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April 19, 2009

Book Review - Liberty and Tyranny

Liberty and Tyranny - by Mark Levin

I don't normally read or review books by TV news people or radio talk show hosts, but I'd heard so much about Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto that I decided to make an exception. Most of them are simply extended newspaper editorials, and it's like riding a roller coaster; a whole lot of fun but something you can only take in small bites. And while it's a thrill it's not the type of thing that changes your life.

Levin's Liberty and Tyranny is better than most in this genre, which is probably why at the time of this writing it has been #1 on the New York Times best seller list three weeks in a row. Ok, that and the fact that the excesses of Barack Obama have energized the conservative base. Levin benefits from timing.

Besides his career as a radio talk show host, Levin is president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, and a contributing editor to National Review. Prior to these he was an attorney in the private sector, chief of staff to U.S. Attorney General, Edwin Meese, deputy assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, and deputy solicitor of the U.S. Department of Interior. He holds a J.D. from the Temple University School of Law.

It's a relatively short book, at 245 pages including footnotes. But his writing is succinct, so I found myself marking many pages for this review. Without further ado, I will summarize several of the arguments that Levin makes in his book.

The difference between the Conservative and Modern Liberal(his capitalization) is that for the former, "the civil society has as its highest purpose its preservation and improvement," whereas for the latter it is "the supremacy of the state." Because people and society do not fit his view of how things should be, the Modern Liberal uses the power of the state to force change, resulting in a soft tyranny. In order to not confuse the Modern Liberal with classic liberalism, Levin uses the term "Statist" throughout the book. Levin capitalizes the word, and I will follow his convention in this review.

The Statist seeks as much control as he can get, and is never happy with what he has. He is constantly agitating for yet another government program to solve some supposed social ill. Productive members of society are demonized so that their money can be taken to fund his schemes. His message is cloaked in a tone of high moral indignation.

It's not that conservatives reject change, as is the cartoon view most Statists have of us. Rather, we should go about it slowly and deliberately, not rushing as the Statists want and President Obama is doing today. Levin uses the words of Edmund Burke to explain

I knew that there is a manifest, marked distinction, which ill men with ill designs, or weak men incapable of any design, will constantly be confounding, that is, a marked distinction between change and reformation. The former alters the substance of the objects themselves; and gets rid of all their essential good, as well as of all the accidental evil, annexed to them. Change is novelty; and whether it is to operate any one of the effects of reformation at all, or whether it may not contradict the very principle upon which reformation is desired, cannot be certainly known beforehand. Reform is, not a change in the substance, or in the primary modification, of the object, but, a direct application of a remedy to the grievance complained of. So far as that is removed, all is sure. It stops there; and, if it fails, the substance which underwent the operation, at the very worst, is but where it was.

All quotes are used in the book. Link provided for reference only

Good change, then, is that which preserves and improves the basic institutions of the state. Change as innovation or as a radical departure from the past is destructive of existing institutions and usually results in more damage than good.

The Statist can brook no challenge, and uses the power of the state to end it. We hear some in congress want to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine. It was the left on college campuses that drafted the infamous "speech codes" (fortunately most of which did not survive legal challenge). They are the ones behind PBS, which has completely outlived its original usefulness. You don't have to go far on the Internet to hear the one and only conservative news outlet, Fox News, denounced in the most vicious manner by liberals apparently oblivious that all other TV outlets, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and of course MSNBC, slant to the left.

In the end, we do not get our rights from the Constitution but from Natural Law. After all, the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights starts out as "Congress shall make no law...." which presupposes that the right already exists, and Congress simply cannot take it away. Natural Law is a complicated subject, but essentially comes from God. The Athiest left will argue that they can arrive at the same result through the application of human reason, but the history of our planet argues against it. The worst tyrannies of modern times have come from atheism, not religion.

Conservatives are originalists with regard to the Constitution, while Statists want a "living Constitution" so they can manipulate it to suit their political program. But if we go to the founders, they make clear that they intended for it to be interpreted by later generations in the manner in which it was written. James Madison explained in a letter to Henry Lee,

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers. If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. And that the language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders, will I believe appear to all unbiased Enquirers into the history of its origin and adoption.

The problem with seeing the Constitution as a "living and breathing document" is that it allows the Statist license to pursue his every fantasy completely unchecked by the law. The law, in fact, becomes meaningless, as it can be "reinterpreted" by whoever is in power to suit their political goals of the moment.

