Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The proposal that is sure to attract the most attention, and possibly objections, is one to impose the $8 fee on car drivers, and $21 for truck operators, to drive in Manhattan south of 86th Street.
For all the discussion of it before and after it failed no one seems to have commented on the fact that it was a regressive tax. Private vehicles in Manhattan are a luxury, delivery vans driven by small businesses a necessity. A tax only on private vehicles and limousines might well have passed.

Under the heading "Standing with Israel against terrorism," Clinton's official policy paper, released last September and currently touted on her campaign website, states, "Hillary Clinton believes that Israel's right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, secure from violence and terrorism, must never be questioned." With the phrase "an undivided Jerusalem as its capital," Clinton seems to take a hardline position on a deeply contested facet of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a position like this should have garnered at least passing interest from the mainstream media. So how come nobody's paying attention?"

I had some comments on this post but I removed them. Here's the same author, Patrick Deneen, on Stanley Fish.
Stanley Fish is nearly always half-right about things. Reading this essay, I found myself in agreement with his argument against the high-Enlightenment belief that reason, logic and science were the means to a final and authoritative knowledge of the world. Much political mischief has resulted from this belief that reason and logic could be relied upon to design political societies - starting with the guillotines and likely not ending with the Gulags.
Actually it "ends" in neoliberalism. And Deneen's answer is the Catholicism of Augustine, which
represents the "middle way" ...holding that culture, language, history, tradition, law, interpretation, community, discourse, and finally, politics is the medium of human knowing - but holding simultaneously that there is something to be known. We "see through a glass darkly," but there is something to be seen, even if we can't be positive of its precise outlines and exact dimensions. Mediation is the means to truth and knowledge, not its obstacle, on the one hand, or all that there is, on the other. It is, finally, a sacramental vision, holding that through earthly and corporeal media we gain an access - if indirectly and still imperfectly - of the Divine.
There is no divine, and there is no need for one. A government founded on texts and textualism is better than one founded on logical mechanisms which create nothing but imperatives, straightjacketing the imagination. As always: the rule of law protects us from the rule of [someone's] reason. And democracy protects us from the rule of priests.

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