The NSA is Spying on You, the Federal Government is Spending Twice What it Brings In, But Justin Amash Voted Against Reaffirming “In God We Trust” as National Motto When Rest of Congress Had the Courage to Act

he'd vote for puppies too, because he represents americansEllis for CongressPick up any newspaper and you’re likely to find news of some kind of scandal in Washington. President Obama often learns about them that way! From surveillance to spending there’s no short supply of serious issues for politicians in Washington to botch. Ted Cruz managed to help shut down the government because of Obamacare, helping to draw attention from Obamacare’s disastrous rollout, a kind of own goal that’s a trademark of American politics. That partial government shutdown, however, left some traditional Republican supporters  fuming. Last month, for example, the Chamber of Commerce promised to dedicate at least $50 million to oppose “loser candidates” in the Republican party. In November, the GOP business establishment in Grand Rapids, Michigan set its sights on the incumbent Republican Congressman there, Justin Amash, by supporting challenger Brian Ellis, who was supposed to be a more traditional Republican than the pro-civil liberties anti-big government Amash.

Today I got my first (unsolicited as far as I know) e-mail from the Brian Ellis campaign, and in complaining about a vote against a meaningless resolution about the national motto, it manages to encapsulate a lot of what’s wrong with the Republican party, bipartisanship, and American politics in general.

The e-mail, from campaign staffer Megan Wells:

With us just celebrating the Christmas season, now is a fitting time to look back at Justin Amash’s vote on November 1, 2011 when he voted against reaffirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto.  The resolution passed with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 396-9, and Justin Amash was the only Republican “no” vote.

President George Washington, in his first Inaugural Address, said, “it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe … No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer began, “Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.”

President George W. Bush concluded his speech to the nation after the 9/11 attacks, “In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may he watch over the United States of America.”

“In God We Trust” was first placed on U.S. coins by Congress in 1864 and officially became our national motto in 1956.  Through lawsuits, atheists have attempted to impose their will and remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from our currency.  They have been unsuccessful so far, but to make clear America’s commitment to our heritage and faith in God, the U.S. House of Representatives, as the voice of the people, voted 396-9 to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as our national motto and support the display on public buildings.  Amazingly, Congressman Justin Amash voted “no”.

“From President Washington’s Inaugural address to President Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer to President Bush’s speech after the 9/11 attacks, America has rightly placed her trust in the Almighty.  Justin Amash was clearly not representing the people of the 3rd District when he voted against reaffirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto,” said Brian Ellis.

Happy new year.

Related at Reason: Please, Congress, Do Much Less

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Careful Ed, you are perilously close to being seen as carrying water for Team Blue!

  • Acosmist||

    SOCOOOONNNNZZZZZZZZZ

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I know, what is up with Ed denigrating them? They are clearly not as much a threat as progressives, this just changes the focus from where it should be and besides most of them just want to fight the government nowadays. I smell Team Blue water carrying at the root of this and/or the cosmotarian desire for Beltway cocktail parties!

  • Rasilio||

    ' They are clearly not as much a threat as progressives'

    Have a 5 minute conversation with my brother and you might not be so convinced with that statement

  • ||

    Yeah, I'll go take my Freedom somwhere else when I start hearing Christianity is what makes us American(implication: non-Christians are wannabe posers). What are we the Middle East? If YOU believe in God and YOUR salvation WHY do you NEED the state to sponsor it? It's like they think if "In God we trust isn't" our motto, there will be more Katrinas, and Sandys. I almost forgot, more COMMIES!

  • Plisade||

    I didn't catch anything like that from his article. Sounds like you've got your own TEAM! issues. Heal thyself.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Through lawsuits, atheists have attempted to impose their will and remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from our currency.

    So we must fight back, and impose our will on them!

  • anon||

    LIBERTY IS TYRANNY!!!!11one

    /tony

  • Dave Krueger||

    The resolution passed with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 396-9, and Justin Amash was the only Republican “no” vote.

    Ellis will probably defeat Amash. There is no room in the republican party for someone who insists on defying the mindless herd mentality.

  • ||

    I live right next to his District, and I think Amash can probably maintain his seat. IIRC, he still has the support of DeVos, and that's the guy that runs things around here

  • Eric Bana||

    Please don't reaffirm "In God We Trust" as national motto. Separation of church and state.

  • ||

    Too late! George Washington!

  • anon||

    This is their actual argument, verbatim.

  • robc||

    To be fair, Ive made the same argument wrt foreign policy.

  • ||

    U SOUND LIK SOME KIND A FAGGOT

  • Sevo||

    That's the argument if "George Washington!" doesn't do it.

  • ||

    George Wash-a-ton sound lik a F@G. President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho beet that bichez azz yo.

  • ||

    Wow. That's someone's email addresss. Who would have guessed?

  • BardMetal||

    Does it matter? It's like voting on what color the carpet in the oval office should be. Who cares? It's just more culture war bullshit that has zero effect on anything.

  • ||

    Which church has the monopoly on god?

  • robc||

    Why doesnt a national motto need reaffirming?

    I would vote against it as worthless and a waste of time. Or just not vote.

    Probably the latter.

  • robc||

    s/doesnt/does/

  • FreeToFear||

    Make it stand out!
    s/\(.\)\(.\)\?/\u\1\2/g

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Because how else could anyone possibly make clear America's commitment to our heritage and faith in God? Going to church regularly and keeping His commandments in our daily life? Are you some kind of atheist?

  • robc||

    Going to church regularly and keeping His commandments in our daily life?

    And here is where you misunderstood me some time in the past.

    1. Im pretty sure I never used the word "sympathize", which you continue to repeat despite me regularly correcting you on this.