The Statist is not interested in what the framers said because he views them as getting in the way of his political objectives. Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall said that his judicial philosophy was "you do what you think is right and let the law catch up." Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg mirrored that sentiment when he said that his approach was to determine "what is the just result." In other words, ignore the Constitution and law and make it up as you go along.

The Statist President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was not happy with the Bill of Rights, because they simply protected the individual from the power of an overreaching state. He proposed a Second Bill of Rights, which went like this:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

But these are not rights at all as properly understood. It is tyranny in disguise, an excuse to take from A to give to B in the name of a utopian goal. The Second Bill of Rights makes the individual the ward of the state rather than the free men and women we are.

Rather than surrender our liberty to self-anointed elite do-gooders, the conservative agrees with William F. Buckley Jr's quip that "I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University." Indeed.

Conservatives are federalists, which means that we think that more decisions and power should be granted to states and localities. This does not mean that we think all decisions and power should be granted to the state (as is the cartoon caricature by the left), simply more of it than do the Statists.

Of all the parts of the Constitution abused by Statitsts to achieve their goals, few have been tortured as much as the interstate commerce clause. Originally intended for just that, regulating trade between the states, it is now pulled out to justify just about any expansion of federal power. Indeed, in the infamous case of Wickard v. Filburn, the Supreme Court ruled that a farmer growing wheat on his own land and for his own use was still subject to federal laws regarding it, even though none of his wheat left the state. The reasoning was that by withholding his wheat from interstate commerce, he (and other farmers, since it was assumed he was not the only one doing it) was affecting interstate commerce (look it up if you don't believe me). By this logic, just about anything can be regulated under this clause, which it usually is.

Conservatives do not object to graduated, or "progressive" income tax rates, to finance the legitimate functions of government. The problem today is that government has grown beyond all reasonable bounds. If one compares the inflation adjusted cost of past programs with what Obama and the Democrats are proposing today, one sees the magnitude of the problem. Following are a few programs, their cost at the time, and their inflation adjusted cost:

Louisiana Purchase - $15 Billion - $217 Billion

Marshall Plan - $12.7 Billion - $115.3 Billion

Apollo Program - 36.4 Billion - $237 Billion

Korean War - $54 billion - $454 Billion

The New Deal - $32 billion - $500 Billion (est.)

By today's standards, these programs were pikers. They hardly even merit a raised eyebrow.

But for all the money Roosevelt spent, his New Deal didn't even work. As his own Treasury Secretary, Henry Morganthau admitted in 1939

"We are spending more money than we have ever spent before and it does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get jobs. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started and an enormous debt to boot."

So why, then, are New Deal programs held in such high regard by Statists? In 1976, economist and reporter for the Washington Post wrote an article critical of Social Security. The result:

I was deluged by calls and letters from the guardians of the social security system--you know, from Wilbur Cohen on down--saying, "Gee, Jodie, we always liked you, but how could you say this?" I acted very politely, and I said, "Well, what's the matter with this; isn't it true?" And they said, "Oh, yes, it's true, but once you start saying this kind of thing, you don't know where it's going to end up." Then I came to perceive that social security was not a program; it was a religion.

The modern environmental movement got its start with the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in 1962. In the book, Carson alleged that the insecticide DDT was a "silent killer" that must be banned. As a result of her efforts and the movement it spawned, it was. DDT had been instrumental in ending the scourge of malaria that killed or disabled tens of millions a years. As the result of it being banned, deaths from malaria have gone up dramatically. The issue is complex, but DDT can be safely used in some circumstances. The problem had been not with DDT per se, but that it was used improperly in an uncontrolled fashion. Rather than an outright ban, simple regulations regarding its use would have sufficed. But because the banning of DDT is so important to environmentalists, rational discussion of it has become all but impossible.

Perhaps nothing so illustrates the Statist's desire for control than global warming. Everything is said to be caused by global warming, from hurricanes to unusually warm weather to unusually cold weather. The "carbon credit" trading schemes being proposed are breathtaking in their audacity. The Statist thinks nothing of imposing all manner of rules and regulations, all to combat something for which their is no scientific consensus.

