NU Domestic Partner Benefits: Trying To Keep Up With The (Immoral) Joneses

Thanks to Nancy Carr and Reverend Shannon Chestnut for bringing this issue to my attention. I have been a little pre-Occupy-ed lately.

UPDATED December 3, 2011

Keeping up with immoral Joneses via public policy is a descent into hell

Nebraska’s Board of Regents is apparently poised to approve a provision that would extend the University systems’ employee benefits to same sex and unmarried cohabiting partners. Reportedly, the rationale for extending those benefits is to ensure that Nebraska’s “institutions of higher learning” —– YES I use that term VERY loosely —– remain competitive with peers in the ivory towers of the upper crust elites known as universities and colleges. The pressure to be competitive, I now read, has increased since Nebraska became a member of the Big Ten.

Geez. Making football the center of a state’s universe actually has consequences, huh?

UPDATED: Thanks to the very helpful Glen Flint for giving us more information on this subject.

The new benefits offering, proposed by Board of Regents President James B. Milliken, has a name; it’s called “employee plus one”. Included in the sales pitch by Milliken was the following…

“Nationally, more than 300 higher education institutions offer partner benefits, including public universities and systems in at least 30 states and most of the highly ranked research institutions. In the private sector, more than 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies and almost 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer health insurance benefits to employee partners. In Nebraska, a number of major companies offer such benefits, including ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha, Ameritas, HDR and Kiewit.

As a couple of commenters have pointed out, this may not be so much about keeping up with the Joneses, as the title of this article states, considering how many of these institutions there are in the country. Only a small percentage offers these kinds of benefits. According to one link, also provided by Glen, there are over 7,000 “institutions of higher learning” in the U.S. Another figure, provided by UNESCO (a U.N. institution) via Wikipedia lists 5,700+.

Even if the figure were 3,000, according to Milliken’s report, that means only 10% of these entities are offering the benefits he proposes. Not a very convincing when using a “get on the bandwagon” appeal.

Milliken’s report also informs of the overall cost of such benefits currently, and the proposed increased:

The university estimates that extending health insurance benefits to employee partners would cost about $750,000 to $1.5 million, based on an estimated increase of 1 to 2 percent, or about 100 to 200 new employee sign-ups. Total costs for the university’s health insurance plan today are more than $120 million.

Translation? The expenses for this proposal are just a drop in the bucket!

And finally, from the report:

Individuals such as an employee’s parents, grandparents or other relatives would not be eligible for “plus-one” designation.

Wow!

Sometimes those “selling” such this sort of social agenda, i.e. gay marriage, try to sell the softer version known as “civil unions” and explain that such legal arrangements would allow individuals to provide for a relative they are supporting, like a parent. But this plan excludes that option. Imagine if you are an employee of the University of Nebraska system and your mother or father lives with you because you are pooling financial resources or, as is more common, you are providing care for them. If this passes, your co-workers, who have another adult in their household, not related to them, get employee benefits, but you cannot! Yes, this is a very family friendly policy.

Click to read the report on the NU Board of Regents website

It seems that the NU Regents were scheduled to vote on the benefits provision on December 8, but have now delayed that action for an unspecified period, according to the Omaha World-Herald report on Thursday, December 1. The reason given was that not all eight regents will be able to attend the meeting.

Anyone buying that? Based upon the contents of my email inbox, I’d say that this information is not playing well in…Papillion (or Pawnee City, Pender, Peru, Pierce, Plainview, Plattsmouth, Ponca[1. Did you know that Wikipedia has a list of Nebraska's cities in alphabetical order? Neither did I, till I wrote this article.] or most other towns and cities except liberal bastions Lincoln and Omaha.) Readers will excuse my skepticism, but this delayed vote business seems suspect. For those who have not seen this particular politicians’ ploy before, note that it is S-O-P for boards, councils, commissions, and committees to delay controversial votes until people get distracted by some other bright shiny object. Americans following actions of government more closely in the past few years will recognize this tactic as identical to those employed to obtain Nelson’s cloture vote on health care and to pass the Stimulus in February, 2009.

