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Sanity: the unforgivable sin

A while ago, there was a bit of a dust-up when Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer suggested using foreign laws as a basis for our own judicial decisions. A lot of people -- myself included -- thought that to use foreign laws to make judicial decisions was wrong, but to use it as inspiration for creating laws wasn't necessarily a bad idea. After all, it's nothing short of ego to insist that the only place where good ideas can come from is our own country. If folks in other countries come up with good ideas, we should look at them and see if they work. After all, that's the essence of America -- taking in people and ideas from other nations and making them our own.

In that spirit, there is a political movement brewing abroad that I really think that could do wonders for our country. And to reject it just because it's starting in England would be folly.

I've often lamented the current state of the Democratic party. While I think that the majority of their leaders and policies are seriously wrong and deserve their fate, I don't want to see the Republicans win by default. My own experiences with the New Hampshire GOP have done wonders to prove they can be just as asshatted as Democrats if given the opportunity. I strongly believe in the two-party system, and that requires two viable parties to work.

Well, I've read one proposal for a new Democratic manifesto, and damn if I'm almost ready to sign on. I have some quibbles with some of the finer points (point 4 is a little too kind to unions, but does qualify it as "democratic trade unions," so that might be OK -- however, I'm suspicious of the "International Labour Organization Conventions" without even having read it), but overall it resolves a lot of the issues I have with the current state of the Democratic party.

It's sane, reasonable, practical, and has broad-based appeal. To my eye, it definitely could be a core that a coalition could be built around -- one that not only just might take back the White House from the Republicans, but could actually DESERVE to do so.

I fully expect that the current "mainstream" Democratic voices (Kos, Atrios, Oliver Willis, etc. etc.) will denounce any Democrat who endorses it as a traitor, and to treat him much like a converted Christian in a Moslem nation. Or a Jew in a Moslem nation. Or a Hindu in a Moslem nation. Or an athiest in a Moslem nation. Or a... well, you get the idea.

Comments (15)

The Euston Manifesto reads ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The Euston Manifesto reads like a deceleration of war on business with the likely result of equality in poverty. What appeals to the elite mind is often antithetical to human nature. The failing of Marxism flowed from that simple fact.

I have a very simplistic vi... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

I have a very simplistic view of this manifesto, applying Occum's Razor to the ideas presented. Is this a guideline for a mid-course correction for the extremists leftwing of the liberal/socialist movements in Europe and the United States? To me they are one in the same, the far left in this country is more identifiable with the European far left than any organized political group in this country. This assumes that the extremist on both continents have fractured themselves from most mainstream rational liberal political thought.
I don't know if I would consider the "Kos Kids' and their like to be "mainstream" in the democrat party, just tolerated by the some democrats, fearful that this group of loonies won't stay in the democrat party coalition.
Afterall, the dems don't want to see a Presidential convention where you have "honored" guests and candidates such as Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Ward Churchill. Noam Chromsky, Al sharpton, etc.. on display.
It is a interesting document, considering its origin is probablly very liberal social democrats in Europe.

The Left has been saying th... (Below threshold)

The Left has been saying things like that manifesto for generations. Yet all along they've been doing the things tht have led many people to embrace the Right.

As far as I'm concerned, this manifesto is written on air until I see substantive evidence to the contrary.

More smoking mirrors for s... (Below threshold)

More smoking mirrors for socialism.

Be very careful. Any manife... (Below threshold)
Ric Locke:

Be very careful. Any manifesto that is already lying by the third sentence of the introductory bomfog is, at the least, suspicious.

... the principles that we set out are not exclusive.. -- Bull. This is a thoroughly Left argument. You are right to be suspicious of the labor union/ILO bits; the "International Labour Organization Conventions" are what the French upper-middle-class parasites were burning cars to enforce. That is, once hired the employee has first and final call on any and all resources of the employer. But the real problem is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is properly styled "Universal Requirement for Nanny-State Intervention." The UDHR barely mentions free speech, freedom of religion, and other basic rights, absolutely denies the right to keep and bear arms and the rights of property, and goes to great length to espouse "rights" to nutrition, health care, housing, etc. that require that somebody else be deprived, at gunpoint where convenient, to supply the wherewithal.

I wouldn't sign the convention; I find it just short of contemptible. I would agree to treat any Leftist who did endorse it as a human being worthy of at least minimal respect.


Sorry, another socialist pr... (Below threshold)

Sorry, another socialist program to ensure that all people are equally depressed, poor, and the gods forbid if anyone excels at anything.

Mankind is competitive by nature. It's all about survival instincts and a pseudo-structure attempting to offset that is doomed to fail. Either those who excel will revolt, or more likely, they will cease to excel and the entire society will spiral downward.