One can and should be able to debate levels of legal immigration, but sadly this has become all but impossible. Current levels were set in a 1965 law partially drafted by Senator Ted Kennedy. The Statist acts as if these levels are carved in stone, and any attempt to even discuss them is met with charges of racism.

Worse, illegal immigration is an area where the Statist openly flouts the law. One the one hand they don't want to remove the immigration laws from the books, but on the other they resist all attempts to enforce them.

Current levels of immigration are changing our society, and they are coming in faster than we want to absorb them. The conservative is not against immigration, he just wants to make sure that immigrants are properly absorbed. We are in danger of creating a divided United States, with two languages, two cultures, and two peoples. The Statist wants seemingly unlimited numbers of immigrants, and makes no distinction between legal and illegal status.

"Certainly America cannot export democracy everywhere simultaneously, not should it attempt to...however there are occasions when democracy building is prudent." Europe after World War II was one time when it was prudent. We used the Marshall Plan and the presence of U.S. Troops to make sure our portion of Germany and the rest of Western Europe took the democratic path. It was right that we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Unfortunately, there are times when we must make alliances with non-democratic regimes. Conservatives rightly view the United Nations with distain.

The Statist, however, talks of "global citizenship" and sees the UN as a positive force for good. He does not see American as a uniquely good nation but as one nation among many, and perhaps a more flawed one (witness President Obama's speeches and op-eds while abroad). He advocates multilateral power sharing and conducting foreign policy through coalitions and international organizations.

The Statist would also have us sign onto treaties that would limit our sovereignty. These include but are not limited to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, The Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the International Criminal Court.

To remedy all this, Levin says we on the right must work to build "a new generation of conservative activists, larger in number, shrewder, and more articulate than before, who seek to blunt the Statist's counterrevolution - not imitate it - and gradually and steadily reverse course."

In his final chapter Levin presents a short conservative manifesto; basically a party platform type document. All are solid conservative positions, and few if any are unusual or unexpected. A few of his goals will surely never be realized, such as making federal income tax increases require a supermajority vote of three-fifths of Congress, but the idea is solid.

All in all a decent book for the beginner activist or someone who simply doesn't have time to wade through a weighty 400 page tome. It's no God and Man at Yale, but Levin wouldn't claim to be a William F. Buckley Jr. anyway. You won't learn a whole lot that's new, but many people just need a short and sweat book that summarizes conservative positions and how they differ from liberal, or Statist, ones. If that is what you are looking for then this is a good book to get.

Posted by Tom at April 19, 2009 10:00 PM

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Right now I am reading Kirk's "A Conservative Mind" and I will have to read this one next. Now, I would argue as I am about done with Kirk's book is that conservatives today have become Statists too. They have used the tax codes, and the governments regularitory duties to create an all new world, to their liking and against the principle of "the civil society has as its highest purpose its preservation and improvement."

The excess of capitalism is greed and greed is something that civil society must protect its self from.

Which is why I have no use for most people going around parading as conservatives today.

Posted by: Tao at April 19, 2009 9:20 PM

"for the latter it is "the supremacy of the state."

This is a flat out lie about what Libs stand for Tom. For all this mans eloquent words he is the typical right wing schill.

Liberals believe government plays an important role in helping improve lives. It's about government that works for everyone. Not just the privileged.

"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad"

I figured this bit from Roosevelt's Bill of Rights would have made Conservatives happy. Is playing field slanted to favor the powerful and connected now Conservative dogma.

We're for smart, effective government Tom. Just like you. But apparently unlike you and Mr. Levin, we understand only government has the scope to enforce the laws and regulations we need to keep the field level and society safe.

Posted by: truth101 at April 19, 2009 10:23 PM

Thank you both for stopping by. And I appreciate your comments whether I agree with you or not.

Who are the greedy ones, Tao; those who make lots of money selling something that people want, or those who have an insatiable appetite for more and more tax money to fund their do-gooder schemes?

Truth, neither Levin nor myself are against government enforcing laws to keep the playing field level and society safe. It's the liberals who want "affirmative action/diversity," not us. There's also the question of what exactly is meant by "keeping the playing field level" and that is where the left and right disagree.

Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at April 19, 2009 10:41 PM

Red, what exactly does Wall Street Produce?

If you look at the current economic crisis you will note that they 'created' products that people wanted by exploiting legal loopholes.

Look at the fees that are assessed for marginal mutual funds within a 401K.

Look at credit card fees and such.