But, it’s up to Nebraska’s taxpayers who see the moral and fiscal hazards here to not get distracted and to keep the heat on the Regents. According to the Omaha World-Herald, five of the eight regents were in support and the other three “want more information”, so I recommend voters give those three a particular kind of “information”. Since the Omaha World-Herald story doesn’t list which five and which three, seems like they all need “information”. Anyone else grown weary of political cover for politicians as brought-to-you-by Nebraska’s two largest newspapers? The stand of each of the regents seems like rather important information, doesn’t it?

Information about the Board of Regents:

Main website page HERE

To find your regent, see maps page HERE.

Meetings Schedule HERE

Board Members’ page HERE (clicking on the name will provide the individual board member’s page, including email address)

There is also a generic form (found listed under the Board of Regents menu) for Public Comment found HERE.

Finally, for those wishing to mail a “snail mail” letter to their Regent and/or to the Board instead of or in addition to an email, the main Board of Regents page instructs “Persons wishing to provide information to the board or to appear before it” should contact:

Corporation Secretary

University of Nebraska

Varner Hall

3835 Holdrege

Lincoln, NE 68583

corpsec@nebraska.edu

(402) 472-3906

If either Nancy or Rev. Shannon happens by this article before receiving an email I’m sending requesting to publish their example letters here, I ask that you reply via comment. Readers, too, are encouraged to provide example letters for others (of course, as long as they conform to GiN’s usual comments policy ;-) ).

I’ll try to get back here and update this with an example letter of my own as soon as I can.

__________

Of potential interest: Domestic partner benefits

__________

Note on the image: A depiction of the “money hoarders and wasters” found in Dante’s fourth circle of hell (avarice).  This is a deliberate jab at all of those people who call themselves conservative out there who think we can set “the social issues” on the shelf and only make fiscal arguments.

Comments

  1. says

    In your state people are not entitled to the same benefits as others based on who they are, huh? Do the stupid farmers get the same price for their corn as the smart ones?

    • Shelli Dawdy says

      MisterEC,
      Thank you for stopping by the GiN website and taking the time to comment. To your question about benefits based on “who people are”, you make assumptions that are not shared by the leadership of this group. We do not consider sexual activity as “who people are”. The label of “gay”, “lesbian”, “bisexual”, “transgender”, etc., is a statement about one’s preferences in the realm of sexual activity, so it is about what people DO.

      Please do not attempt to advocate for “human rights” based upon peoples’ overt statements about their preferred sexual acts. Are you referring to Constitutional rights? Please see GiN’s Mission Statement and principles if you want to get a clearer understanding about this group. Briefly, we promote Constitutional government according to its original meaning. Original meaning can be found by viewing constitutional questions in the context of the period during which the Constitution was written. Take a look at primary source documents, like Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention, letters, journals, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers, and newspapers of the time. Of course, examine the Constitution. What was the standard for “gay rights” at the time? The Constitution is silent…why? What do the primary source documents say? Nothing…why? Because at the time, the conduct to which you refer was considered deviant, and not only were no “rights” attached to it, there had been a long history of laws against it.

      Let me deal head on and in advance with ANYONE who tries to respond here with accusations of my pronouncing “judgment” on other people. I honestly don’t give a darn what people do behind closed doors – I just don’t want it in my face or in public policy for which I am forced to pay. I didn’t weigh in on this topic UNTIL my elected representatives walked down the pathway of considering making this policy. It’s not “judgment” under that paradigm, it’s my right as a taxpayer and citizen to state my opinion and to advocate against it. And your remarks, filled with faulty reasoning, resulted in an additional articulation of my view.

      There is no “right” to an employer-provided benefit of which I am aware found in our Constitution. The subject here is what the State of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska system, specifically, provides by way of employee benefits. I happen to think there are too many government employees already, that we cannot afford the numbers we have now, and that we should not be extending additional benefits to additional persons under the benefits system we currently have.