    2. I think I said something like I agree with the way they live, or something like that.

    What I quoted from you is exactly what I was talking about.

  • ||

    The commandments were all Old Testamenty. Goyim eat bacon, have three gods, and celebrate Shabbat on the first day.

  • Restoras||

    Dude, c'mon, you know this is what G_d intended.

  • ||

    Which one, Daddy, Junior, or Birdie?

  • ||

    That's probably why Amash voted "no". He's by far the most principled member of Congress.

  • Dave Krueger||

    I'm always surprised when someone with principles gets elected to Congress. It seems like a breakdown in an otherwise perfect system for identifying shallow-minded self-serving petty tyrants.

  • bassjoe||

    Don't worry, the principled ones don't last long. You'll be back to your cynicism in no time.

  • ||

    The dude is very much a "family man Christian" so it isn't like he has to prove anything to anyone.

  • Acosmist||

    It needs reaffirming so you can put the fact that you voted in favor in your campaign literature, or something. If they ever pass a "Puppies and Rainbows Act", you can bet it will sunset every two years, so every Congress gets a chance to vote Aye.

  • anon||

    I would vote against it as worthless and a waste of time. Or just not vote.

    I wholeheartedly agree, but I would take the time to make a statement saying "This is what you get with your tax money: A bunch of assholes voting and arguing on bullshit that means absolutely nothing.

  • robc||

    My time is too valuable. Its implied by my inaction.

  • anon||

    But robc, if you do nothing, how will they know what you're doing!?

    /sic

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't say I didn't warn you people when they make Hucksterbee your only hope against another Clinton White House.

  • brokencycle||

    He's only 50/50 chance of running. Haven't you heard him?

    Oh who am I kidding? We're fucked. The Huckster is going to run, and it is going to be the same madness as last time. Then Clinton will win, and transitively Carter and Obama will win because they will both look better by comparison.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    A nomination process that can down between Huckabee and Christie would be awful indeed, somewhat similar to how I will feel watching the BCS championship game Monday.

  • anon||

    A nomination process that can down between Huckabee and Christie would be awful indeed, somewhat similar to how I will feel watching the BCS championship game Monday.

    That sentence makes me emotionally unstable, and creates urges to smash random shit anywhere in my vicinity, not much unlike The Hulk.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I just hope it is the Bill Bixby or Ruffalo version.

  • DJK||

    Ugh. I feel like I'm in a lose-lose in having to choose between a rapist and a team from the SEC. I'm hoping to see FL St give Auburn their 4th loss*. The Nebraska win over Georgia was lovely. Now I'm just hoping for the state of Oklahoma to come out and upset Missouri and Alabama. Sure, it's unlikely, but it would make me so very happy.

    Good riddance to the BCS. It's too bad that we're in for more than a decade of a four-team playoff. Eight or sixteen can't come soon enough.

  • robc||

    About 6 years. It wont make the full length of the contract.

  • BardMetal||

    My money is on Christie getting the Republican nomination. They lost twice with two "moderate" Republicans, and so naturally the GOP, in their infinite wisdom, will conclude that they need someone even more moderate.

  • anon||

    They lost twice with two "moderate" Republicans, and so naturally the GOP, in their infinite wisdom, will conclude that they need someone even more moderate.
    reply to this

    Don't you mean "more liberal?"

  • BardMetal||

    "Don't you mean "more liberal?""

    Yeah, but the media calls them "moderates". I suppose progressive-lite might be a more accurate term. Or better yet just progressive with a thin veneer of small government conservatism painted over them.

  • John||

    Romney was not known as a gun grabber and gun control wasn't an issue in McCain, a gun grabbing bastard won. I can't see fatso winning the GOP nomination with his reputation as a gun grabber. He is lying his ass off right now in hopes that people will forget what a shitbag he is on the issue. But gun owners have long memories and hold grudges. Go ask Rudy Gullianni if you don't believe me.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Romney was not known as a gun grabber

    Romney signing an AW ban was an issue in the GOP primary.

  • ||

    This brings a single tear to my eye BardMetal. He likely wouldn't beat Hillarytheguiltylyingsackofshit in a Presidential eletion. Sorry, I get carried away. Even if he did. It would 4 more years of the SAME OLD SHIT.

  • Drake||

    Has he started losing that giant gut? That's usually a good indicator.

  • RightNut||

    Ed, could you please send a thank you email back to Megan Wells for reminding me to donate to the Amash campaign?

  • GroundTruth||

    Ditto.

  • anon||

    The resolution passed with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 396-9, and Justin Amash was the only Republican “no” vote.

    We pay these people to waste time on bullshit like this? I'd far prefer paying them $200k/year to do nothing. At least they can't hurt me that way.

    Who gives a fuck what money looks like? I care far more about its value.

  • robc||

    At this points, it can look like bits for all I care.

    Call it something like coinbits.

  • anon||

    Perhaps a bit of coins?

  • BardMetal||

    You know if they are going to vote on money. Why not vote on replacing paper dollars with coins? Coins last a lot longer, and we would save money by not having to print replacements.

    They could even add a tiny amount of precious metals to them so they actually have a tiny amount of value beyond simply faith in the currency.

  • anon||

    Have you ever been to Europe?

    Coins fucking suck.

    Also, not in the Government's interest at all to add value to its currency.

  • SugarFree||

    The sputtering attempts to do this have always tried for a soft opening of the new coins. Just stop printing ones and keep taken them out at the same rate.

    All the idiot crap the Feds mandate, yet they "can't" switch to coins because butthurt.

  • JW||

    Just stop printing ones and keep taken them out at the same rate.

    This is going to change the whole stripper-customer dynamic.

