NOW they learn this?

John Hood belatedly recommends principle over pragmatism at NRO:

The lesson for conservatives is never to be tempted in the midst of panic or entreaties by purportedly “conservative” politicians to abandon our basic principles of constitutional government and human action. These principles are tools and guardrails, not handcuffs or roadblocks.

It’s great advice, but more than a bit late. Because it’s shameful that so many “conservatives” at National Review supported the first round of bailouts. And the second round. And, in some cases, the subsequent rounds. Because, you know, if it’s a REPUBLICAN president signing a massive emergency spending bill, well, then it really must be an emergency!

Looking for business advice

I’m not sure the newspaper industry is the best place to seek business advice during these difficult times, but then, they certainly have an amount of experience that is relevant to what NB is seeking to do with his Virtual Canine Protective Service:

Studies show that burglars avoid homes with large dogs such as Doberman, Rottweiler or German Shepard. But large dogs are expensive to buy, to maintain (food and veterinary care), and are time-consuming (walking, grooming). This hardest hits working families with lower incomes, who often live in crime-ridden areas.

It occurs to me that a homeowner doesn’t actually need a dog to deter burglars. All that matters is that the burglar believes the homeowner has a large dog….

Why the Obama presidency is a good thing

If John McCain was president, Republicans would be defending the continued expansion of TARP and supporting the current increase in federal power:

TEXAS GOV. BACK RESOLUTION AFFIRMING SOVEREIGNTY

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry joined state Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 in support of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Rick Perry is no libertarian and he isn’t much of a conservative either. Like all politicians, he’s an ambitious narcissist who wouldn’t dare to cross a Republican White House or a Republican Congress. But, with Republicans on the outs across the board, there’s no motivation nor is there even much ability for the state elite to rein in the party base’s fury with Washington. The best they can to is hop on the bandwagon and hope to wrest control away from leaders less enamored with the status quo.

Remember, economic downturns tend to be devolutionary, so the worse things get, the more likely it is that more US states will assert their sovereignty and reject federal mandates. And since Obama is utterly inexperienced, it’s not impossible that he’d make a massive mistake that would provoke a state government into open revolt. That could be particularly inflammatory if it happens after a substantial commitment of US forces to Pakistan. With one of the oldest governments in the world and a debt that is 350 percent of GDP, I suspect Washington is closer to collapse than anyone currently imagines. The states aren’t exerting their rightful sovereignty for the fun of it, they’re doing it because they know the federal government can’t afford to do anything about it.

Since Obama is dumb enough to launch a push for immigration amnesty during a period of high unemployment, it’s remotely possible that he might be dumb enough to try seizing guns during a period of mass protest.

A glaring philosophical flaw

Dr. Stanley Fish fails to grasp why to Thomas Hobbes’s understanding of Conscience should not be applied to the current debate over the “conscience clause”:

Hobbes is aware that others take conscience to be the name of the private arbiter of right and wrong, but he regards this as a corrupted usage invented by those who wished to elevate “their own . . .opinions” to the status of reliable knowledge and try to do so by giving “their opinions . . . that reverenced name of Conscience.”

Hobbes’s larger point — the point he is always making — is that if one gets to prefer one’s own internal judgments to the judgments of authorized external bodies (legislatures, courts, professional associations), the result will be the undermining of public order and the substitution of personal whim for general decorums: “. . . because the Law is the public Conscience . . . in such diversity as there is of private Consciences, which are but private opinions, the Commonwealth must needs be distracted, and no man dare to obey the Sovereign Power farther than it shall seem good in his own eyes.”

If the Law is the public Conscience, it must be a remarkably dynamic and malleable thing indeed. Given the Law’s observably transient nature, Hobbes’s argument is based on a flawed foundation, leading one to conclude that the argument is best left to languish in historical obscurity rather than cited in the debate over the conscience clause.

Furthermore, appealing to public order as a basis for forcing the majority of doctors and nurses to violate their religious beliefs is self-defeating. The lack of observable damage to public order caused by the conscience clause – which, after all, is already in effect – will stand in contrast to the very real damage to public order if large quantities of religious individuals exit and/or avoid the medical field in order to avoid committing what they believe to be murder.

As Jeffrey Collier has already pointed out, the “public Conscience” argument could be just as easily used to justify euthanasia or even genocide.