      Finally, what on earth does the price of corn have to do with any of this? Or the comparative intelligence levels of Nebraska farmers? A little bigoted against Nebraskans, are we, sir? If you think I’m going to scramble to defend subsidized corn prices and farm subsidies in general, you’re sorely mistaken. I don’t happen to support such government intervention in the economy or welfare of any kind, whether it be for individuals, farmers, or corporations. Please, if you’re going to go for a slam against those of us in what you clearly consider to be redneck central / flyover country, try to be just a little more original, why don’t you?

      Here, let me pick the HAY out of my teeth with a CORN COB. Good grief.

      • MisterEC says

        May the Regents find the benefit issue for all should be equal. There is a reason so many live in your state isn’t there? Thank goodness I do not!

    • Glen says

      How is it that the University of Nebraska Regents are able to make the taxpayers of Nebraska pay benefits for “relationships” that aren’t recognized by the State of Nebraska? What if the Regents had a soft spot for polygamous Mormon marriages? Does that empower them to tax us to support a living arrangement that the citizens of Nebraska deem inappropriate?

  2. Glen says

    I’m disturbed by the University’s plan to extend benefits to gay employees’ partners. Not only will students and tax payers be forced to pay for the up front costs of the added benefits, students and tax payers will be liable for damages arising from the actions of gays employed by the University of Nebraska.

    Why is the University of Nebraska trying to recruit gays to work with our youngsters?

    The Boy Scouts of America does not employ gays or allow gay volunteers into the program in order to protect the organization and the youth they serve from the horrible abuse scandals that have tarnished the Catholic church and now the Penn State football program. The parishioners, donors, tax payers and students are forced to pay for their organization’s mistaken policy.

    Out of over 3000 colleges and universities only 300 offer benefits to gays!? Maybe we belong back in the more conservative Big 12.

    Let’s protect our kids and Nebraska tax payers. Please vote NO to extending benefits to gay partners at the University of Nebraska.

    • Shelli Dawdy says

      Glen,
      Thanks for sharing an example letter with the readers! Still working on getting some more up here. Interesting points about the Boy Scouts and we’ve seen the price paid for that. I didn’t realize the stat you cite here about 300 out of 3,000. Where did you find that – it would be very helpful to post a link because I would like to see some of that sort of data considering some of the reported reasons for the Board of Regents considering this policy. I haven’t had the time yet to do any such research.
      Thanks!

      • Glen says

        From this Board of Regents report

        Nationally, more than 300 higher education institutions offer partner benefits, including public universities and systems in at least 30 states and most of the highly ranked research institutions.

        Having recently completed a college search I thought we’d seem them all. I missed more than half of them
        http://www.braintrack.com/us-colleges


        There are over 7,000 higher education institutions in the U.S. with over 15 million students according to US Department of Education statistics.

        Expanding benefits to gay partners isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses. It puts our kids and tax payers at risk.

        • Shelli Dawdy says

          Thanks Glen!

          Very helpful link – one I should’ve had already. Stunning – that link sends us to the Board of Regents website. I’ll add to the story, thanks.
          So Nebraska wants to be in the 10%?!
          Our tax dollars at work. Wow.

  3. MisterEC says

    Except the boy scouts is full of pedofiles and both my Scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster were conficted for it.
    This is about human rights, the right to do what one, as a member of society, who works and pays taxes, is entitled to the same as any other human being.

      • Glen says

        The Boy Scouts of America takes youth protection very seriously. Too bad the Catholic Church and the Penn State football team didn’t have similar guidelines in place. Their kids, parishioners and supporters would have been spared a lot of grief.

        • Shelli Dawdy says

          MisterEC,
          Thank you for providing a link.

          I think this is an interesting comment…

          “It is felt by some that the incidence of sexual abuse is exaggerated, however, in any organization as large as the Boy Scouts, there is a chance for abuse to occur. Children of parents who have been told about what to look out for and have an open relationship with their parents about sexual matters are much less likely to become victims of abuse.”

          There are two key points made here:

          1) ANY organization wherein there are large numbers of people will, by the “law of averages”, have increased chance of all sorts of incidents. Where there are children and large numbers, there will be an increased chance of sexual abuse.