  • Brett L||

    The Canucks already have the Loonie/Toonie problem.

  • Restoras||

    I wonder how much political influence the Crane paper company wields in this fight.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I prefer bills to coins if I have to carry currency. They remain sorted and weigh less, making it easier to know how much I have on hand and avoid hunting down the last little piece of eight in the mass of other demonination coinage.

  • H. ReardEn||

    Retire the penny, nickle, and dollar bill. Mint $1 coins. Perhaps a $5 coin as well.

  • prolefeed||

    They've minted plenty of $1 coins. Said coins are sitting around mostly uncirculated, because people don't want a quarter-sized dollar coin in their pocket to try to keep track of.

    I've been given a few dollar coins over the years, and got rid of them as fast as possible, but it almost invariably meant a hitch in paying for whatever as the person at the register stared at it and tried to figure if it was really money.

  • Steve G||

    Lol, like the $2 bill; I love confusing teenagers w/ it.

  • Restoras||

    What needs to be done is retire the $1 bill. Only then will $1 coins be of any value.

  • Surly Chef||

    Listen, if I'm going to intentionally pelt strippers with hard objects it's going to be with nickles and I'm not paying $5 for every stage dance.

  • Agammamon||

    YOu know what that sounds like? Its sounds like exactly the same shit 'urban planners' spew out. 'The more difficult we make it to drive the more people will turn to mass transit regardless of their revealed preference for driving' - same shit here, Americans have a revealed preference for bills over coins (even though they do cost more over time) because bills are more convenient.

    A pocket full of coins fucking *sucks*.

  • Surly Chef||

    Yup. The only way it makes a lick of difference is if coins were still actually precious metals and bills were a guarantee for said value. If they are neither of those things bills are simply more continent.

  • SugarFree||

    Your larf of the day: Gawker columnist makes fun of someone's terrible writing.

    Irony, thy name is Denton's Dumbshits.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's like Hitler making fun of Stalin for killing his own people.

  • anon||

    To be fair, Hitler didn't consider anyone that wasn't Aryan "his people."

  • BardMetal||

    True. Yet I always found it odd that Hitler was willing to murder millions of Slavs, who are far more closely related to the Germans then the Japanese who he was willing to ally with.

  • Irish||

    He was also willing to ally with the Russians when it suited him and that didn't stop him from trying to murder Russians at a later date.

  • Sevo||

    "who are far more closely related to the Germans then the Japanese who he was willing to ally with."

    Weinberg suggests pretty strongly that the Japs weren't long for this world if Hitler got what he wanted.
    Hitler was pretty catholic in his bigotry.

  • Rasilio||

    The same was true for the Germans if Japan won.

    Both sides considered the other to be members of an inferior race and allies of convienence

  • Sevo||

    I hadn't read that of the Japs, but from what I have read, I don't doubt it in the least.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    They might have had a 50 year cold war or something.

  • GroundTruth||

    No facts please! They are *so* inconvenient!

  • prolefeed||

    To be fair, Hitler didn't consider anyone that wasn't Aryan "his people."

    FTFY.

  • Irish||

    It's especially funny because they're making fun of Kathleen Parker who isn't even a terrible writer. She's pretty average by modern newspaper standards and is infinitely preferable to the nutcases writing at Gawker or Jezebel.

    Once again, I have to link to Adam Weinstein's hysterically petulant diatribe about how poor he is to supply me with an example.

    They had room to advance and buy things. Yes, even the creatives. I once listened to a professor, who is in his sixties, read us the first published piece he'd been paid for, in the late 1970s. A thousand words or so. The rate, he says, was something like two bucks a word. That's four times what the Village Voice pays today, even for an award-winning investigative cover story. It's geometrically greater than what most writers can earn today writing daily brilliance for nationally renowned publications online. And writing daily brilliance, which many of them do, is hard goddamned work.

    That's just some stupendous prose right there, Gawker. Really top notch stuff.

  • Irish||

    So no, we shan't be doing as well as our parents, and no, we shan't be shutting up about it. If anything, those of us who have been cowed into silence because college-educated poor problems aren't real poor problems should shed our fears and start talking about just how hard it really is out there, man.

    Yeah, why is Adam Weinstein not getting paid more?

  • SugarFree||

    Why doesn't Denton provide his employees with health insurance?

    Last weekend my baby had a fever, and we contemplated taking him to the ER, and my first thought was - had to be - “Oh God, that could wipe out our bank account! Maybe he can just ride it out?”
  • Pro Libertate||

    Do you think he meant the verb "shat?"

  • Pro Libertate||

    It shows the decline in magazines over the years. It's true for short fiction, too, which pays not much more in nominal dollars than it did decades ago.

  • Irish||

    I think part of it is decline in sales, but part of it is oversupply of writers.

    Adam Weinstein is a left-wing white boy from New York City who writes about politics. He is also a terrible writer. There are so many people who fit that description that I'm amazed writers like him get paid anything.

    Adam Weinstein could be replaced by anyone off the street and there's about a 50% chance they'd actually be a better and more interesting writer than he is. The same goes for virtually everyone at Gawker.

  • ||

    There are so many people who fit that description that I'm amazed writers like him get paid anything.

    Yep. Which, of course, is why they barely do.

  • SugarFree||

    None of them are hired for talent, but for correct thinking and connections.

    And I think certain inability to express thoughts and ideas clearly is part of their appeal. In college most of the audience for Denton's sites were taught that the less you understood something, the more profound it must be. They have monetized the inducement of mistaken awe through deliberate confusion.

  • JW||

    I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that right-thinking, talent-less hacks are running Gawker.

