals or Churches can support the plight of Christians anywhere in the world.


I made no interpretations. I just asked you questions. I confess to diverting the dialogue (Romney smooching with Israeli health care) but some things are too profound to ignore.

Account Deleted

Look - originally, we had a culture and a Constitution and a legal ideal that all were treated equally under the law and that all citizens had an equal shot to move forward and upward on the basis of their own efforts. It was not always applied as well as we would have liked, but it was far more successful than any where else in the world. Some worked their asses off and died in poverty and some stumbled onto a clever idea and had the connections to parlay that into millions. Obama is talking about equal outcomes. If you work hard, you should be guaranteed a certain outcome. This was not the original intent. If the left is so proud of what they want, let's have some specifics. What is a 'living wage'? A whole number with a dollar sign would be required here. How much work should equal how much outcome? Could those of you on the left please carry the water for our president who doesn't seem able to do so?

Paul Emery

Originally we had a culture and Constitution that recognized slavery and did not allow women the right to vote so WE were not all treated equally. It did however provide the vehicle for change so that happened in due time. That vehicle for change is what we deal with today when we look as such issues as gay marriage and a woman's right to choose. The miracle of our system is that we can evolve peacefully.

Todd Juvinall

BenE please reread the First Amendment and tell me where the word "separate" is.

I noticed you did not reply to the fact that 100 million Christians are being persecuted. You said, "I find what the republicans are doing to Muslims within the US and abroad is atrocious...". Now BenE, could you supply us all with the acts on that one? Especially the one about here in America. I seem to recall the Twin Towers were destroyed and President Bush telling Americans not to take it out on anyone, meaning Muslims and there was no retribution. I think Bush is a Republican. So, please tell us all in your usual in depth, lenghty detail, where and how Republicans are as you have stated. I bet hell will freeze over before you do.

Ben Emery

"You gently imply both error and ignorance on the part of "many regulars on RR." Please expand on how you draw these conclusions."

I did nothing but make a statement and as usual you project some kind of conclusion from my statement.

What conclusion do you think I have made? I know the impression it made on my opinion once I learned about the history and am interested what RR regulars will pull away from it.

RR regulars include yourself, Russ, Todd, Mickey, Paul, Michael, Doug, Billy, Steve, and myself off the top of my head.

Ben Emery

I don't like oppression of any group of people (especially minority groups), which includes Christians in foreign countries.

I will give you two examples towards Muslims since 2001. Don't forget the FBI report showed that between 1980 and 2005 of all the terror attacks on U.S. soil (including 9/11) 6% were carried out by Muslims.


Secret Detentions and Proceedings: The government arrested more than 1,200 people in the months after 9/11, but refused to release their names or their place of detention. Some were barred from contacting their lawyers. The immigration hearings in at least 611 cases (classified as "special interest" cases) were closed to the public and the press. Secret evidence, withheld from the defendants and their attorneys, was introduced in some cases.


Representative Peter King, Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, will hold hearings this Thursday on "Radicalization of Muslim Americans." While hearings on the threat of domestic terrorist attacks are important, regrettably King's long standing anti-Muslim track record and the choice of the hearings title, "Radicalization of Muslim Americans," have led many to fear the emergence of a successor to Senator Joseph McCarthy and a new neo-McCarthyism.


"" How could a small school house near Mt Diablo in the 40's teach jr high students the equivalent of today's college freshman chemistry"

maybe there was more interest in how to make explosives back then?"

Maybe teachers and their unions should take more responsibility for the state of the schools.

Back in the 40's there were solid math and science curriculums in place in grades 1 through 8 that would allow a solid 9th grade chemistry class and the teachers didn't try to blame every failure on their students and their parents.

Real freshman chemistry classes remain as they ever were, but the chemistry for life science and humanities majors aren't.

Ben Emery

You are amazing. Here are some examples in official documents and letters from Thomas Jefferson on the subject.

First Amendment US Constitution
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

Article Three US Constitution
"but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States"

Treaty of Tripoli
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Jefferson Letters to:

1802 Baptist Church
""make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", thus building a wall of separation between Church & State"

1800 to Benjamin Rush
"I promised you a letter on Christianity, which I have not
forgotten. On the contrary, it is because I have reflected on it,
that I find much more time necessary for it than I can at present
dispose of. I have a view of the subject which ought to displease
neither the rational Christian nor Deists, and would reconcile many
to a character they have too hastily rejected. I do not know that it
would reconcile the _genus irritabile vatum_ who are all in arms
against me. Their hostility is on too interesting ground to be
softened. The delusion into which the X. Y. Z. plot shewed it
possible to push the people;

the successful experiment made under the
prevalence of that delusion on the clause of the constitution, which,
while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom
of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of
obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity thro'
the U. S.;and as every sect believes its own form the true one,
every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians
& Congregationalists.