          Does any of your research show that there is AN INCREASED amount of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts of America as compared to any other youth organization? Because that does seem to be what you are asserting.

          2) The article also points out that within families where there is good and open communication about what is appropriate and inappropriate, there is a lowered risk and rate of abuse incidents. Pedophiles, it is known, target the vulnerable.

          I have not studied statistics about child abuse in any depth. I would say, however, that the “it takes a village” mentality has likely led to increased incidents of child abuse and neglect of all kinds. Since so many kids, from infancy, spend more of their day not with their parents and are taught to “trust” a revolving group of adults who care for have authority over them, and their parents are now part of a team – although of course in most cases the manager of it, kids are overall are likely more vulnerable to abuse as a result. This is, of course, in contrast to tradition where children spent more time with their families than with anyone else. But these ARE generalities.

          I think you presented an interesting issue. IS a pedophile “heterosexual”?

          • MisterEC says

            A pedofile abuses children. Protect your children. Ones sexuality I think has little to do with this. It is so easy to stray off topic in these discussions.

        • Glen says

          According this pamphlet

          Myth No. 8:
          Homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

          Fact:
          The percentage of child sexual abuse cases in which men molest boys is many times higher than the percentage of adult males who are homosexual, and most men who molest boys self-identify as homosexual or bisexual.

          What is a right? By whose authority do you charge me with the obligation to “provide equal benefits to all people”? Regardless of how they decide to misuse or abuse themselves? Your rights end when they become my obligation.

  4. says

    H/T to all involved in this article in Nebraska — will be featuring it on http://clibertyc.com Constitutional Liberty Coalition — resource center very shortly.

    We certainly need to understand that the moral issues are fundamental to our society. We must protect our families and our communities from the devastation of moral decline which yes has a cost impact also in the here and now.

    Praying for all involved to stand for righteousness in our land!

  5. James Mason II says

    Typical.

    This isn’t just implementing policy because the rest of the Big Ten schools do so, this is just an excuse to advance a liberal agenda whose intent is to push till they get every liberal socialist agenda established as the norm.

  6. MisterEC says

    Why do you feel that you, or anyone, has a right to decide who enters into a relationship? This is a free society. Benefits are provided as a right of employment, to everyone employed.

    • Shelli Dawdy says

      MisterEC,

      I DO appreciate that you are attempting to engage in dialogue here and are not doing a hit and run routine. However, you see, I attempted to answer this question BEFORE you asked it, although not in identical language. I spoke of judgment, which is really what you’re asking about.

      I have an idea – let’s get GOVERNMENT / the State out of the business of educating, reduce it to its proper size and Constitutional functions and then we need not likely even have this debate. The issue here, to be very clear, is about TAXPAYER-FUNDED operations. *I* should not be forced to fund things that are morally repugnant to me or that violate my religious faith just as you should not have to fund my childrens’ education because I do get the distinct impression that you wouldn’t like my classical curriculum. And by the way – my husband and I *did* / and are doing that for our youngest child in addition to fund the education of other peoples’ children.

      You ask what right I have to “decide who enters into a relationship”? I didn’t say I have that right – I’ve even said in this discussion that I really don’t care what people do in their private homes – what I DO have a right to is to object to what my elected officials and the people who they choose to employ are doing with taxpayer money. If University of Nebraska system were PRIVATE, meaning 100% privately funded – and I do mean **100%**, you wouldn’t be hearing from me / us on this one.

      Understand the difference please.

      • MisterEC says

        Then attack government for spending, and promising to voters to provide everything.
        Promote Ron Paul, promote the libertarian party.
        I am all for a smaller federal government too. This is a Republic in which there was suppose to be a small federal government, with independent Strong states.
        However everyone gets treated the same.
        A Democrarcy will cease to exist when it votes itself a benefit it can not pay for.
        The New World Order is a one world government, and having the USA destroyed is part of tha plan.

        • Shelli Dawdy says

          MisterEC,

          I **did** attack the government for spending AND I attacked it for HOW it is spending it. A STATE RUN University IS government.