  • John||

    It explains why so many of the current generation of writers are so bad. If you cut the pay, the quality of talent attracted to the field is going to go down.

  • anon||

    For such an eloquent and precise language, there's no shortage of people willing to butcher it for a living.

  • John||

    English is a wonderful language. But like everything that is rewarding, its mastery requires skill and effort.

  • BardMetal||

    Learning German really helped me gain a new appreciation for the English language.

  • Irish||

    This goes back to my argument about oversupply of writers. The top tier writers are no worse than the top tier writers of years ago. I don't think Hitchens, Steyn, or Matt Taibbi* are appreciably worse than writers twenty years ago.

    The issue is second level writers no longer being able to earn a good living because the second and third tiers are overrun by thousands of journalism and English majors. Also, because of the decline in magazine and newspaper revenues, if your name doesn't actively move product your salary is going to take a hit. That's why Vanity Fair gave Hitchens a massive pay day to write for them. They knew his name would mean more sales in a way that most writers simply wouldn't.

    *Note: I hate Taibbi's politics but it's hard to claim he isn't a good writer. He's a hack propagandist, but his prose is very capable.

  • John||

    That explains some of it. But even the "top tier writers" you describe really don't make very much money. I bet I make more money than all of the Reason staff sans the jacket. It used to be being a top flight reporter meant a solid upper middle class life. Now, it is at best a middle middle class life in a very pricey city like New York or Washington.

    That being said, people like Yglesias and Ezra Klein are paid just as well as Steyn or Taibbi. Yet, they are in Yglesias' case functionally illiterate. So, even the best paying jobs often can't attract good talent.

  • Irish||

    Klein probably gets paid very well, but there is no way on Earth Yglesias is making as much as Steyn or Taibbi.

    Not only do Steyn and Taibbi write online articles that get tons of views, they both publish in actual hard copy magazines that pay better than blogging. They've also both written multiple best selling books.

    The secret to making money as a writer is to be a good enough writer that people actually want to buy your work when it comes out in book form. This is possible for Steyn, Taibbi, Hitchens or Krugman, who is a solid writer regardless of my opinion of him, but is not possible for someone like Yglesias or Weinstein.

  • John||

    Sad Beard was bragging about his new brownstone on Capital Hill. Maybe his parents gave him the money. But that is an expensive neighborhood. As appalling as it is, I think he actually is paid well.

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah, it was 1.2 million. But he went to Harvard and got a philosophy degree, so you know he comes from money.

    How the fuck did he get into Harvard? (Klein graduated from surf school, so he makes sense.) Maybe MY was smart at one point and gave himself brain damage in an auto-erotic suffocation incident.

  • ||

    How the fuck did he get into Harvard?

    Money and ethnicity.

  • John||

    Money and ethnicity.

    Isn't he a Jew? The Ivies tend to limit the number of Jews and thus Jews like Asians and non legacy whites usually have to earn their way in.

  • ||

    He may be Jewish, but pretty sure Yglesias is also Spanish/Hispanic (maybe Sephardic?) I would not be shocked if he checked the "Latino/Hispanic" box on his application.

  • John||

    True Kristen. And isn't it perfect for a Prog like him to be some millionaire Jewish kid who used Hispanic affirmative action to get into Harvard?

  • John||

    I would love to know how he got into Harvard. He must have been a legacy and had enough money to pay someone to write his entrance essay.

    The fact that he graduated from Harvard with good grades proves that no one at the school at least as a undergraduate is ever held to any kind of standard. It must be "As for everyone who showed up".

  • ||

    Well, A is the median grade at Harvard for undergrads, so.

  • Irish||

    I think it's old money from his family. I don't care how indispensable Slate inexplicably thinks Yglesias is, there are very specific going rates for writers at different types of publications. A purely online publication with no hard copy magazine or secondary source of income (such as Reason and Mother Jones thriving on donations) cannot possibly pay Matthew Yglesias the type of money needed to buy that house.

    It's just the economics of websites. Unless you run your own website and it's successful, you aren't going to be making much money as a purely online writer.

  • John||

    Irish,

    Slate is an arm of the Washington Post and thus not quite the same as Reason or Mother Jones.

  • Irish||

    Yes, but Slate itself is still a purely online presence, and a money losing online presence at that.

    I seriously doubt Yglesias is making more than $50,000 working there. There's no way he's making enough money to afford a 1.2 million dollar brownstone without his daddy's money.

  • Juice||

    I seriously doubt Yglesias is making more than $50,000 working there.

    Which is jack dick for living in DC.

  • SugarFree||

    I think a lot of bad writing comes from thin-skinned writers. You need to have your purple prose and nonsense sentence structure beaten out of you early on. That's why a lot of writers are egotistical assholes. They were the fittest to survive what needed to be done to them.

    I bet I could make SadBeard and Ezra Klein dissolve into tears with nothing more than a red pen.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Gotta believe that editors have both lost power and have become less good, overall.

  • SugarFree||

    Gotta believe that editors have both lost power and have become less good, overall.

    PL and John,

    They don't have editors in the traditional sense, they have managers, directing them to stories or enforcing talking points and arranging meetings. I seriously doubt anyone at Slate reads an essay by MY before it goes up, and the same for Klein. Spelling errors are fixed behind the scenes (as well as gross factual errors) after the fact. And no one has ever challenged them whatsoever on their argumentation skills, obviously.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, that explains how the crappy prose gets through. I say bring back the tyrannical editor.

  • John||

    I am sure you could Sugar Free. The other thing is that the financial state of newspapers and magazines is so precarious they can't afford to hire editors like they used to or have low level writing positions to train people.