Socialism in ANY form does not guarantee equality other than it makes everyone equally miserable.

Could it be that Jay Tea is... (Below threshold)

Could it be that Jay Tea is actually a moderate?

Hope so.

In any event, aside from the one-issue voters, most
americans just want elected representatives that
have the courage of their convictions. Issues
of ambiguity confuse and frighten
the average voter. They don't want to observe the
sausage being made, they just want it to taste good.

If Dems can provide a decisive platform that
does not waffle in principle or practice, the
upcoming elections will be theirs to lose.

Bush's credibility and favorables centered more
on the 'resolute' nature of his decisions.

As with any positive quality, taken to extremes
it becomes a negative. (i.e. 'intransigence, or
if you prefer, 'pig-headedness).

So when discussing 'decisiveness' or 'resolution'
as the necessary character for Dems to win, the
negative duality must be remembered.

Just as 'picky eater' can be equated with
'pain in the ass', so too inflexible strength
becomes a brittle metal with great tensile
strength, but little tortional strength.

Semanticleo,In bus... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


In business as well as in sports one finds that competition is never ending. One succeeds in the long run through creativity combined with decisiveness and resolution. Far from making a company inflexible and brittle, it leads to continued success.

However, many people don't want to compete in the never ending struggle to succeed in the marketplace. They seek the security of the family, the union, the community and the nation itself if possible. They seek to have the right to rest from the endless struggle that is the natural order of the world, yet they desire to have the lifestyle of those who do compete successfully in the marketplace.

People don't just compete for economic gain but also to rule over others. Today the world faces the expansion of Islam, not just as a religion, but also as a form of governance. That plague can only be held back through creativity combined with decisiveness and resolution. Failure to compete won't just mean poverty but enslavement. Enough voter understood this in 2004 to elect Bush, and while many disapprove of his job to date, don't be fooled into thinking they have abandoned their principles. Democrats can only win in 2008 if their candidate shows they are decisive and resolute in defeating radical Islam. Flip floppers and defeatists need not apply.

Lose the Army of Davids ... (Below threshold)

Lose the Army of Davids !!!

Now Please!

Anyone reading this thread should go immediately to Atlas Shrugs and see this plea from an Iranian girl in the comment thread that has more collective wisdom than all of the LL and MSM combined!


Rocketsbrain than... (Below threshold)


thanks for the article, it is really sad to see the situation these people are in .
maybe we can help them with a new leadership ?

its a very difficult thing to deal with just like Iraq but it must be done.

RBTI followed your... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


I followed your link and found the comment by Narges and even checked her blog. I found a young person who doesn't want to die in war. A young person who has her own aspirations and want's to succeed in life. Just what you would expect from a normal person her age. I looked all over but couldn't find this wisdom you referred to. What I found was the typical idealism and naivete of someone her age. What was it that impressed you so?

The asshats, you call them,... (Below threshold)

The asshats, you call them, always migrate to where the power is. Real change is going to require changing the hearts of the people so that they don't buy into the asshatery. The fact that the asshats have virtually hijacked our entire educational system, and are busily waging war on Christianity doesn't help. This plan isn't going to work.

MacLorry,... (Below threshold)


However, many people don't want to compete in the never ending struggle to succeed in the marketplace. They seek the security of the family, the union, the community and the nation itself if possible. They seek to have the right to rest from the endless struggle that is the natural order of the world, yet they desire to have the lifestyle of those who do compete successfully in the marketplace.

One of the best written comments I've read in a long time.


Hey Wiz, you said somethin... (Below threshold)

Hey Wiz, you said something peculiar that I hope was merely an oversight. You stated above:

"A lot of people -- myself included -- thought that to use foreign laws to make judicial decisions was wrong, but to use it as inspiration for creating laws wasn't necessarily a bad idea."

Although I'm not sure I agree with this concept, I hope you meant that it might not necessarily be a bad idea for Congress to use foreign law in this manner - the Supremes are not there, despite their history, to make new law.

Why don't I agree with the idea? Well, if you're referring to brain starved Europe, with a paucity of everything except Socialist mediocrity, I'm definitely against it. If you're addressing Australia, with a vibrant two party system battling over some creative ideas, perhaps. I think Asian systems and Islamic systems are too far afield of our lives for any relevance to appear. Brazil and bio-fuels are an interesting concept - one that does deserve attention in the US.

Can you clarify your thought? Thanks.

I would assume that when Ja... (Below threshold)

I would assume that when Jay Tea speaks of "creating laws" he's talking about actions by the Legislature.

Having read his stuff for a while has given me that kind of confidence.






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