Everything that Wall Street 'creates' has been achieved via their connections and influence in Washington.

Thus they gun the system to their favor and then demand high wages...

Then you look at wage growth and you realize that our current tax system benefits those who gain their wealth not by working but through stocks and interest income. How does that benefit civil society, which is the basic difference between a conservative and a democrat.

Does society benefit when we reward the exploitation of loopholes more than we reward work? No one denies that Bill Gates and such are deserving of what they have earned and at the same time everyone is digusted with the treatment that Wall Street enjoys. Americans understand that he who achieves more should benefit from their achievement but Americans are also good judges of what is achievement and what is not....and that is where the conservatives miss the boat.

Posted by: Tao at April 20, 2009 8:06 AM


The question of greed, whether it is government or whether it is Wall Street is irrelevant to me, the question to me is what role does government play in ensuring that the playing field is level and that civil society is maintained for all equality, not equal in outcome but equal in opportunity.

THAT is not the case of either party right now and definitely not what the last administration was about...

They had 8 years to stop this train wreck and they didn't....

Posted by: Tao at April 20, 2009 6:25 PM

Wall Street "produces" the efficient allocation of resources. Investors evaluate companies and decide which will produce goods or services for the least investment. Obviously it doesn't always work out, but it's a whole lot better than any central planning scheme.

As for "loopholes," are you talking about the mortgage tax deduction? That's a loophole. Or what about the loophole that allows you do deduct for charitable giving? One person's loophole is another person's tax deduction. Understand that Congress put these into place to incent certain types of behavior. Another example of a "loophole" is one that lets you write off money spent on a solar water heating system for your home.

Myself, I'd favor a flat tax of say 10%, but with no or a very very low minimum, so that as many people as possible pay taxes. The tragedy as I see it is that less than 50% of wage earners pay income tax. From a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

A very small number of taxpayers -- the 10% of the country that makes more than $92,400 a year -- pay 72.4% of the nation's income taxes. They're the tip of the triangle that's supporting virtually everyone and everything. Their burden keeps getting heavier.

As a result of the 2001 tax cuts enacted by a bipartisan Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, the share of taxes paid by the top 10% increased to 72.8% in 2005 from 67.8% in 2001, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Contrary to the myth that Mr. Bush cut taxes only for the wealthy, the 2001 tax cut reduced taxes for every income-tax payer in the country. He reduced the bottom tax rate to 10% from 15% and increased the refundable child tax credit to $1,000 from $500 per child, both cuts that President Barack Obama says we should keep. In so doing, millions of lower income taxpayers were removed from the tax rolls, shifting the remaining burden to those at the top, even after their taxes were cut.

So right now we have the majority of Americans voting themselves into the pocketbooks of 'the rich." This is wrong and must stop.

Posted by: The Redhunter Author Profile Page at April 20, 2009 9:53 PM

Those who use evil words such as greed might as well substitute their Statist ideals as "envy" which is even a worse destroyer of society as all social and communistic states have found out.

Posted by: Russ at June 11, 2009 4:14 PM

Just out of curiosity, Mister RedHunter, do you agree with Levin's statement that what makes us superior to animals is property (which if you have owned more than one of any type of animals of the same species you can say is inherently false), the fact that between 1/4th and 1/3rd of his citations are from editorials and blogs, or his rants where he accuses Hispanic people of all being criminals, sexual deviants who get pregnant at the drop of a hat, and bring all manner of disease into this country?

Also, how do you respond to his assertion that America was founded by Christians? Last time I checked, Thomas Paine (infamous for writing Common Sense) wrote not one, but *TWO* papers blasting the church. In addition, to his final pamplet called "Agrarian Justice" where he advocated an inheritance tax, a social security system, and an amount of money to be paid out to everyone upon reaching maturity (Don't believe me? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrarian_Justice).

Also, Thomas Jefferson infamously said that "Religion retreats before Science like witches at daylight" and he, along with Madison, both went on an escapade to cut off all public funding to churches in Virginia.

Then there's the infamous Treaty of Tripolee, signed by George Washington and approved by all the Founding Fathers alive at the time, that states in its very beginnings "America is not a Christian Nation".

On top of that, can you reconcile Levin's erronous statements in regards to "Christians being the most tolerant people of them all" only to go on and demonize atheists and Muslims?