    In the past people like Klein or Yglesias would have gone to work at a big city paper and started writing obituaries or other small local stories under the supervision of an editor. Now they come straight out of college and are put on the editorial page with no supervision and based only on screaming loud enough to get an internet following.

    That is the thing with Sad Beard. He is such a poor writer and so thin skinned he has no idea how bad he actually is. He actually thinks that misspelling words and writing long and convoluted sentences is okay because people of his generation grew up with spell check and grammar check and those sorts of mistakes are just petty concerns of old people.

  • Irish||

    Also, I'm reading George Orwell's collected essays and the introduction mentioned that in 1941, Orwell wrote approximately 100,000 words for newspapers and magazines, and was paid something like 500 pounds. That's approximately 20,000 pounds today, or $40,000.

    He was paid 40 cents a word at a time when he was one of the best essayists in the English language.

    Newspaper writers have not historically been well paid. There was a period between about 1965-1995 when they made a lot of money, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

  • John||

    That is a good point Irish. It has to be the lack of editors. I am sure Orwell was subjected to ruthless editing. Now that doesn't happen.

    Also our higher education system was better in Orwell's time. Someone with the writing skills of a Matthew Yglasias would have never been awarded a humanities degree from any reputable school in the 1950s. In the 1990s he was graduated with honors from Harvard. He is the product of our "everyone gets a trophy" culture.

  • Juice||

    The pay so little because no one reads them.

  • ||

    I get $75 a page for my stuff. What does Reason pay?

  • Sevo||

    Old Man With Candy|1.2.14 @ 12:28PM|#
    "I get $75 a page for my stuff. What does Reason pay?"

    Dunno. Take a look at the last check they mailed you.
    Mine was for $0.00, but then my prose is worth it.

  • ||

    I haven't filled a page here yet. Brevity, wit, you know.

  • Jerryskids||

    “I'm a writer. I write checks. They're mostly fiction.”

  • SugarFree||

    Don't make fun of Adam, Irish. He's a certified internet tuff gai:

    You want to talk to me about my entitlement? Name a streetcorner, dipshit. Better bring a friend if you have one.
  • R C Dean||

    the first published piece he'd been paid for, in the late 1970s. A thousand words or so. The rate, he says, was something like two bucks a word.

    Unless the piece was for a top-market national publication, I'm calling bullshit on that rate.

  • Brett L||

    Two bucks a word? Where was he printed? Saturday Evening Post? I find that unbelievable for a first piece.

  • Agammamon||

    Of course, back *then* you didn't have every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a 'creative writing' degree trying to make a living at it.

    The supply of writers has risen far, far faster than the demand for them.

  • ||

    Why would you do this to me?

  • SugarFree||

    I merely offered the apple... you're the one that ate it.

  • JW||

    I KNEW it!

  • Raston Bot||

    This gave me a chuckle:

    "I have absolutely no idea where our economy is, or where it is headed," says Kathleen Parker. "Let's just say it is in the middle of where various people say it is. Despite the fact that I have announced I have no real idea of whether or not this is the true state of our economy, I will now declare that it is 'certain' that our current economic state is bad. I will then spout a platitude about 'moral decay'—..."

  • ||

    Whilst the skimming of this doodoo article, I read his take on the debt as compared to the GDP. Does anyone else hate that as much as I do? It suggests that the U.S. Government is entitled to that gross amount of productivity in America.

  • John||

    Corporate cronies do not limit themselves to one party. Fuck the GOP business establishment. They are welfare queens just like the rest of them. It was the GOP business establishment that gave us things like the light bulb ban because GE couldn't make enough money selling people what they wanted.

    But don't worry Reason, that same establishment is all for the GOP selling out on immigration. So there is that.

  • BardMetal||

    There is never going to be a fix to immigration in this country. The issue is too useful for both parties.

    A compromise would be legalization in the form of green cards, visa, work permits, etc. without any sort of automatic citizenship.

    At the same time reform our immigration laws so that it doesn't take years for people to become citizens that try to do it legally.

  • John||

    If the Republicans were not either corrupt, stupid or both, they would call the Dems bluff on immigration and pass a law that gave amnesty in the form of say time limited green cards to anyone who is here. The Dems, since they are only interested in importing voters, would never agree to that. Meanwhile, most Hispanics just want to work here legally and not get hassled and really don't care to become citizens and would rightfully see the Democrats as screwing them over.

  • BardMetal||

    You know I wonder if the Dems are really interested in importing new voters, or just using the issue to paint Republicans as racists and bigots?

    This is why they want amnesty. It imports new voters, and yet never actually creates a long term solution to the problem, so that in 10 years the Dems get to label the Repubs a bunch of racists and bigots for not wanting amnesty yet again.

    It's a shame the Republicans are retarded, otherwise they might be able to call their bluff, and come up with a more long term solution.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is anyone proposing 'automatic citizenship?' I have only heard of 'pathways to citizenship' which involve years of residence.

  • John||

    Yes. All of the proposed immigration bills contain a "path to citizenship".

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Which is not 'automatic citizenship.'

  • BardMetal||

    So they will be give zero preference to say someone in the Ukraine, or Nambia that also applies for citizenship?

  • BardMetal||

    I meant to say so they will be given* zero preference...

    Wow leaving out a single letter completely changed the meaning of that sentence.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am not sure what you are getting at.

  • Restoras||

    That it's automatic after an illegal immigrant has been in residence for a period of time.

  • BardMetal||

    Unless they have to go through the exact same process that a guy from the Ukraine goes through when applying for citizenship, then it's a form of amnesty.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    OK, I see what you and Restoras are saying. By 'automatic' I thought was meant that there would be no residency period requirement, but all the proposals I have seen have that. I really do not care if the residency requirement was met prior to the grant.

