Feb. 13th, 2017

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Writing on the differences between Jacksonian Democrats and whigs, Michael Burlingame notes that the Jacksonian creed was for "as little government as possible", and that "Democrats in general believed that the only assertive action that the federal government should undertake was aggressive foreign expansionism."

As for Whigs, Burlingame quotes Horace Greeley: "'THE COMMONWEALTH' is the term best expressing the Whig idea of a State or Nation, and our philosophy regards a Government with hope and confidence, as an agency of the community through which vast and beneficent ends may be accomplished." Greeley held that this stands in contrast to Democrats who regard government "with distrust and aversion, as an agency mainly of corruption, oppression, and robbery." For Greeley and Whigs, "government is not merely a machine for making war and punishing felons, but is bound to do all that is fairly within its power to promote the welfare of the people - that it's legitimate scope is not merely negative, repressive, defensive, but is also affirmative, creative, constructive, beneficent."

[Source: Michael Burlingame, "Abraham Lincoln: A Life", p. 71]

Monday

Feb. 13th, 2017 02:53 pm
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Pat Buchanan takes Trump's side against the federal judiciary. He states his broader case: "Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison's Constitution all along. We just couldn't see them." He says that the Supreme Court's jurisdiction should be cut, closing thus: "A clipping of the court's wings is long overdue." [RealClearPolitics] ... ... I ordered a couple of decks of designer Bicycle cards. I haven't mentioned that I have come back to Bicycle in a big way, now letting my Italian cards sit back in a drawer to hold up cobwebs. The reason is that I have jumped up another league when it comes to shuffling cards. I can now do the riffle shuffle with the bridge ending, in which the cards cascade down in your hands after your shuffle, as well as the table riffle shuffle. It started when Amazon recommended a book on cards offering such lessons. Fortunately, before I purchased the book, I was inspired to see if I can actually get video lessons for free on YouTube. My inspiration was aided by the fact that I want to get a number of books on an allowance that hasn't gotten any bigger. As it turns out, in order to do this higher-order shuffling, the leathery texture of the Bicycle cards make it a lot easier. The Italian cards are too fine and slippery. I cannot even readily pick them up off the table. This realization also made me smile, because it meant I was back in business with designer cards. This also means going back to the standard poker cards, when Bridge cards are still easier for me to handle, but I think I can manage it. Bigger cards mean more design space. I ordered two decks of their Alchemy cards, featuring a lot of skull work and related dark themes - a little something for the decadent spirit.

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