          Your logic falls apart. We cannot have a limited federal government and have the policies for which you advocate. The State of Nebraska doesn’t fund all of this nonsense on its own; 40% of our budget comes FROM THE FEDS. In order to get that money, we have to bow to a big Federal government.

          I am not a libertarian so I can’t and won’t promote the libertarian party. Libertarians very often don’t have a consistent set of ethics, and I’m sorry to say, you’re illustrating an example of it. You can’t call the US a republic and then call it a democracy and advocate for majority rule and display a coherent logical system that is consistent with our history, either.

          I appreciate that you are engaging in dialogue and I appreciate that you say you are advocating for a limited government, but can’t you see the flaws in your logic that are leading you in a loop because you are apparently for “anything” goes in some realms?

          • Glen says

            Don’t be too quick to dismiss the Libertarian Party. There’s a lot to like about their positions on fiscal restraint and responsibility, sound money and a foreign policy. They’re a lot closer to the founders, as expressed in , than either the Republicans or the Democrats. Limited government is the only way to dethrone America’s ruling class.

            They get a bad rap as the party of “sex, drugs and rock and roll”. But from their platform, Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. Feel free to abuse yourself in anyway you like, but don’t come crying to the government when you suffer the consequences.

            The problem we’re facing is that the sex, drugs and rock and roll are sanctioned, but the consequences are the responsibility of the taxpayer. I’d happily join MisterEC to campaign for Ron Paul if we could find a way to make sure the government gets out, and stays out, of the consequences business.

            Murray Rothbard, the father of libertarianism, makes a very good case for zero government. We’d all agree that the anti-federalists were right. Rather than protecting our rights, the government has become a threat to our liberty. Check out “For A New Liberty” and “The Ethics of Liberty”.

          • Linda says

            Glen:

            I take issue with your statement that the Anti-federalists were right. They were clearly wrong in their assessment of the republic that was created by the Constitution. It was — and its remnants are still — the most well-structured, beneficial, and individual rights friendly system of government put in place on this earth either before or since. If we, as a people, had fulfilled our responsibility to be watchful citizens and had followed through by holding our elected officials accountable, we would not have strayed from that system and perverted it to the one we have now. The problems we have today do NOT stem from our Constitution. They come from us. We all have the government to which we are entitled. Its failures stem from the fact that we’ve failed to live up to our Founders’ hopes for us. In other words, we’ve seen the enemy, and it is us — not the Constitution, not capitalism.

          • Glen says

            Hi Linda;

            First, I sure appreciate all the good work you folks do. Second, could you please fix my posts. I am failing to get the links put in properly and it looks terrible.

            Now back to our discussion…

            You say remnants are still well structured, beneficial and individual rights friendly. Please point out just one of these remnants. Is it separation of powers, checks and balances, limited and enumerated powers, impartial courts? We have a pleasant memory of how those used to work, but I submit that there’s really nothing constitutional about anything that’s going on right now.

            Now I’m not ready to join the Occupy a smokey tipi crowd and cry for socialism or communism. The Constitution is the direction we need to take. But the erosion of our freedoms started long ago and given the decay of our culture do you think we’re up to the task?

            Ben Franklin said our form of government was “a republic, if you can keep it.” Maybe the anti-federalists had less confidence that good men would rise to the top. It appears that James Madison was too optimistic.

            There’s an interesting section of Rothbard’s history of the American founding, “Conceived in Liberty”. “Pennsylvania” had no colonial government for a brief period during the 1680s. The colonial governor sent some representatives over to get the colonists to pay their taxes. They were utterly frustrated because no one was in charge. There was no button to push to make someone collect taxes. They simply got along well with each other and with the Indians. It must have been delightful!

          • Linda says

            Glen:

            I can’t “fix” your posts. I lack the technical know-how. Perhaps our resident tech guru will come to the rescue. (Ahem, Shelli?)

            If you agree with the Anti-federalists, you OPPOSE the Constitution. All of their arguments were framed for the purpose of defeating its adoption. They favored a confederal form of government, like that created under the Articles of Confederation, even though that system was dysfunctional and doomed to fail. To say that they were right, indicates your agreement with their position. Is that what you were trying to say? If you agree with the Anti-federalists, why seek a return to the Constitution that you oppose? What you’ve said in that regard in both your previous post and in this current one makes no sense if you believe the Anti-federalists were right.