In addition to that, what about his speech on how the consititution must be obeyed completely and totally, followed by his trumpeting of states opposing the constitution in the matter of slavery?

As for his opinions on FDR and claiming that "rapid industrialization ended the depression", then I am to presume that all those tanks, planes, missiles, bullets, etc et al that the government bought during that time didn't have anything to do with it? Also, might I point out that most of his citations were from the Hoover Institute who, surprise surprise, says that it was FDR who prolonged the depression and attempts to exonerate Herbert Hoover? (If tables were turned and there was someone quoting some kind of Roosevelt Institute saying that FDR saved us from the depression and Hoover deepend/caused it, would you be apt to believe them?)

Then there are the statistics he shows, which has unemployment during Roosevelt's presidency steadily decreasing, along with the statement that "Every government job created destroyed half a private sector job" (Might I point out by simple mathematics that's not at all a bad situation?)

Also, how about his statement that "Science is a dead end", while not recongizing the fact that if it wasn't for science things like the radio, the printing press, etc. would not be around, meaning he couldn't spread his message?

Or how about his criticism of Obama's speech about how in a globalized society, events all over the world affect us, while at the same time he trumpets George Bush's invasion of Iraq as a stroke of brilliance?

Then there is his terminology, re-labeling liberals statists, proudly proclaiming Republicans as Federalists, then going on in a few chapters later to bash Federalists of America's beginnings.

And, forgive me for making this statement because I know it will offend you greatly, but judging by your support of the Free Market I presume you very much approve of the drug trade going on throughout the world then and would not like it to be stomped out? After all, the drug trade is the only truly free market out there. Laissez-faire specifically states for there to be no rules and there are certainly no rules in that.

Also, after reading this book, I was both surprised and extremely, unbelievably sickened to see that Levin opposed the Rights of the Child and the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. So he's all for child labor/prostitution? He's also for rape, enslavement, gang rape, and the general brutalization of women as well? There are some things so sickening that the idea of banning them in the harshest terms in writing should not even be given a second thought. Of course, he's ignoring the fact that they're *CONVENTIONS* as opposed to *INTERNATIONL LAWS* (unfortunantely). And then there's his false statement that we've agreed to the Kyoto Protocols (they have yet to be signed).

How do you also reconcile his comment that he felt President Regan's General Amnesty of illegal immigrants to be a good idea, yet he feels the need for their immediate expulsion?

And what about his statement urging people to indoctrinate their children and grandchildren? If he is such a proponent of free choice, then would he really want that to happen? After all, you're not giving children much of a choice there. In fact, it's being downright oppressive and tyrannical I would say.

Posted by: TheBaron at September 15, 2009 5:27 PM

I haven't responded to TheBaron because he's an obvious nutbag and therefore unworthy of debate. If he wants to entertain himself with notions of victory on his own blog
I couldn't care less. He obviously didn't read my comments policy, the link to which is at upper right, before commenting himself. The relevant section reads:

"Finally, the comments section is just that; an area for you to comment on my post. I will probably respond to most disagreements but don't have time for long-winded never-ending debates. I also like to give commenters the last word. If you want to entertain yourself with the notion that if I don't answer all of your questions it's because you've stumped me, or if I don't respond to all of your points it's an admission that I'm wrong, just go away right now. Like all of you I've got a million other things to do in life and probably spend too much time at this as it is."

Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at September 23, 2009 9:02 PM

Me a nutbag? Funny, I thought you were the one considering all your posts. By the way, it's a *FORUM* not a blog. Blog = place to talk about your views, no matter how insane they are; Forum = Place to screw around and make jokes with friends. Learn your terminology!

Thank you for the last word though, much obliged! :P

Posted by: TheBaron at September 26, 2009 4:23 PM

I have yet to read this book, yet I feel it is on par and at the same level of Glenn Beck's rant of a book "Common Sense". From reading your review I feel that there is no need to even bother with this book, as it too uses same old rhetoric to display an already outdated outmoded conservative belief system. It is yet another book that denounces the fundamental workings of our government and of the people. Some of the common issues is the dissemination of the idea that the constitution shouldn't be seen as a living document. Without the ability to amend and change and interpret the constitution and its meaning, we wouldn't have black rights, women's rights, or either of their suffrages, we would still have religion in schools where it never was supposed to be, and we wouldn't have the advances we currently do on many different grounds. Yes, I understand that the framers intended the constitution to be the supreme law of the land, and yes to be accepted as is, however if they had not intended it to be anything but a living constitution they would never have put into place the methods and abilities for the government to ratify new laws or to amend the constitution.

In short, I think, at least, Beck asserts something that Levin completely over looks, and that is both conservatives and liberals have become far too much alike, and politicians specifically work from within the free market system to get what they want. And, from your "review" it would seem Levin is just as misguided as Beck over all.

Posted by: Kristoffer Martin at December 23, 2009 10:05 PM

He's very purposeful in his wording. He uses the word "Statists" and uses it frequently and with "the" in front to give the impression over the course of his read that he's referring to a single, misguided or even down right evil entity. Statist kind of sounds like sadist or Satin doesn't it?
Do you suppose he's manipulating his readers any?
It's a pretty despicable tactic if you ask me and just one of many contemptible tactics being used by right wing talking heads.

Posted by: Paul at August 21, 2010 10:06 AM

I love how Levin drives the liberals nuts. It shows just how effective he is at finding the weak points in their arguments. I chuckle at how it really gets under their skin.

Some of the liberals here at least make cogent arguments, but the last three, TheBaron, Kristoffer Martin, and Paul, are so incoherent that no response is necessary or possible.

Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at August 21, 2010 9:09 PM

He doesn't really drive me nuts, so much as amazes how abysmally stupid a human being can be.

The fact you found my response to be incoherent says a great deal to me as to your level of intelligence, ability to argue, capacity to fact-check, and how well you read the book itself. I brought up a variety of inconsistencies he showed and provided arguments against a number of his more contentious points. You seemed either to not want to acknowledge anything I posted or recognized the fact that it was a hopeless cause to try to take this madman's defense and decided instead to shamefully hide behind name calling. Either way I laugh at you.

Posted by: TheBaron at August 21, 2010 11:40 PM

Also, how it is incoherent that Paul feels that term "statist" was chosen because of its close resemblance to "satanist" or "satlinist"? I'd say he's just pointing out that Levin is making a fairly liberal usage of rhetoric. It's a fair claim and, quite frankly, well reasoned out. He then compared Levin to other conservative hosts who use similar tactics (Need I say anything about Rush Limbaugh talking about people "putting their face in Obama's big, black microphone" during the time when two people who did speak up at a rally were assisted in housing and in their career as a prospective radio DJ?). Again, fair claim and well reasoned, even if he didn't quite put as much hard evidence behind it as he could have.

Kristoffer Martin simply commented on *YOUR* review and said that *YOUR* words have inspired him to not even bother trying to pick up the book seeing as how it seems to offer absolutely no informational value and be the same kind of blatant propaganda as Glenn Beck. He then went on to dissect the idea of considering the Constitution a sacrosanct document as opposed to a living document and the inherent dangers in doing so. He then ended by thanking you for your review seeing as how you've saved him the time spent reading this that he could better spend doing something more enjoyable.

Both responses are rather well reasoned out and logical. The only common thread between the two of them appears to be that they both contradict your viewpoint, as did my initial response to you that you flatly refused to respond to, despite it not breaking any of your rules of conduct (interesting how you break them, labeling us "liberal nuts"). This therefore leads me to the conclusion that it is far easier to do the typical close-minded conservative thing of simply saying "You're wrong! You're wrong! If the argument, no matter how illogical it is, perturbs you that automatically proves that it's right!". In fact, you'll probably say that about both of my response, which is your right (Freedom of Speech is still in effect). I'll still contradict you, even if it means that I'm #3 on your ban list.

Posted by: TheBaron at August 22, 2010 12:04 AM

Do have fun talking to yourself, Baron! Read where it says "comment policy and thoughts on commenting" at upper right. I have neither the time nor inclination to debate every nutcase liberal who comes along.

Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at August 22, 2010 9:03 PM

You don't have time to engage in intellectual debate, but you have time to blindly throw out the same old tired "liberal nutcase/nutjob/nutbag" comment to every person who disagrees with you? That says plenty about you.

I respond to you, because someone needs to call out an uneducated fascist like yourself and it gives me a certain degree of pleasure to know I'm not the only one who finds this book appalling and that people who read the reviews written have decided this work of fiction isn't worth the overly inflated price of admission.

Posted by: TheBaron at August 23, 2010 3:00 PM

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