  • Restoras||

    But only if it is 'automatic' can you call it 'amnesty'? Sounds like a lot of semantic legerdemain to obfuscate and confuse. I presume that very few will be sent packing.

  • BardMetal||

    Well I suppose anything short of deporting them is a form of amnesty. I don't support a massive deportation, only anything that gives illegal immigrants a short-cut to citizenship that legal immigrants don't have.

    I think a form of legalization in the form of visas, and green cards would be a much better solution, and like John said earlier there are a lot of people who only want to work here, and have zero interest in citizenship.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "only anything that gives illegal immigrants a short-cut to citizenship that legal immigrants don't have."

    I see, but if a plan says a person must have seven years of residency to become a citizen you would distinguish between someone who could show they had already been here seven years and someone who starts when the law is passed? Is it just that the first person broke the now not applicable law in reaching the requirement?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    What I mean is that I think when people mean 'automatic citizenship' they mean 'cross the border, become a citizen.' All the proposals I have seen require someone to have had a period of continuous residency in our nation before they could get citizenship. Now, perhaps the residency requirement would be met for some exactly when the law goes into effect because those people have already met it, but that does not strike me as 'automatic citizenship.'

  • R C Dean||

    There isn't a festival of cronyism out there, definitely including ObamaCare, that wasn't pushed by nominally GOP BigBiz cronies.

  • Outlaw||

    Crony capitalists are trying to get rid of Amash?

    Not surprised.

  • SugarFree||

    Wherever there is a boot to be licked, Eric Posner is there. Whenever a Democrat needs political cover tarted up in legalese, Eric Posner is there. Whenever the University of Chicago Law School needs its credibility eroded at an amazing rate, Eric Posner is there.

    The NSA’s Metadata Program Is Perfectly Constitutional
    Judge William Pauley, not Judge Richard Leon, got it right.

    slurp, slurp, slurp

  • CampingInYourPark||

    “From President Washington’s Inaugural address to President Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer to President Bush’s speech after the 9/11 attacks, America has rightly placed her trust in the Almighty.

    Yes moron, those 3 people are "America" and political speeches are the spiritual superhighway to the "Almighty"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    In God We Trust is a wonderful motto, except when cynical pork barrelers pretend to support in order to attack one of the few good Congressmen there is.

    If Amash were really devoting attention to promoting secularism I'd be against him, but that's not the case. He spends time opposingbthe bad policies supported by his opponents.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Somehow, I suspect that Amash's opponents in the Grand Rapida business establishment don't give a flip about the national motto. If Amash supported corporate giveaways and pork, they would support him even if he voted to replace tha national motto with "hail Satan!"

  • John||

    I am probably being too optimistic, but I seriously doubt they will lay a glove on him. Their whole argument against him boils down to "he just isn't stealing enough". I think the mood of the country has changed enough to make that a loser.

    I certainly hope so at least. I think the Amish primary is the most important election this year. God help us if those bastards are able to make an example of him.

  • anon||

    I think the mood of the country has changed enough to make that a loser.

    I really really really want to believe that's true.

    I also would like unicorns.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They only appear to virgins.

  • T||

    Interesting. And you know this how, exactly?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I was a virgin before I met your mother.

  • John||

    People have figured out that the sort of stealing that the GOP establishment wants Amish to do doesn't benefit them.

    If it were a winning argument, they wouldn't be running bullshit ads about In God We trust.

  • some guy||

    People have figured out that the sort of stealing that the GOP establishment wants Amish to do doesn't benefit them.

    John, when did you become a font of eternal optimism?

  • John||

    Again, if that message worked, they wouldn't be trying this bullshit.

  • Irish||

    If Amash gets beat it won't be by business interests. What are business interests going to say? He's not letting us engage in rampant cronyism?

    I could see him getting beat by a RINO who talks about Amash being a mean old libertarian who doesn't care about the poor. That's a greater threat than the fucking Chamber of Commerce.

  • John||

    That won't happen either. He might get beat by a Democrat who says that. But no way would such a Republican beat him in a primary.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But the business interests want him beat, and rather than state their true agenda they're tossing around bright shiny things to distract voters. And it may work remember the War on Women?

  • R C Dean||

    What are business interests going to say?

    "Well, hello, there, Mr. Country Club Crony RINO. Interested in running against Justin Amash? Here's a big old check! Oh, and we never talked."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That is not how the Republican establishment attacks a libertarian, we already know how they do it: what they did to Ron Paul in the last two nomination contests.

    'He can not win' (of course neither can Romney or McCain)

    'He has new ideas that threaten traditional values' (legalizing drugs!)

    'He is soft on national security and/or hostile to supporting Israel' (of course our national security does not involve nation building or supporting)

  • Irish||

    Yes, but those things work in presidential elections.

    1. He can not win won't work when he's already won the seat.

    2. He threatens traditional values won't work when he was talking about these issues all throughout his last campaign and still won.

    3. He is soft on national security won't matter for a congressman. People elect congressman based largely on local concerns.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Good point on number one, but I bet we start seeing 2 and 3 in Amash's contest.

  • Raven Nation||

    Not to mention the phrase "in God we trust" was only added in the '50s to contrast the US with godless communism.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It's not about the motto, it's about Amash being one of the few voices of sanity in Congress. I like the motto but won't let it affect my support for Amash.

  • Raven Nation||

    Understand. I was more responding to the mailer from the political hack which tried to connect the motto all the way back to Washington.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes. It's like they got caught making love to sheep and then distracting the voters by talking about cancer research. Sorry, I would like to focus on your sheep molesting, not your sudden focus on some red herring issuel but that doesn't mean cancer research is wrong, just irrelevant.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not like the motto. Government should stay out of religion, giving it neither aid nor hinderance.