            Unlike you, I believe our Constitutional Republic is superior to any form of government, current or past. We need to return to that. The “remnants” I referred to are the forms and institutions that are already in place. We have a Congress. We have a court system. We have the executive branch. Elections are regularly conducted etc. Do we need to change the way those forms and institutions are operating today? You bet. What is our guide for that CHANGE? It’s not a person or a political party or even a political ideology. It’s the Constitution.

          • Shelli Dawdy says

            Glen,
            updated…I note a few typos…people can see what one of my articles drafts looks like – short on time to fix, so I apologize for any of those typos while you read!
            I appreciate what you’er raising here, which is really, is it not very fundamental? We’re talking about just exactly how much government is enough and how much is too much, right? No doubt a fascinating topic worth pondering, really, and a discussion and debate absolutely vital at this point. If we, as a country, could be having this conversation, all over, we’d be ever so much better off. But, as you are surely aware, this is NOT the debate taking place in the halls of governments where the laws are made and carried out. We’re arguing about how MUCH welfare and government control we’re going to force upon people with a shrinking percentage of the people paying for it.

            So despite potential differences regarding the nuances, again, an excellent topic of discussion.

            Having said that, interestingly enough, I’ve spent the last three to four years increasingly pondering essentially every question and point raised by Linda and yourself and then some. It just so happens that I know a lot of people who are Libertarians or veer in that direction. We’ve talked and debated a lot of questions. I hear what you’re saying about reputations for “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”. I get your point and I even get theirs; they’re saying leave people alone and let them make their own choices and take their own consequences. In theory, I philosophically agree. Primarily, I agree with it, by the way, because a lot of what goes on is politicians enacting law which are ultimately arrogant because it assumes power that even God himself doesn’t foist upon people. God gave people free will even though he laid down laws (i.e. Ten Commandments). At this point government-types believe they can substitute their will for the individuals.

            In order to understand the Libertarian argument in full, it is necessary for people to imagine a climate different from that which currently exists. There’s no way, for instance, that we could return to the early 20th century when there were not laws on the books prohibiting substances. It isn’t too be considered in a nanny-state environment wherein personal choices are not assigned personal responsibility. My “mental jury” is still out on questions regarding this, though, since it IS a fact that chemical technology is far more advanced than it was a century ago. When there were NO laws on the books prohibiting substances, what was the worst that could be cooked up, literally? Is meth, for instance, a bizarre result of prohibition of more “natural” drugs like marijuana? Or is it simply advanced technology? These are all, again, though philosophical questions. The moral climate at present, coupled with the nanny state, again, make this a moot question right now and I think, for the forseeable future.

            Beyond the “drugs” part of the “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” generalizations, I definitely cannot be a libertarian, because, although I agree with you regarding the overall idea that that party’s overall philosophy about the size of government more resembles the Founders’ philosophy, that party does NOT represent the Founders’ philosophy as a group regarding the necessity of a moral and religious people.

            Obviously the Founders’, in generalities, agreed that no PARTICULAR denomination/brand of faith should be embraced / pursued, but it’s clear they agreed a general ethical system, based on faith, was necessary to a healthy moral environmental in the country. Why? Because in order for people to self-govern, there needs to be a coherent ethical system from which they can draw.

            I’ve studied Rothbard somewhat and listened to countless hours of podcasts from Lew Rockwell and Mises generally. There is some excellent stuff there, lots of fodder for provoking thought. One of the fellows who makes good arguments and is consistent is Walter Block, a Mises economist. Following two years of studying and pondering these questions, here is my conclusion…Rothbard, Rockwell, and Block are all “anarcho-libertarians”; Block self-labels as an “anarcho-economist”, in fact.

            Anarcho-libertarians bear in their philosophy, if you listen for a while and ponder, one inherent flaw; they clearly think America is just another country. There is nothing special about it. Why do they think this? They don’t appear to have any belief in the ONE thing that does spell American exceptionalism; a belief that when our country was founded it was the first time in human history that the fact that rights come from GOD not government was acknowledged and made the standard, and related to this that the FIRST object of government is to protect man’s natural rights.

            However flawed our system at present, I don’t understand anyone not acknowledging these immutable truths about our system.

            What the anarcho-libertarians and most of the Anti-Federalists had in common, as far as I’ve determined so far, is that they are both groups of utopian thinkers. There is no doubt that the Anti-Federalists made some very good points worth pondering and even some prophetic statements AND that one can now find some things in Madison’s statements that he talks about never coming to pass that have indeed come to pass.

            But the key difference is that Madison was not a utopian; from my study of the man, he had a healthy respect for the realities of man’s nature. Anarcho-libertarians and the Anti-Federalists, in my assessment, clearly veer towards believing that man is capable of policing himself adequately on his own. Not to pick on you in anyway, but this statement strikes me as an example:

            They were utterly frustrated because no one was in charge. There was no button to push to make someone collect taxes. They simply got along well with each other and with the Indians. It must have been delightful!

            I somehow doubt this utopia truly existed, but I haven’t studied the period or circumstances.

            It seems like anarcho-libertarians and the Anti-Federalists veered towards utopian in the opposite direction of Progressives, etc. who believe government is inherently good. You can’t trust it to much. The opposite here is that people are good, you can’t trust them too much.

            The reality is, that people are capable of both great good and great evil. I believe that Madison, et al, ultimately, after having tried “less government” in the form of the Articles of Confederation were witnessing a little too much anarchy, and then attempted after serious deliberation and debate, did their very best to create a system which realistically accounted for human nature, protected man’s natural rights, but provided “just enough government” so as to not have some of the chaos.

            I agree with Linda with only a few nuances or perhaps, just additional articulation; we’re in trouble now NOT because the Constitution as originally constructed was flawed, it’s because we have not done our jobs, historically. Most of the problems to which you point have been caused by changes to the Constitution and definitely, a lack of vigilance and a moral decline. Unfortunately, in order to correct was is broken, we’re going to need some repeal / redrafting of some amendments.

            Our government, as Linda says, is really just a reflection of us. At the end of the day, even now, we possess within our reach, the ability to fix what is broken. That requires not a huge number of people; it is has never been about huge numbers. It does require, though, a solid core of committed, principled, and focused people, who see the problems and solutions clearly and are willing to come together in an effort to work toward them.

          • Glen says

            I know before I press the “Post Comment” button that this is going to be a mangled mess. Thanks to Shelli for untangling my links.

            Linda,

            Sometimes it’s hard to separate the “forms and shadows” from reality. This government is not just a little off course, its completely lost its way.

            The unconstitutionality of large chunks of the modern administrative state is a fact. But it is also a fact that Neptune is occasionally farther from Earth than Pluto. Both facts have about equal relevance in the contemporary legal world. What does the irrelevance of significant unconstitutionality say about the role of the Constitution in modern life? That question requires another conference and another essay. For today, I am just the messenger, and the message is that the administrative state and the Constitution do not mix.

            Shelli,

            If the Constitution is not flawed, how did we wind up where we are now? The people fell short and were not worthy? And Rothbard is the starry eyed utopian? If we’re going to “bind the government with the chains of the Constitution”, we’d better get bigger chains next time.

            The Constitution is a good direction, not the final destination. We must address the concerns of the Anti-Federalists or we will be forced to go through this again and again.


            “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

            ~ James Madison, Federalist No. 45

            History has shown this statement to be either wishful thinking or a deliberate falsehood. Regardless of which opinion you hold, the Anti-Federalists were right. They correctly predicted the unlimited power of a consolidated government under the Constitution. Not only were the Anti-Federalists right to a degree that they could never have imagined; I seriously doubt that the Federalists could have envisioned or would have approved of their new government becoming the monstrosity that it now is.

          • Norlyn Raisch says

            Glen:

            “If the Constitution is not flawed, how did we wind up where we are now?”

            We wound up where we are now because people are flawed. Adams said that our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the governance of any other.