The returning good sense of our country
threatens abortion to their hopes, & they believe that any portion of
power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes.

And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god,
eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
But this is all they have to fear from me:"

Todd Juvinall

BenE, I simply asked you to point out the word "separate" in the Constitution and you do your usual bombardment of words. I don't seem to see an answer to my question in all the above yapping.

Ben Emery

You asked me the usual bs question and I took your question and expanded on it. I showed you multiple places where the separation of church and state are found.

billy T

Ben, I cannot speak for Mr. Juvinall but I think he is asking to find the phrase "separation of church and state" in the Constitution. You probably cannot because it came from an opinion in the early 1800's. Government cannot mess with churches or establish a national church such as The Church of England. Religion can and should enter politics if the religious choose to while government is barred from entering religion. The separation is a not a wall between the two as such. Rather, is it a prohibition on government to breach the wall.

George Rebane

BenE 819pm - I understood your 352pm to clearly imply that regular RR readers are unstudied in the Protestant Reformation, which you further seem to link to a teaching that "Faith and spirituality should be a personal experience not dictated by a central church."

Neither Calvin nor Luther (nor their follow-ons) taught that. Each had a version of Christianity whose tenets, sacraments, and liturgies were different from Catholicism. And each prescribed a new "central church" that would dictate these religious aspects; all adherents were admonished to strictly contain their faith and personal spiritual experiences to such dictates - or else.

(PS This was first drilled into me in three consecutive years of Lutheran confirmation classes. Later historical readings confirmed that Martin and John were even stricter that taught to 20th century youngsters in their prescriptions for their new teachings of the true faith.)

And Ben, your 928pm touching concerns about the US mistreatment of Muslims are as ludicrous as they are asymmetrical.

George Rebane

billyT 1029pm - Well and clearly stated.

Todd Juvinall

BenE, why would you claim the word "separation" of church and state is in the Law of the land, the Constitution, when it clearly is not? Why is that BS?

Ben Emery

There are many ways of stating separation but you seem to think there is only one way and word, which makes it bs.

Ben Emery

Billy T,

Having it written in the Constitution that no official religion can be established is saying the US will not have a theocratic government.

Article Six Section Three states there shall be no religious test to hold public office,

In the International Treaty of Tripoli- that is the law of the land. The President of the United States, signatory of the Declaration of Independence, participant of the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, and one of the most influential minds behind the forming of the US John Adams wrote

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"

All of which tells a vast majority of Americans from the founding of the United States of America until today that there is a separation of church and state.

George Rebane

Re BenE's 1034am claim - there is no evidence that "a vast majority of Americans" share any notion of what "a separation of church and state" actually means in an operational sense. However, there is a considerable amount of longitudinal evidence (google NCES) that a vast majority of Americans are innumerate with deficits in being able to reason logically. Your current example withstands.

Todd Juvinall

BenE, why would you keep dissing the First Amendment? It says the nation will not have a state religion but also will not interfere with my right to practice mine. Pretty simple even for a conservative to understand.

Are you a atheist? Is that the reason you keep trying to rewrite the First? I do not want a theocracy but I think the values of people practicing Christianity are important in our governance.

Regarding the Oath (I took it more than once ). I certainly do not want a religious oath but I certainly like to see good ethics and values in my officials. Atheists and secular people more often than not are crappy officials without ethics. Christians have some failures but their beliefs reflect a higher standard that atheists and secularists cannot and do not practice.

So, BenE, you are simply incorrect in your opinion on the word "separation" and you know it. Admit it and move on.

billy T

Dr. Rebane, 10:37pm. Many of us are well schooled in Church History, well beyond Calvin and Wesley and Luther. Whenever religious traditions and doctrines replace the Spirit, there is always a movement breaking out to bust down the barriers between man and his Creator. Pre-revolution American Colonies had their revivals that attrached tens of thousands standing for hours in a square. That was before speaker systems. Most archives and historical records are not found in paperbacks on the dime store racks. The volumes of published material on this subject would fill the Pentagon if one would care to seek. My particular interest is the thousands of mayrters throughout history, from Stephen to those whose names are not recorded to present day. Think it was Welsey who releazied one day that no one insulted or assualted him in a couple of days. He fell to his knees and prayed for forgiveness because he was doing something wrong not being perecueted. Just at that moment a stone hit him in the head and he was relieved to know he was on the right track. If you are on the right path, Christ promised you will be hated and worse. It was one of his promises. Walk into a Sierra College classroom and casually say you believe in Christ and you will hear the giggles and group banishment instantly. The very mention the "G" word to many is like fingernails on the chalkboard and not suitable for polite company. All neat and carefully packaged philsophy goes out the window when faced with a crushing guggernault. They say all drowning men pray to God. I am never surprised when a normally mellow and gentle person suddenly gets a flash of anger in their eyes when the topic surfaces. Name one private university or hospital or orphanage in our Nation's beginnings that was founded by atheists or God haters or deniers.
Even Stephen Hawkin is depressed to consider that his life's work may be in vain as he redoubles his efforts. I recognized that so many have been damaged by religious people they have met or found some Churches so dry they are a fire hazzard. Yet, they use that or the Crusades or Tammy Baker as an excuse to neatly avoid the gnawning questions and with excuses in hand, they engage in wholesale condemnation of the millions of Americans that have found something in their lives that works. To each his own.

Ben Emery

Once again worldviews come into play. When mentioning Protestant Reformation I am referring to the social, cultural, and political aspects not the religious dogma.

The lesson I learned was about oppression of those who deviated from the powers that be. Those in power liked that the world was explained to the illiterate through eyes of the head of the church. The printing press and becoming literate was an act of aggression towards the Catholic Church and its power. The other lesson learned is no matter the religion of the theocracy they all seem to be very oppressive to minority faiths.

What is ludicrous of thousands of Muslims being rounded up without due process and a US House Committee having a hearing named and about ""Radicalization of Muslim Americans"?

Ben Emery

What are you talking about? There is a separation between government and religion in our nation and I am very thankful that the separation exists. We have seen what happens when the two merge and it isn't anything we want embrace. No I am not an atheist.

Todd Juvinall

Should we hold our breathe waiting for BenE to give us his lengthy defense of Christianity and Christians being persecuted?

Atheists crack me up. I guess a persons defense of Muslims while claiming atheistic beliefs just confuses the heck out of me.

Ben Emery

I wrote "It is written in our founding documents that religion and government shall be separate" I have shown in a number of comments where this exists but you seem to fixated on the word separation. It is just a word, we are talking about the meaning of the word.

Todd Juvinall

I almost forgot, HI John Stoos! How the heck are you and the flock? Let Bill Cardoza and George know we still run Nevada County! Regarding the purple blog. He boots everyone on the middle or right and turned totally extreme left. Delusional too.

Todd Juvinall

BenE, you produced nothing in the Constitution or the DOI to back up your assertion. You found a letter with a interpretation which no one considers a "founding" document. You are just flogging a dead horse man. Give it up, say UNCLE and move on.

Ben Emery

Your apparent inability to comprehend a relatively easy concept is very interesting. I've said this before and will say it again- If you are really what you portray on the blogosphere I find it scary that you were a public official.

Todd Juvinall

Golly BenE, you liberal atheists just can't stay away from personal attacks when you lose the argument. You apparently are unable to admit it when you are wrong but thank goodness all others who comment here can read your folly. Declaring a personal letter from Jefferson to a church as a "founding document" says all we need to know about your noggin.

Regarding my service in the county. I received many more votes from the people of te county in my District One victory than you did in a Congressional run and in my defeat for Assessor. Anyway, it appears the people f the County you seem to diss regularly, had enough of the left and even reelected me. I am certainly proud of my service. Too bad you were never elected to enjoy that feeling.

Ben Emery

"Here are some examples in official documents and letters from Thomas Jefferson on the subject."

There is a distinction in my comment between the official documents the letter. I guess when you critical thinking skills are that of a Toddler, pun intended, you cannot differentiate between the two.

About running for office. This dialogue has proven that the point and purpose of my running for office is way to complex for you to understand. My team vs your team mentality needs to change. You can keep being a cheerleader for the republican party and I will keep trying to realize the founders dream.


Ben, do you believe that the Founders would have accepted a mandatory SS program confiscating 15.3% of every dollar an 'individual' earns? AND a law FORCING employers to act as the tax collector?


George Rebane

BenE 1119am - Your concern about the treatment of Muslims and the reasonable basis for the cases you cite was answered with the formalities presented in 'The Continuing Conundrum of Conditional Contingencies'.

Its limited accessibility gives further evidence to why we talk past each other - recall, all social issues derive their importance from the numbers which underpin them. Without that understanding the rest is emotions mostly misplaced.

Re church and state - you, ToddJ, and BillT may are certainly talking past each other. The discussion involves four entities - church, government, private individuals, 'government people' (elected and unelected). BillT's 1029pm laid out some of the permitted and prohibited 'influences' between these four agencies.

A complete graph of these influences would make clear your various understandings of 'separation'. Hint: it hangs on what only the people may do and tell their government to do, and what the government (as an institution) CANNOT tell the people and/or the churches to do - it is highly asymmetrical.

Ben Emery

I don't think the founders could even begin to imagine what the world would look like in the 1930's. Remember when the US Constitution was written there were less than a billion known people on the planet. The wild west would be anything west of Pennsylvania and New York.

As for the social program I think and in fact I know they would support social programs because they had their own.

Ben Emery

There are many levels to every discussion but we seem to be limited to the surface because nuance doesn't do well on blogs.

The point that there is a distinct desire for religious freedom in our nation is the discussion and for there to be religious freedom there cannot be an official religion of our government. I wonder what would happen if someone actually brought forward a US Constitutional Amendment declaring the US as a Christian nation?

George Rebane

BenE 245pm - If your 'limitation' implies the Muslim topic, then please understand that the 'Continuing Conundrum ...' piece addresses the seminal, not "surface" aspects of the issue. We and all critters have evolved to instinctively favor the Bayesian view of our environments. The ones who didn't, they now rest with the dear departed. The nuances of the issue involve the subjective utilities peculiar to individuals and ideologies that must be maximized over the illustrated Bayesian probabilities. Blogs support deep discussions of such important and decisive factors.

Re your Christian constitutional amendment - I would oppose it for the same reasons that the Founders would have. Our republican government doesn't get to tell the people what they can or cannot do with their religious beliefs. That was the original idea, but the progressives have now made it clear that government can prescribe the practice of faiths.

Ben Emery

I was addressing the separation of religion and state.

As for the Muslim fear mongering I will post something a bit later.


Back in the 1940's, what percentage of homes had a language other than English as the dominant language spoken in the home?

How many different languages were spoken by those folks then?

How does that compare with today?

Who promised all these folks the moon, and then failed to come up with the cash to actually take the time to teach them all English?

How many lawsuits were brought against districts for discipline in the classroom, as contrasted to today, when even an individual teacher is being sued for giving a student a "C+?"

Unions negotiate salaries for teachers. Outstanding teachers, even the very most outstanding teachers, have never been paid more than their respective principals, and never make over $120,000 base salary. Contrast that with lawyers and MBA's, especially those with good connections in wealthy families, instant clients to put yourself in the Millionaire's Club. Good plumbers can make more per year in effective take home pay. We had a janitor who worked the system in SFUSD and held down two jobs and overtime and nailed over $110,000 per year for a number of years. I knew him well, had no clue, except take he was often found sleeping in his office, and was quite obsequious, perfect camouflage!


***waiting for citation*****

"... I know they would support [FORCED] social programs because they had their own"

George Rebane

TomK 424pm - Again, what is your point?


My point was a response to Gregory | 31 July 2012 at 09:38 PM. You didn't bother to sk him what his point was.

George Rebane

TomK 1200am - It's hard to impossible to follow comment threads in a multi-threaded comment stream without including at least the time tag of the addressee. For that reason most people don't. As a courtesy to the addressee and other readers, I also include the addressee's name label in my responses.

billy T

Why do I have to do clean up my room? Tell Johhny to pick up his room.. You are always picking on me.

billy T

Think the colorful characters in Road Warrior were a lot more industrious and showed more intituative than our modern day California residents. http://open.salon.com/blog/kenn_jacobine/2012/05/17/the_welfare_state_has_destroyed_californias_economy

billy T

This ruling shocked me. The "separation of church and state" may have new meaning. No longer church being defined as an organized association of people, but this ruling extends religion to the affairs of the conscious.http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/30/judge-order-on-obamacare-gives-faith-upper-hand/?intcmp=obnetwork


"Ben, do you believe that the Founders would have accepted a mandatory SS program confiscating 15.3% of every dollar an 'individual' earns? AND a law FORCING employers to act as the tax collector?"

~Posted by: THEMIKEYMCD | 01 August 2012 at 01:35 PM~

***** George, see how quick a nice copy gives exact details *****

Your ignorance of Colonial History in the USA is amazing. Pray tell, how many colonists, as a percentage of the total population, do you think had employers?

The comments to this entry are closed.