  • ||

    No religion has a monopoly on "god", and using the term in the motto neither aids nor hinders any religion.

  • ||

  • General Butt Naked||

    Am I crazy, or did they give her a new name halfway through the article?

  • ||

    The folks that write story summaries for broadcast news web sites are less talented than Matt Yglesias.

  • bassjoe||

    America only needs one motto: "America, Fuck Yeah!" (Preferably shouted when we're sending a cruise missile to destroy the Eiffel Tower.)

    Seriously, though, all of these references to God are politically-motivated idiocies of the Red Scare years and have no place in our country's documents (where supposedly people of every religion [or no religion] are to be treated equally).

    I wonder how many people who cling to the "tradition" of "in God we Trust" and "under God" in the Anthem have any idea America lived most of its existence just fine without these references to the alleged almighty...

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If you want a debate on the national motto, that's exactly what Brian Ellis wants.

    Anyhoo, a Google search showed Amash explaining his vote. He said the bill was a politically-inspired distraction which would unnecessarily plaster God all over federal buildings. But he was OK with the motto being displayed in a few places, just not everywhere.

  • ||

    Thing is, his opponent is going to have trouble painting Amash as a godless asshole. Amash is very religious, along the lines of Ron Paul. A principled Christian, as it were.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Being religious is not enough, you have to want to impose your beliefs on everyone else.

  • BardMetal||

    Yeah they're really imposing their beliefs on me by putting "in god we trust" on the currency.

    My rights are totally violated.

    Got to love the conservatives in the culture war. It's always over shit that doesn't matter one way or another.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you think the rights of producers are violated when government mandates certain labeling on their products?

  • BardMetal||

    What the government prints of the currency, and what the government demands I print on my labels are two different things.

    And neither are things that really matter all that much.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I agree they are not the most important deals, but they are not meaningless. When the government takes my money and makes me visit the buildings and such that they are going to plaster the motto all over then it becomes a lot like them telling me what to print on my own labels.

  • ||

    ... it becomes a lot like them telling me what to print on my own labels.

    Not really, since money belongs to the federal reserve, and the buildings belong to the government. It's not your property, or at least not anymore than it's anybody else's. Typical commons problem.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    The attempts to insert religion into government is a slap in the face to the Founders.

    In God We Trust added to the money in 1864 (73 years after ratification).

    "Under God" inserted to the pledge (1954, 163 years after ratification).

    Don't you think that God isn't mentioned in the Constitution might shed some light on their intentions?

  • bassjoe||

    Ah-ha, got you there! The Constitution DOES mention God, in the very last paragraph: "one in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven".

    Even though that's the EXACT equivalent of saying "BC" and "AD" with zero practical religious connotations, that's what the religionists hang their hat on.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    You got me.

    Yes, they dated it. Clearly anything dated shows religious intent.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "In fact, Christmas itself is in the Constitution.

    This is not even a matter for debate, for the Framers themselves dated this document, one of the two most important political documents in human history (along with the Declaration of Independence) from the very first Christmas. You could look it up.

    In fact, I'll look it up for you. Here's how the Framers concluded:

    "...done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names..."

    By dating the foundational document of the greatest nation in history to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Founders essentially celebrated Christmas as they signed their names."

    http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogP.....2147541088

  • Juice||

    Even though that's the EXACT equivalent of saying "BC" and "AD" with zero practical religious connotations, that's what the religionists hang their hat on.

    Whose lord? "Our lord." The constitution begins with "We the people" and ends with talking about "our lord." So for "we the people" "our lord" was born 1787 years before the constitution. Ipso facto, the US is a "christian nation."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Perhaps some language has meaning derived from what was once historically meaningful but now (or when used) is understood as merely ceremonial rather than literal?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Does that lord leap?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I don't think Amash is making your argument. He said there are cases when it would be appropriate to display the motto.

  • BardMetal||

    I don't think mentioning God is the same thing as establishing a religion, since virtually every religion believes in some sort of God.

    And the founders did mention the Creator in the declaration of independence, so I doubt they were opposed to mentioning God in the public sphere.

  • ||

    I don't think mentioning God is the same thing as establishing a religion, since virtually every religion believes in some sort of God.

    Uh, yeah...and not-religions don't. So how is that not establishing a religion again?

  • BardMetal||

    Which religion does it establish? Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism?

    What was made the official religion of the United States?

    I think suggesting that mentioning God is a violation of the 1st amendment is a bit of a stretch.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It might be better said that it establishes religion, which, while not 'a religion' does seem contrary to the principle behind not establishing 'a religion.'

    Besides, what is constitutional is not always a wise or morally correct policy.

  • BardMetal||

    I think an argument could be made that it doesn't even establish religion sense one doesn't have to be a member of a religion to believe in a God.

    Regardless I don't think it violates the 1st amendment, and I don't think it effects people's lives in any meaningful way. So I don't care if they keep it on the currency or not.

    And until someone comes up with a better system, I will look to the constitution for what is wise and morally correct policy.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Religion can be defined as simply that belief.
    re·li·gion noun \ri-ˈli-jən\

    : the belief in a god or in a group of gods

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion

    As to your last statement, do you really think that everything that is constitutionally permissible is wise and morally correct? For example, any prohibitions on sales of anything between the states would be constitutional.

  • BardMetal||

    Interstate commerce was designed with the intention of promoting trade between the states, not stopping it. They didn't want states boycotting other states, or placing tariffs on another states products, etc.

    A judge might find that constitutional (but then again when does the constitution matter to judges?), but I think it goes against what the founders intentions were.

