Friday, February 5, 2016

Unnecessary, useless, and failed

MK Ultra, Vietnam, and enhanced interrogations.

The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have so much for which to thank the national security heroes forever righteously bawling about existential threats and demanding wars, crimes, and atrocities in the name of national security.

Real patriots will always stop at nothing and save us all by any means necessary.

And we know how good they are at deciding what's necessary.

And useful.

It was necessary and useful to kill Diem but not Castro.

To fight to keep communism out of Vietnam but not Cuba.

And on and on.

What do we think of the CIA and our whole bloated national security apparatus?

Necessary?

Useful?

Watching Granite Flats.

Ideology on the left

About that ideological thing.

Hillary is a progressive.

Bernie is a social democrat.

Progressivism is about harnessing capitalism to the public good and stopping capitalists running it exclusively for their own benefit, to the general harm.

It accepts inequalities of wealth and power and dispersed private ownership of the means of production as well as all other significant institutions in the belief capitalism and its market economy conduce to the general good when properly regulated and given limited forms of post-market redistribution.

It accepts only very limited and exceptional public ownership of significant institutions like schools or hospitals, and rarely if ever tolerates exclusive public ownership in any industry or line of enterprise.

But even non-Marxian socialists agree with Marx and the left anarchists in seeing private ownership of the means of production as civilization’s original sin, the primal and founding injustice of class society.

“Property is theft,” as Proudhon put it.

So, though details vary a lot, socialism, to the utmost contrary of progressivism, is about abolishing capitalism in the names of equality and justice and, usually, replacing private institutions with public ones, even at the cost of real losses in society’s overall economic success, though sometimes in the false belief than not much of a sacrifice would actually be necessary.

Social democrats are socialists in their hearts – often broken hearts - who have resigned themselves to smallish steps that uphold the socialist ideal and take society further in the direction of socialism than progressives would, on their own, want to go.

For Europeans, Bernstein is their model, not Lenin.

For Americans like Bernie it’s not Lenin, either, but Debs or even Harrington.

American publicists and politicos have done their level best to obscure and blur these differences.

But they remain.

PS.

Most non-Marxist socialists are and have always been clear that socialism is not and does not spontaneously become or lead to anarchy, despite the entire tribe of Marxists from Karl himself through the Leninist succession insisting on the ludicrous delusion that it does, some excommunicated dissenters apart.

PPS.

There are other differences between the two, outside our domestic politics.

Here is a piece at Salon that illustrates the point.

Think especially about the Chilean coup and what the two candidates' retrospective views on that event might be.

Krauthammer on the threat to the GOP

The ‘Establishment’ Nonsense

CK is an ideologue and his version of conservatism is the neocon one: Wall Street interests will dominate at home and The War Party will dominate abroad.

A party office holder, elective or not, might have thought that a threat to the party would be a threat to its officials to win and hold offices.

The priests and publicists of the conservative ideology (or "ideologies") see things otherwise.

The threat to the GOP posed by the Trump insurgency is not that he’s anti-establishment. 

It’s that he’s not conservative. 

Trump’s winning the nomination would convulse the Republican party, fracture the conservative movement and undermine the GOP’s identity and role as the country’s conservative party.

. . . .

The Iowa results clarified the dynamic of the Republican race. 

There are only three candidates in the race and, as I argued last week, each represents a different politics. 

The result is a three-way fight between Trump’s personalized strongman populism and two flavors of conservatism — Marco Rubio’s more mainstream version and Cruz’s more uncompromising take-no-prisoners version.

In the present article he understates the differences between Rubio, a War Party man and a deal maker, and Cruz, less globalist and a bomb-thrower.

Not to mention that Rubio is constitutionally eligible for the presidency while Cruz is not.

This prediction offers what seems the most likely scenario.

We can now read the Iowa results as they affect the Republican future. Trumpian populism got 24 percent, conservatism (Rubio plus Cruz) got 51 percent. 

There will be a spirited contest between the two conservatives over who has the better chance of winning the general election and of governing effectively. 

But whatever the piques and preferences of various “establishment” party leaders, there’s no denying that either Rubio or Cruz would retain the GOP’s fundamental ideological identity. 

Trump would not.

This, too, rather regrettably.

What Iowa confirms is that whatever beating the “establishment” takes during this campaign, Republicans are choosing conservatism over Trumpian populism by 2 to 1. 

Which means their chances of survival as the party of Reagan are very good.

Last week, CK commented on his 'druthers.

He had this to say.

Cruz is a genuine conservative — austere, indeed radical, so much so that he considers mainstream congressional conservatives apostates. 

And he finds Trump not conservative at all, as he is now furiously, belatedly insisting.

That means Cruz is a bomb thrower, a pro-government shutdown, pro-debt default kind of guy.

He and his like have been repeatedly cheered on to smash the state by such voices of true blue conservatism as George Will, Pat Buchanan, and of course CK, himself.

Our author continues.

My personal preference is for the third ideological alternative, the reform conservatism that locates the source of our problems not in heartless billionaires or crafty foreigners, but in our superannuated, increasingly sclerotic 20th-century welfare-state structures. 

Right, the source of our problems is that Granny can still afford cat food on her Social Security budget, and can still afford prescriptions under her Medicare plan if she cuts all her pills in half.

But she can't afford to see her doctor or be hospitalized for anything at all because she has no savings (her 401k went belly up) and on Social Security alone she can't afford the premiums for a Medicare Advantage plan to cover the whopper physician and hospital costs Medicare alone still leaves the old and the desperate.

Their desperate need for reform has been overshadowed by the new populism, but Speaker Ryan is determined to introduce a serious reform agenda in this year’s Congress — boring stuff like welfare reform, health-care reform, tax reform, and institutional congressional reforms such as the return to “regular order.” 

Paired with a president like Rubio (or Chris Christie or Carly Fiorina, to go longshot), such an agenda would give conservatism its best opportunity since Reagan to become the country’s governing philosophy.

My own preference would be that Trump win the GOP nomination, thus loosening conservatism's grip on that party and hastening the return of Eisenhower-Nixon Republicanism, and then lose to Hillary in the general election.

I say Hillary because, though Bernie wants to strengthen both Social Security and Medicare for all the elderly while she does not, I fear his Quixotism would undermine both and perhaps Obamacare as well, and maybe discredit the Democrats in the eyes of a public far more centrist than he is.

Ancestry dot com

Anybody who believes what those frauds say when it contradicts family lore is an idiot.

It's all over the Internet that these guys are worthless.

You could be Vito Corleone and they'd tell you that you're a Scot with no trace of anything Mediterranean.

Utter eyewash.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Stop the madness!

As the party most committed to denial of reality becomes more powerful, crazier things happen.

We could have nipped this in the bud, but instead the progressives supported women's suffrage for the sake of prohibition.

But it turned out they didn't really need it for that, and in the end that cause was discredited, anyway, as well.

Please jail this guy for something !

Shkreli laughs off questions from lawmakers, calls them 'imbeciles'

And his abuse of the Fifth was contempt of congress.

White people deserve to be hated, especially the men

That's how liberals react when somebody protests the hatred and vilification of white people by blacks.

They explain why it happens and why it isn't racism by pointing out that white people deserve to be hated.

It never occurs to them to cite this rushing sewer of hatred spilled out on America and endlessly justified by liberals and Democrats or people speaking for them as a reason for white America's broken heart or why white Americans vote so heavily Republican.

Too, and at the same time, few people have noticed until quite recently that the white people who flipped to the Republicans in reaction to the hatred expressed for them by Democrats are not conservatives and, as they become a bigger factor in the party, are pushing it away from conservatism.

Those voters didn't get their way in Iowa, but they might yet in New Hampshire.

But if the minnows drop out and only one man is left standing against Trump and that man is a conservative, will the white refugees from the Democratic party be numerous enough to make The Donald the nominee?

More where that came from

Paris attack leader said he slipped in with 90 extremists

Elephants in the room this election season

Hillary could be indicted any time.

Ted Cruz is not eligible, having been born "an anchor baby in Canada."

As to this, who was it who said that if somebody offers you money, take it?