            Certainly there is no form of government devised by man that attains perfection, and that applies to our Constitution as well. The seeds of its destruction were sown in its dependence on a people with a commitment to a common moral and religious perspective.

            The writers could not imagine a citizenry so devoid of moral fiber that they either would seek to steal the freedom of others and impose their own will and directives on the lives of everyone around them, as the Progressives would do, or to squander their freedoms on whatever form of licentiousness and irresponsibility appeals to them, with no thought as to the effect of their choices on the lives of others around them, as the Libertarians seem to advocate.

            Certainly Madison, or any of the other framers, would not approve of what generations of avaricious and ambitious men have made of the Constitution, but again the flaws do not lie in the document, rather in the men and women who so casually cast aside its limits whenever those limits get in the way of the passions and desires of the moment.

            Contrary to the Anti-Federalists’ pipe dreams, no form of limited government can be constructed that will withstand the deliberate decision of the people to ignore those limits and blithely trade their freedoms for some false and temporary security.

            The preservation of liberty you are seeking will not be accomplished by changing or abandoning the Constitution, but by educating and persuading the people to take responsibility for their own lives, and return to the limited government the Constitution was intended to implement.

            “To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws …” — John C. Calhoun (1782-1850)

          • Glen says

            Well I must surrender. As we learned in Agenda:Grinding America Down destroying virtue was one of the cornerstones of the plan to destroy America.

            You might enjoy these quotes.


            “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.”
            John Adams

            “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our constitution as a whale goes through a net.”
            John Adams

            “Whenever we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”
            Thomas Paine

  7. Anna says

    Wow. Ignorant fools. The lot of you. You shouldn’t have to “pay” for domestic partnership benefits? Rest assured, homosexuals would rather not have to pay for all the benefits they aren’t able to have due to ignorance of prideful heterosexuals like yourselves. I bet you agreed with Hilter having sent homosexuals to concentration camps to purge the world of anyone different than you. Heterosexuals have long abused the sanctity of marriage. Divorce rates themselves for heterosexuals present day are to be ashamed of. The benefits and pay military service members steal from taxpayers for faux marriages between friend arrangements are embarrassing for a veteran like myself. You’re bitter about two consensual adults in consensual love, just like any other heterosexual couple, feel it necessary to have the ability to provide for their life partner just as equally as “acceptable” heterosexuals?? Wow. Just….wow. And to alter the discussion to pedophiles and sexual abuse and lean the blame on homosexuals…… Seriously??? People that sexually abuse other people are twisted people in a league of their own!! Just because a man attracted to young boys claims to be homosexual due to the same sex attraction only makes him a pedophile, not a sane person. Homosexual is full of judgemental, ignorant stereotypes due to media propaganda. So are minority ethnicities. Would you like to add “white supremists” to your list of ignorance as well?? You can twist anything around and go off on irrelevant tangents in attempt to justify your narcissistic ignorance. Two consenting adults in mutual love, regardless of same or opposite sex, are entitled to equally care for their life long partners. People like the lot of you make me question why I fought in Iraq and Afghanistan for FREEDOM when it just goes unappreciated by arrogant, ignorant, selfish fools like yourselves. “You don’t care what people do in the privacy of one’s home”…..so why pitch such a hissy fit for people other than you paying for YOUR benefits and wanting some of their own?? There will be a day that all of America will accept homosexuals as equally as heterosexuals and you all will be the lagging ignorant fools still hateful out of spite, just like every other civil rights movement. Pathetically pointless.

    • Shelli Dawdy says

      Anna,
      Although your remarks violate policies on this site regarding comments (available for reading, here), it’s important that future visitors interested in this subject are allowed to see what is a representative example of comments we’ve received on this site in the past from people who advocate for mainstreaming homosexual marriage and institutionalizing it within government policy.

      We don’t believe any additional response is necessary since you’ve supplied all that readers need to assess the merits of your positions. As far as being “hate-filled” and “bitter”, we are going to re-post the article with your comments, so readers can know how you came to your conclusions and perhaps decide who hates whom.

      Shelli

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