    People can corrupt the meaning of the constitution just like they can with religion, but that doesn't make the original meaning any less valid.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, just take another example.

    If we decided to declare war on a country tomorrow just because we did not like how they look, as long as there was a proper declaration of war as required by the constitutional would you have to call that war moral and correct?

  • Restoras||

    I could not care less what is printed on the government's currency, but I beleive the establishment clause was meant to prevent the establishment of a particular religious sect as a favored national institution and thus a center of power in, and over, the lives of the citizens, a center of power that would enjoy the political and military protection of the central government. Certainly at the time the Constitution was drafted various sects of Christianity enjoyed those protections in different countries, while other sects of Christianity (along with anything non Christian) were vulnerable to persecution.

    I think it is an equal stretch to say that some words on a lot of scraps of paper are either Protected Speach or Establishing Religion.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This is certainly a well respected and reasonable view of what the 1st Amendment was intended to do and requires today. I disagree because I think we should be guided by the intended principle and rationale behind the amendment rather than a literal reading or what the actual drafters said they were intending, but I will not debate that today.

  • Restoras||

    The intended principle being to prevent the establishment of of an official state religion? I am not sure how printing the word "God" on currency gets us to the Church of America but I suppose the slippery slope starts somewhere - after you finally decide whose "God" you are referring to. I'd rather see more effort gone into tearing down the National Cathedral.

  • ||

    ...we should be guided by the intended principle and rationale behind the amendment rather than... what the actual drafters said they were intending

    What in the holy name of fuck does this possibly mean?

    You favor a reading of the intended principle, but you won't take the word of the people who wrote the amendment on what the principle is? Who becomes the arbiter of the True Principle? You?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I agree. You can mention god all you want. You can run for office on your Christion platform. Fine. You should be able to talk about your religion anywhere you want, as long as I'm able to get up and leave.

    Putting it on your money or in the pledge is a whole lot closer to establishment of religion than having a moment of silence in school.

    And "creator" doesn't necessarily refer to a supreme being. It could refer to physics, nature, your parents... and I believe that's why TJ used that word instead of god. The point was you have rights by the mere fact you exist, regardless of what you believe.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    er Christian

    How did my spell check not flag that?

  • SugarFree||

    It was trying to be inclusive.

  • John||

    Notice how when confronted with someone who might actually change the status quo, they immediately revert to the culture war. The culture is real. Liberals really would like to change the culture and make cultures they don't like go away. But it is also a giant distraction that gets people to vote on something besides their economic interests. Don't worry about the country going broke or various cronies stealing your money, this asshole hates God@!!! or women or abortion or whatever.

  • OldMexican||

    Through lawsuits, atheists have attempted to impose their will and remove the phrase "In God We Trust" from our currency.


    Thy Will Be Not Done!

    They have been unsuccessful so far, but to make clear America's commitment to our heritage and faith in God, the U.S. House of Representatives, as the voice of the people, voted 396-9 to reaffirm "In God We Trust" as our national motto and support the display on public buildings. Amazingly, Congressman Justin Amash voted "no".


    Amazingly, the irony is lost on the people that sent the e-mail, not long after uttering the words "impose their will."

  • prolefeed||

    It's my understanding that Amash tweets his reasoning behind every vote. An reporter doing a thorough job would have put that reasoning in this article, rather than just giving Amash's opponents POV.

    Just sayin'.

  • ||

    He also summarizes each vote on Facebook (which gives a little more detail than 160 characters). It's really not hard to find out why he votes on anything.

  • prolefeed||

    I think he just does Facebook, not Twitter. Couldn't remember which social media platform he used, and was too lazy to Google it.

    Thanks!

  • ||

    If you've ever read the Grand Rapids Press, you'd know the city doesn't have any real reporters.

  • prolefeed||

    I would vote against it as worthless and a waste of time. Or just not vote.

    Aaaand that's why you're not an elected politician (AFAIK).

    One of the more infuriating moments when I worked at the Hawaii State Legislature:

    The federal government built some monument to Coast Guard people IIRC. On the monument was a listing of all the organizations that had sent a check to build the monument. A couple of Hawaii members of the Coast Guard visited the monument and noticed that Hawaii was the only state that hadn't sent a check. These Coasties raised a ruckus, resulting in proposed legislation for the state to send the feds a check for $50K for the monument.

    I argued against it with my boss, a state senator, and the minority caucus, saying that the monument had already been built, if the check was sent Hawaii would still not be retroactively listed as a state that had sent a check, and that this was one of the lowest imaginable priorities for stolen money (I phrased it as "taxes") I could think of.

    Fell on deaf ears -- "not gonna piss off service members" was the reasoning behind this largesse to the feds. Measure passed unanimously.

  • ||

    Yegads! How could you stand it, working like that?

  • SugarFree||

    Kristen - OT. If you haven't already, watch Vikings. It has your preferred type of men in spades.

  • ||

    Been watching since the pilot! The cast is all hot - not an ugly mug on there.

  • prolefeed||

    Yegads! How could you stand it, working like that?

    8 sessions of that kind of bullshit turned me into a hardcore anarchist. Finally quit and swore I would never again work as an employee for any government agency.

  • creech||

    FDR? Bush? Invoking trust in God? So where was God while the Japs were bombing Pearl Harbor or Al Qaeda was flying planes into the
    Towers? Perhaps our trust in God is misplaced and we'd best stop electing a-holes like FDR and Bush.

  • BardMetal||

    Maybe God was respecting humanity's free will? Maybe God is a libertarian.

  • GamerFromJump||

    It's not going to matter what is on the money when no one wants to use it anymore.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement