Thursday, May 30, 2013

What constitutional changes mean



Remember how Hitler did this when considering the meaning and gravity of constitutional changes made to preserve or expand the power of a sitting head of government.

In most countries in the Americas that would mean a sitting president.

In most of Europe it would mean something more like a prime minister or (as in Hitler’s own case) a chancellor.

Venezuela? Bolivia? Elsewhere?

BooMan asks, “What’s a moderate, anyway?”


It is false to assume a single mainstream conservative (Republican) position and a single mainstream liberal (Democratic) position can both be identified regarding just any political question, according to criteria acceptable to all fair-minded observers.

Nor, if there were, would it always be clear that certain other positions on the same issues could be regarded as between the two.

All the same . . .

A centrist or a moderate (without party qualification) is someone who attempts to split the difference between the two mainstream positions on every or nearly every significant issue.

And a moderate Republican is someone who comes down at the midpoint between the centrist and the conservative positions while a moderate Democrat comes down at the midpoint between the centrist and the liberal positions – again, on every or nearly every issue of moment.

With regard to some issues this sort of geometry is not too absurd.

Think of the abortion issue, for instance.

At the left we have the standard liberal/feminist favoring abortion on demand from conception to the very end of pregnancy and increasingly daring in supporting outright infanticide at least in the case where abortion fails and the baby, contrary to plan, is born alive.

At the right we have the Catholic position allowing no abortions at all, ever, under any circumstances (and certainly no infanticides), though allowing procedures undertaken to save the mother or save her health though they foreseeably result in the death of the unborn so long as that is not the point of the effort.

But also at the right we have the (More moderate? Less extreme?) Protestant position that abortion ought to be allowed only in the early days and only in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.

At the center I suppose we could locate my own view that abortion on demand should be allowed before the fetus is recognizably a human child and after that if actually killing the child is really necessary to save the life of the mother, or to prevent grave harm to her health.

But I am not aware of anybody who actually takes this view.

On abortion, there are no centrists?

Too, after the fetus is recognizably a child, I think killing it ought to be allowed under circumstances similar to those in which euthanasia of a living infant ought to be allowed.

But I suppose that’s neither here nor there since euthanasia isn’t actually an issue in America, though it should be.

Another example might concern gay marriage.

The liberal view is that gays ought to be allowed to marry enjoy the same package of legal rights, on the whole, as hetero marrieds.

The conservative view flatly disallows that or anything remotely like it.

And the centrist (Center left? Moderate Democrat?) view allows for civil unions entailing a package of rights similar to but not the same as those of hetero marrieds, and differing perhaps with regard to such matters as the right to adopt.

But where it is only too obvious no unique mainstream conservative or unique mainstream liberal position exists the ideas of centrism and moderation have no purchase.

Consider the immigration issue on which the conservatives are split as between their Main Street version and their libertarian and Wall Street versions.

Consider questions related to marriage, divorce, and sexuality that split the Christian right from the seculars and the libertarians.

The simplistic geometry of left, right, and center doesn’t always work out.

And, anyway, it’s a myth that everybody in the country is at the same point on this imaginary left to right continuum with respect to each major subject of political controversy.

For example, as became clear during the campaign season of 2012, there are a lot of people who side with the left on taxation, earned benefits, environmental concerns, and general regulation of the economy but found Ron Paul’s foreign policy outlook far more appealing than that of any of the Democrats who sought their party’s nomination.

In fact I would guess it’s actually the norm for people’s preferences to split like that, with ordinary folk finding themselves more sympathetic to the left on some issues and more to the right on others, and rather centrist in outlook on still others.

And what is there to make of people whose views have no representation at all?

Protectionism is rejected, for example, by all but small minorities in both major parties.

Favoring that is neither leftist, rightist, nor centrist!

Hence the popular and very natural dissatisfaction with both parties, with people who attempt to run as centrists, and with the whole political process.

Hence the notorious difficulty, for many people, of making up their minds in order to vote.

Hence the many people who throw up their hands and stay home when they see they really have no issue-based or even character or personality based preference and they don’t want to vote for one or the other candidate based on haircuts or wardrobe.

(And that’s leaving aside the other, and maybe the chief, reason for disgust at politics, the astounding prevalence of dishonesty that is so habitual and widespread it has become entrenched even in the “understanding” of the constitution upon which important standing decisions are based, to the point where few would really want to face the consequences of abandoning quite all of it.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gay marriage wins out over civil unions, everywhere


Never once, in all the liberal-dominated world, has there been allowed any serious discussion of whether gay couples need or should have exactly the same package of rights as hetero marrieds.

To even suggest otherwise has been made taboo under the label, “homophobia,” and punished severely by international liberalism.

Ah, how those liberals cherish free speech!

The awesome hypocrisy of liberals


Buchanan and Derbyshire were fired within the last year at the demand of liberals whose taboos they had violated.

This woman was fired by her employers for violating theirs.

No firings, please, except for violating liberal taboos!

Anything else is a violation of employee rights and liberties of the most profound importance!

Guilty until proven innocent. Hell, guilty no matter what.


“Our minds are made up. Don’t confuse us with facts.”

Espionage, hiding behind the almighty American “free press”


Looks like Kim was a spy who made use of a wholly self-interested reporter who could not have cared less about national security interests to alert his Korean bosses of their security problem.

But even Pincus has the usual journo blind spot.

Not even a hint that it might have occurred to him journos who, such as himself, actively seek leaks of classified information, are engaged in an activity intrinsically damaging to national security.

The egregious, self-serving hypocrisy of his position, that if he seeks and gets and publishes damaging information the leak can and should be punished but he, his editors, his publishers, and his media cannot is invisible to him.

Punish the source who told one guy, the reporter.

Not the reporter who, along with his editor and publisher, told the whole world, including the people national security demanded the information be kept from.

That seems to be BooMan’s position, too.

And that’s as far as any pundit or journo has been willing to go.

The others are screaming as though nobody should be punished for such a thing.

God forbid the leaks they live on dry up.

National security?

Not our problem, man.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The possessed


See points 22 and 24.

He has no idea of the better social order to be erected on the ashes of the present and could not care less.

He only knows what he hates and wants to destroy.

Written by the Victors, no?


The spirit of Radical Republicanism lives on among modern Democrats, it seems.

Some of them, anyway.

The tendentiously named Civil War was a war thrust upon the nation by Lincoln and the Republicans, who refused to accept either the departure from the United States of America of the states of the South and their new creation, the Confederate States of America, or the continuation of slavery in those states.

Though refusing at any time to honestly acknowledge it, Lincoln from first to last rejected both and fought a terrific war to destroy both.

Had he accepted both he would have been the man who settled for what many abolitionists had claimed to want for many decades, slavery out of the Union even at the cost of losing the slave states.

But he would not accept that outcome, from first to last.

Had he rejected secession but accepted the continuation of slavery he would have been hated and reviled as a man who spilled oceans of blood for far too little or even for nothing, since the issue that had plagued the union for so long and finally led to the secession of the South would not have been dealt with.

Had he accepted secession and the existence of the new Confederate States of America but fought a war to crush slavery in what would then have been admitted to be and allowed to continue to be a neighboring and sovereign nation he would be have been reviled as a fool and a lunatic for an undertaking that would have left the United States with a permanent and bitter enemy with a border on the Potomac.

He would not accept either of those outcomes, either.

But neither Josh Marshall’s tone nor his high horse is quite in order, truth be told.

And can that display of anger and that insistence on using "rebels," "rebellion," and even "traitors" truly be sincere?

What about Marshall's assumption that the Union dead would feel as he claims he does rather than angry at Lincoln for getting them all killed in a war they wanted no part?

Does he not recall the draft riots?

And there is no reason for us to accept the Northern story, mere wartime and even post-wartime propaganda, about what happened.

Start with Lincoln’s and the Radical Republicans’ official view that secession is disallowed by the constitution and legally null.

This claim is in fact quite groundless.

The Articles of Confederation adopted by the American English colonies that had just got their independence by revolution and war declared both the union itself and continuance of the Articles as that union’s constitution to be perpetual.

Having brushed off both quite unlawfully, its authors wisely dropped both assertions of perpetuity from the Philadelphia constitution, probably not only because they lacked the stomach for such egregious hypocrisy, the questions it would raise, and the mocking laughter it would have produced but also because they feared it might be an added obstacle to ratification of the new constitution – by a wholly illegal process – by all the states and thus to preservation of the union.

As the nationalists of the convention made clear in their writings under the name of “federalists” over the ratification period, they genuinely feared the union would be split by their initiative into two or more possibly mutually inimical mini-unions, mostly though not only because of slavery.

That was a risk they were willing to take, but at the same time they genuinely hoped to save the union from immediate collapse resulting from some or many states refusing ratification as well as from eventual collapse for lack of a sufficiently powerful general government.

Hence, not a word about either the union or the constitution being perpetual, thank you very much.

But however that may be there is even less reason to go along with Lincoln’s and the Republicans’ absurd fiction that, having been illegal, secession did not actually happen.

It most certainly did, and the Confederacy and its constitution were, while they lasted, as genuine and real as the rump union of the North left behind by the secession of the Southern states.

In actual fact, the North, the United States of America, ended slavery in the South, the Confederate States of America, but its successful war for that object did not preserve the union that had, before secession, encompassed all the states.

It restored it by bloody war and bloody occupation, though the victorious North forever refused to admit that’s what it had done.

Perhaps we should re-think our entire view of the Civil War and the subordinate question of memorials to the leaders and soldiers of the South in this light.

And why does any view have to be “our” view?

Whose view is that?

As to Marshall putting the blame for all the dead on the leadership of the South, the truth is that secession was a peaceful process and Lincoln chose war, not the Confederacy.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be OK with that.

But that's what happened.

And Marshall's veiled claim that we whites of the North ignobly obtained our ease and the peace of the renewed union by betraying, selling out, or wronging the freedmen is downright offensive.

The men of the Northern armies died to end slavery and force the states that had been the Confederacy back into second-class membership in the union, with state governments imposed upon them by the North and on terms dictated by the North.

That the whites of the North chose not to continue the bleeding for additional decades to force upon the South a degree and type of racial equality acceptable to JM was not a sellout, a betrayal, or a wrong but only a refusal to spill more of their own and their children's blood in that cause.

But JM is a true, interventionist liberal, and he is always willing to denounce on moral grounds - baloney, in itself - those who refuse to get themselves killed for the good of others on his say-so.

And that makes him every bit as bad as the Cold War liberals who demanded our boys die for the Vietnamese right alongside the Cold War conservatives who lied our boys were dying for America.

There have always been far too many people willing to arrogantly demand Americans die on their command.


What if neither the USA nor the CSA felt strong enough to strut the world stage?

What if neither had jumped into the European war of 1914-1918?

Would the Kaiser have been driven out and so badly beaten Hitler would rise to power?

With no Hitler (and no Stalin, maybe?) would there have been a Second World War?

Would there have been a Cold War?

Would either have involved us?

Seems like the world could have been a better place, a more peaceable place.

Maybe.

Coming on the heels of a few high-profile liberal attacks on the racist sausage-fest in the national Statuary Hall, this bit from JM indicates a new front in the culture war.

Expect to see more.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Seculars versus Christians



The Christian churches say not only homosexuality but any sexuality outside of a lifelong monogamous marriage, and any sexuality not at least "open to reproduction," is unnatural.

That notion is and has always been deranged and anti-human hogwash.

What is clearly against nature is childhood chastity forced to continue right through the most inflamed years of adolescence.

That period of life is as close as humans ever get to being in rut, in heat, chronically possessed by desire just about 24 hours a day, every day.

A world of adolescent abstinence is not a fantasy.

It is a horrible, inhuman nightmare of torture, guilt, self-loathing, and the deepest, bitterest, and most damaging frustration.

It will remain an unhealthy deprivation all their lives long, but sexual abstinence among humans when young is a profoundly damaging curse.

We are fortunate that a majority of today's Christians know celibacy is madness and childhood deprivation a stupid torture they will not, unlike earlier generations, permit or helplessly play along with.

Their preference for hypocrisy and guilt over cruelty with a good conscience to themselves and their children out of obedience to those whose authority they claim to accept is the only reason the Christian majority of our country does not overwhelm us, the numerically insignificant irreligious minority, and, imposing unrestrained clericalism, completely repeal the sexual revolution.

Another dose of realism


President Obama forgets to salute

It was a political mistake, only; and only in the lowest sense of the word.

And only because of the malice of his enemies and the fecklessness of the journo class.

It was not one of any other kind of mistake, and specifically not a mistake of protocol.

All which occasioned this post.

/ / / / / / 

Situations of special anxiety apart, when normal humans have nothing to talk about they stop talking.

Politicians and politics-focused journos don't have that option.

They have to keep flapping their jaws, the journos because they can't have dead air and the pols because they can't let somebody else take the mike, even for a moment.

But we don't have to listen.

Anyway, not yet, and not everywhere.

That's one reason why sensible people acquire the habit of ignoring politics.

Another is that the journos and pols talk such shocking codswallop when they do have something worthwhile to talk about.

And another is that we ordinary folk are only the victims of history, anyway, while the actors, those who make it happen, are monsters at worst and never better than the best roommate you ever had in college.

The journos are only the chorus.

And your roomie is out of his depth, a lamb among wolves.

Explaining the epidemic of blubber


Americans nowadays get little to no exercise at work, all day, every day.

That is a big change from the age of heavy industry, before widespread home use of washing machines and dishwashers.

We have gone so far in making our daily lives empty of physical motion that some of us have taken to paying gym membership and training fees to take up the slack, and even more spend much greater amounts on diet and weight-loss programs, most of them no better than snake oil.




Oddly, people immobilized at work are the ones most apt to stuff their faces almost constantly with junk food and eat a calorie-packed, fatty, and salt-rich lunch every day.

Followed by a very similar supper, followed again by a bedtime snack.

Deprived of its authentic raison d'être, appetite goes haywire.

Friday, May 24, 2013

And there are those who kill for lack of an identity


Writing of the two killers in Britain, Pat says,

Both killers are Muslim converts of African descent, and both are British born.

How sadly nothing you must be in your own eyes to go this far in an attempt to be something.

Perhaps it is an error to say they killed because they were or had become Muslims.

Perhaps the truth is they became Muslim killers in order to be something.

However, Pat’s topic is immigration, a propos of which he denounces as a delusion

the idea that anyone and everyone who comes here, raises his hand, and swears allegiance to the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights becomes, de facto, not just a legal citizen but an American.

Well, OK, it’s not quite that simple, but, really, why not?

It’s pretty clear Pat has it in mind that immigrants from Europe – apparently, anywhere in Europe from which immigration was legal from about 1890 to 1965 – worked out fine and would continue to do so.

It is specifically about immigrants from elsewhere that he so baldly mocks the notion that any such ceremony as the usual oath of citizenship could possibly make Americans of them.

His claims to worry that non-European immigrants might or do bring their ancestral religious, cultural, and political loyalties with them, along with whatever hatreds of Americans those might involve, are perfectly sensible.

But the European immigrants did that, too, did they not, back in the day?

And given enough generations things settled down well enough.

What he really fears is white people becoming a racial minority in the USA.

Assimilation doesn’t make racial differences disappear or racial conflicts go away.

He and the other conservatives who have expressed similar fears, from time to time, have a point.

But that point is thought-crime, as we know.

And, anyway, opposition to the current, near flood-tide of immigration is a minority view even in Pat's party.

The dominant view is the Wall Street, agribusiness, libertarian one, that we really ought to open flood-gates completely.

Nothing quite like cheap labor, and those who for inability to assimilate end up depending on the welfare state can later be used in propaganda to alienate America from it and the liberals who built it.

Very much as Republicans have for decades used unmarried, black ghetto moms with dozens of kids by different men, living on food stamps and welfare checks in public housing they and those men have turned into hell holes.

The New York Times is pleased


I left this comment.

There is a 1500 character limit.

"For the first time, a president stated clearly and unequivocally that the state of perpetual warfare that began nearly 12 years ago is unsustainable for a democracy and must come to an end in the not-too-distant future."

If we need to, America can fight for decades without the least harm or impediment to democracy, ours or anyone else's.

Repeal of the AUMF will end any legal basis for treating anyone as a combatant, lawful or not, and put all future terrorist captives in the category of lawbreakers to be handled in the usual way by the usual courts.

No more renditions, black holes, or indefinite detentions with or without harsh interrogation.

And if repeal means that in law if not in fact the war is over then persons now held in essence as POWs will have to be released unless tried and convicted for some specific crime.

None of this is or would be prudent without the sorts of changes in the law suggested a long time ago by Alan Dershowitz and others enabling special treatment for Muslim terrorists that your paper would surely do all in its power to prevent.

Too, it will mean the president can continue military action abroad, with or without targeted killing by drone attack or otherwise, against al-Qaeda or affiliated others, only so far as he is constitutionally entitled to act without congressional sanction.

Given the views of the NYT, I expect you will be castigating him for pretty much anything he might attempt, openly or in secret.

That, also, is not prudent.

Of course, the AUMF never covered all Muslim terrorists or even all Muslim terrorists operating as parts of the widespread, if loose, network of Muslim quasi-military organizations to be found all over the Islamic world.

It only covered al-Qaeda and, at something of a stretch, its so-called "affiliates" in Africa, Arabia,and elsewhere.

But those special measures I alluded to above, if prudentially justified at all, are so in connection only with such well-organized, well-financed, and dedicated terrorism.

In practice, as a rule, and at least for now, that means only in connection with Muslim terrorism conducted by any of these same quasi-military organizations, whether or not affiliated with al-Qaeda, loosely or otherwise.

That would not include, I think, the Boston Bombers or people like those two loons in Britain, the other day.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The traitor, Greenwald, speaks



Another “we deserve it, really,” from this jackass.

So many of the radical left believe today as they did during the Cold War that whatever is bad for America, capitalism, or white people is good for the world.

PM says “There is no justification in Islam . . . . “



Well, as to that venture into Muslim theology, I suppose this on-message (the universal liberal message) PM is as entitled to have his own opinion as any other non-Muslim.

But nobody actually has much reason to care about his opinion on the question, since it is what Muslim believers think that matters.

If the idea is to convince other Muslims they have no religious duty to join in the terrorism but instead a religious duty to abstain was he really the guy to convincingly deliver that message?

During the Troubles it was the pope and the bishops who tried to chill the Catholics.

And the same is true – he is the wrong messenger – if the point was to discourage Britons from thinking Islam, as a religion, is their enemy.

But if the point was to deny, to the Britons, that Muslims are at least their potential enemies much as Protestants and Catholics were that to each other during the Troubles then his message is a lie and his message is no more reliable than Chamberlain’s of “peace in our time” after Munich.

On the other hand, not every Nisei in America was a threat.

On the other other hand, as a group it seems they did pose a threat more serious than Americans whose ancestry traced back to European nations with which the US was also then at war, or than immigrants from any of those countries.

Note that when people deplore the internment of the Nisei they rarely, if ever, dispute that notion.

Instead we hear a great deal about it being unconstitutional, unjust, bigoted, discriminatory, racist, and so on.

And none of that, really, addresses the question whether it was a prudent wartime measure neither necessary nor especially useful in the case of any other ethnic group.

A day later and they still say “apparently”?



A British soldier has been butchered on a busy London street by two Islamist terrorists, one of whom proclaimed afterwards: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

The story describes one of the two as “speaking in a London accent” and “likely a convert.”

BBC says at least one is a convert.


But it all seems remarkably tentative, still.

Al-Jazeera has a somewhat different take.


They lead with this remark.

Prime Minister Cameron condemns attack in London in which soldier was hacked to death and says Islam must not be blamed.

He’s right in that, so far as one can tell from the bloody-handed one’s remarks in the on-scene video, this was about Muslim identity and Islam as a religion had no more to do with it than Catholicism or Protestantism, as religions, had anything to do with the so-called “Troubles” of Northern Ireland some decades ago.

But that really doesn’t matter all that much, does it?

If you’re a Londonderry Protestant and the Catholics side with, support, aid, and staff the IRA killers out to get you, are those Catholics less your enemy, are they less a threat because the pope and the bishops condemn the violence and publicly excommunicate IRA terrorists instead of egging them on?

So, sure, Islam, the religion, is not to blame for this.

This did not happen because the Koran is the most blood-curdling incitement to violence of the sacred texts of all the world’s major religions, nor because it is globally the most powerful and dangerous teaching document for Jew hating.

Truly, the Koran is that.

But all the same that isn’t why these events happened any more than it’s why the bombings in Boston happened.

And yet the Muslims are to blame, in the same sense as the Catholics and Protestants of Ulster were to blame for the years and years of public chaos, terrorism, and slaughter there.

Want to spare your country this sort of sectarian violence?

Don’t allow the sectaries to settle there.

Close the door to Muslim immigration until the Muslims stop hating you, or at least give up their propensities for political savagery.

Deport as many as you can.

You will still have murders and perhaps even terrorism.

But not this.

Not Muslim terrorism.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The less government power (exercised publicly on your behalf) the more corporate power (exercised privately and not at all on your behalf)



Government sets the minimum wage or employers do.

Government decides when and whether there is time and a half for overtime and who gets it or the employers do.

Government decides how safe the workplace has to be or the employers do.

Government decides how safe foods have to be and how efficacious medications have to be or their producers do.

Government ensures only people with proper training can practice medicine, the law, or any number of trades and professions or nobody does, at all.

Government imposes standards of truth, safety, and efficacy on producers or, if it doesn’t, you’re on your own and without recourse.

They don’t seem to mention such facts very often to their readers, here at Reasonmag.com.

Odd.

And who pays to support this magazine and all similar propaganda?

Oh, yes.

I remember.

No sense but nonsense. Race in America



Note that BBC accepts that the joke was a “jibe.”

It is insulting and horrifically offensive to suggest of a black, or anyway brown, person that he might like fried chicken.

Apparently the daring may suggest that about whites and Asians with impunity.

As BBC suggests, one also dare not suggest anyone who looks like a Mexican might be a lover of beans.

Not even – perhaps least of all! – when perusing the menu at a Mexican restaurant.

And watch those dangerous and downright bigoted allegations about the Japanese that some of them, at least, might possibly like raw fish, OK?

Or that Jews might have a more refined taste for lox and bagels than, say, Mormons.

Just watch it, dammit!

(Ethnic food festivals must absolutely cripple liberals with guilt.)

Surprise! Big Media’s number one concern: themselves!


Left, right, and center, the journos and bloggers have been very voluble on the White House eavesdropping on that AP reporter.

And all the noise has been angry and critical.

One might almost say apoplectic.

And the lawmakers who know what’s good for them are chiming in on the journos' side, knowing it will be remembered, when the time comes, who stood up to be counted for the interests of Big Media and who did not.

To a man, the journos and their elected allies declaim the survival of liberty, democracy, and the republic absolutely require not only that no journo ever be punished for running his mouth but also that nothing be done to inhibit the flow of leaked information, no matter how dangerous to national security.

And, hey, as to that, the journos will be the judge, and they want us to trust them to put the public interest ahead of their business or individual interests when it really counts, every time.

And if we can trust them with that, well, why exactly do we need to regulate anything any business might want to do?

Is Big Media more to be trusted in that regard than, say, Big Oil?

Come to that, why have laws at all?

Or are we really supposed to be stupid enough to think that journalism is special and what’s good for Big Media really is what’s good for America?

Well, yeah, I guess we are.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Worser, still

Our Republican Supremes handed Florida and the White House to GW in 2000, you say?

Well, his Bolivian Supremes have just given Evo Morales a big, wet kiss and a personal exemption from the two-term limit on his country's presidency.

A bullshit ruling if ever a court made one.

America is weak and needs to back off, Pat Buchanan says



Why is America weak?

Because of economic difficulties that all come down to the total unwillingness of Republicans to pay taxes.

That is the only upside of the utterly selfish intransigence of the plutocrats who own and operate that party.

What they were getting at, all along



Who says today’s conservatives are just fronting for the money interests of plutocrats with their own cable news network to brainwash idiots?

And idiots they find who long for the treatment, in great abundance.

This note about the author is at the bottom of the article.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated newspaper columnist.

Do these sad facts tell you anything?

I say they go a long way to proving the only persuasive argument for universal suffrage - that it enables the working and ordinary folk of the country to protect their interests against the great and the powerful - is not all it's cracked up to be.

Update, 052613, 0927 hrs EDT.

All right, I slipped.

The other persuasive argument for the suffrage - Taft's argument - is that popular government produces government popularity, in the sense of the word that entails acceptance, obedience, and loyalty.

As stabilizing factors these things make for order, itself for the most part better than available alternatives.

What was the point?



Of the killings of Indians, I mean?

Why did he not stop them or try to stop them, supposedly?

The revenge of the left for Latin America



The legal ruling seems to indicate part of the trial at which he was convicted needs a do-over.

Odd.

Peru: Fujimori Family Requests Pardon


Fujimori, not a dictator, was repeatedly elected by a people delighted with his successes against the Shining Path.

Our American left was pleased to see him indicted and convicted.

They are only frustrated the US, not a signatory in any case, I think, has not prosecuted anyone for actions in the global war on terror.



Human Rights Watch, eh?

Has any leftist ever called for legal punishment of the Castros or leading members of their regime?

Anybody at all of the South American revolutionary left?

I might have missed it, after all.

Glenn Greenwald’s journo priorities



The Obama administration clearly sets a higher priority on what’s good for national security than on what’s good for journos.

Not so, Glenn Greenwald, who complains with outrage that the administration is “obsessed.”

In the general run of cases, there has been prosecution of leaks but not even a hint of prosecution of a journo, his editors, or his employer.

In the present case, to get a warrant to track and examine a reporter’s emails the administration had to tell the judge he, the reporter, was possibly guilty of serious crimes.

And that they would or could even think such a thought has Greenwald and the other friends and lackeys of Big Media in a tailspin, including, this morning, the Republicans!

Notice, too, that the Post is quoted as questioning whether what Rosen did could possibly be illegal, given the First Amendment.

They do not ask whether it could be illegal, given the Espionage Act, the relevant legislation that numerous Supreme Courts have left standing and to which the administration had recourse.

The rest of the piece is just Greenwald flipping out that journos themselves could be punished for violations of secrecy.

My, my.

How special we are, we gentlemen of the press!

Not exactly in the tenther spirit, is it?



Under which of the enumerated powers of the federal congress does the Republican congress propose to do this?


Just asking.

I like the ban and I don’t mind the Republicans fudging the whole Section 8 thing on this matter.

Even though I know well they will hypocritically insist on using it against Democrats in the future, again and again, as they have for bloody forever.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pain and evil

It isn't pain that's bad but the suffering of it, the experience of pain.

And each of us suffers,  experiences only his own pain, and does so alone.

No one feels your pain but you, and the famous Democratic president who said otherwise was and is a notorious liar.

To this radical individuality of the most common and indisputable of evils corresponds the equal individuality of such goods as pleasure,  health,  intelligence,  talent, happiness,  well-being, and many others.

The experience of others is wholly inaccessible to us, however much we may as a matter of course believe in it.

That belief, after all, is rather an act of faith.

It is only our own inner life that we live.

Our desires and aversions, our frustrations and satisfactions, our passions or indifferences.

Ours is the only life we actually know.

Thus is the inveterate egoism of the human race founded in nature.

What is tyranny?



Yes, I know.

Asking this is almost as much a step into a quagmire as asking what is political realism.

All the same, given the hysterical and, one hopes, almost entirely dishonest wrath of the noisy right, unfortunately as extreme as always but no longer a disreputable, outsider fringe, according to which president Obama is a tyrant, it may help to refresh ourselves a bit on the topic.

In the ancient world, a tyrant was a dictator and “tyranny” could be given a morally neutral definition in terms of autocracy with power unbounded by law.

In most cases, ancient tyrants were usurpers, ambitious looters employing savage means to obtain and keep their power, but in some they were lawfully appointed to their office for the purpose of using ordinarily unlawful and generally, yes, savage means to rescue the state from its enemies.

The means in question in all cases made the ideas of cruelty and violence inseparable from that of tyranny, and the examples of the usurpers, in particular, tied it to the notion of exploitive purpose and, in the minds of moral believers, to injustice.

“Tyranny” was thus taken to mean absolutist autocracy characterized by notable cruelty, violence, and harshness and ruling in the interests of the ruler rather than or contrary to those of his subjects.

And, in the eyes of moral believers, ruling unjustly.

This idea of tyranny persisted through the Enlightenment and into modern times, but a look at any dictionary shows that the word is not now confined to autocracy or to government that is lawless, so to speak, on principle, and that its restriction to self-interested government has disappeared; indeed, the restriction to government has disappeared.

As is not unusual, hyperbole and metaphor have over time expanded the literal meaning of the term so that this definition is not untypical.


It is very much to the point to note well that the applicability of the term requires, even in its narrow and older sense, for instance, a lawlessness in the regime extending well beyond a penchant for official double-parking, say.

And in either the older and narrower or newer and broader usage it likewise requires cruelty, harshness, and violence extending well beyond the degrees characteristic of the ordinary run of governments.

As well as, for the moral believers, what would generally be thought by them far more extensive injustice than is typical.

On the other hand, to be fair, it is well here to recall that the regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and their like perpetrated in the 20th Century horrors on such as scale as to make “tyranny,” understood according to earlier examples, seem far too weak a word, though taken in the narrow and older sense and shorn of the requirement of self-interested rule it most certainly does apply.

The revolutionary violence and permanent terror licensed by versions of Marxism in political and intellectual descent from Lenin and aimed at complete destruction of the existing order – social, political, and economic – in sincere or pretended pursuit of a childish utopian fantasy by way of egregious anti-capitalist stupidities showed us governments far, far more violent, harsh, and cruel than any previous tyranny ever was.

And though Italian Fascism was certainly not in the same blood-soaked league as these red nightmares, Hitler’s intentions for Slavic Europe, had they been realized, would have put even Pol Pot well into the shade.



We should, I think, recognize that these examples, taking the long view of Western history, are wildly exceptional outliers and that fair application of the word, “tyranny,” most certainly does not suppose any remotely similar degree or quantity of horror.

Still, as noted earlier, one swallow does not make a summer, and it does require rather an extraordinary lot of cruelty, harshness, and violence.

And, again judging by history, in the eyes of moral believers its proper application requires clearly and egregiously exceptional injustice.

Restricting the carrying of weapons to law enforcement or others with special needs, something nearly all regimes have done both before and since the development of firearms, hardly suffices.

Nor does even banning ownership of certain especially dangerous weapons to the general public.

Generally speaking, regulation for public safety of any exceptionally dangerous hobby is obviously simply not tyranny, even according to the most lax modern usage; not even remotely.

Nor is taxation – neither cruel, harsh, nor violent in itself – to support public benefits such as parks, schools, hospitals, fire departments, highways, and so on.

Nor does the word “tyranny,” even thus loosely understood, apply to regulation of economic activity to protect employees, consumers, competitors, the environment, or otherwise the general public – again, neither cruel, harsh, nor violent in itself.

But those, of course, are the usual grounds for right-wing howls that Obama is a tyrant.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Realism and egoism

In chapter III of his Discourses on the first ten books of Livy, Machiavelli observes.

They who lay the foundations of a State and furnish it with laws must, as is shown by all who have treated of civil government, and by examples of which history is full, assume that 'all men are bad, and will always, when they have free field, give loose to their evil inclinations[.]

The first example he gives is the arrogance of the Roman nobles and their efforts to destroy the freedom of the plebs as soon as the Tarquins, who had kept them in check, were gone.

In Rome, after the expulsion of the Tarquins, it seemed as though the closest union prevailed between the senate and the commons, and that the nobles, laying aside their natural arrogance, had learned so to sympathize with the people as to have become supportable by all, even of the humblest rank.

This dissimulation remained undetected, and its causes concealed, while the Tarquins lived; for the nobles dreading the Tarquins, and fearing that the people, if they used them ill, might take part against them, treated them with kindness.

But no sooner were the Tarquins got rid of, and the nobles thus relieved of their fears, when they began to spit forth against the commons all the venom which before they had kept in their breasts, offending and insulting them in every way they could; confirming what I have observed already, that men never behave well unless compelled, and that whenever they are free to act as they please, and are under no restraint everything falls at once into confusion and disorder.

Wherefore it has been said that as poverty and hunger are needed to make men industrious, so laws are needed to make them good. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A world of differences

Those photos of high iron men moving about with complete confidence at the tops of great bridges and skyscrapers make people of ordinary courage marvel.

How superhuman, even inhuman must they seem to those with fear of heights!

Colonel Washington wrote after his first engagement in the French and Indian war that he had found the sound of bullets whistling past rather charming.

I have been told by veterans of combat most men find it an effort not to wet themselves.

And then there are the ones who are wholly overcome with terror.

As numerous or rare, perhaps,  as the fearless ones.

The British Empire, according to H W Crocker, III

A defense of eurowhite imperialism and  colonialism is certainly in order, in this age of ideologically dominant indigenista racism supported by the entire left, from the most mundane,  safety-net liberalism to the most rabidly anti-capitalist radicalism.

But this wogs-begin-at-Calais history of the world according to Colonel Blimp is not that.

Why is this part of the politically incorrect history series?

You ask that about Colonel Blimp?

And while we're on the subject,  personal experience in grad school taught me long ago that all Europeans are arrogant and rude, but the worst of the lot are not the French but the British.

And the Americans most vain of their Old Country heritage and ancestry are also the Brits.

All of them, English, Scots, and Welsh.

The Irish are all right.

But your true WASP American is almost as bad as the general run of Europeans.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The ring of Gyges

Ring of Gyges

Plato, either an extraordinarily brilliant, talented, successful, and influential moral believer or history’s most successful fraud, in The Republic puts in the mouth of his own brother, Glaucon, a little story that Glaucon believes to show any man who thought he could get away with it would be unjust.

The ring of Gyges makes the wearer invisible when the head is turned to the inside of the hand.

Masked by anonymity, the hypothetical wearer of the ring is expected to behave without regard to justice, however rigidly just he may ordinarily be.

Both he and the lookers-on in the story are represented as holding the supposed moral properties of things, actions, and men as of no account.

And Plato's mouthpiece, Socrates, does not contradict Glaucon’s implicit claim that the on-lookers in the tale are typical of the general run of humans, in these regards.

All the same, neither here nor elsewhere does Plato ever seem to contemplate the obvious explanation that moral terms denote nothing, that there simply are no moral distinctions, truths, considerations, or facts for us to take properly into account, and that morality is just a hocus-pocus of social control that is not entirely successfully in duping even the crudest and least educated of people into obedience "when the cat's away."

Wikipedia quotes Jowett, 360b-d,

Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice.

No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a god among men.

Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point.

And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust.

For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right.

If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another's, he would be thought by the lookers-on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another's faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice.

You could email this to Al Sharpton, if you wanted



And every liberal blogger and news source that went positively bonkers about Trayvon Martin.

But they’re all deaf in that ear.

Why we need an official secrets act



The Booman has his thoughts to which I link above.

And I have mine, here.

JOURNO (to President): 

Have there been any foiled terror plots lately?

PRESIDENT:

Not that I know of.

WHITE HOUSE LEAK whispers (to Journo):

Psst! Hey, the president is holding out on you. Here’s a juicy scoop with all the details.

JOURNO (to White House leak):

Hey! Thanks!

JOURNO (to Editor):

Hey! Look at this juicy scoop and these cool details! Wow! Do you suppose it’s newsworthy?

EDITOR:

You bet! Stop the presses! This goes to the front page!

JOURNO (to Editor):

Uh, wait a sec. Maybe this will spoil an on-going security operation? Maybe even blow the cover of a helpful agent? Maybe get him killed?

EDITOR (shrugs):

Damned if I know and it’s not our job to give a shit. Stop the presses!

I think a little national security censorship is in order, don’t you?

I really don’t care how important a bunch of media moguls think they are or think their businesses are, or how impressed they are with themselves, or how sure they are their judgment ought to prevail.

I realize every liberal in the world hates it, but Wilson’s Espionage Act is still with us, I believe, and probably ought to be aggressively enforced.

OK, as Hugo Black used to ask re the First Amendment, the press, speech, and the federal government, "What part of 'Congress shall make no law' do you not understand?"

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

But to hell with that.

Nobody has taken the First Amendment that much to heart since the administration of John Adams.

A little prior restraint is exactly what’s called for, and if need be Mr. Obama can pay about as much attention to the constitution and the Supremes as Abraham Lincoln did, during his war.

Libertarians and neo-Confederates are such jerks about these things.

As is the White House and as are the liberals in the senate.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bon appetit!


Suicidal to eat out.


Meals average more than half the USDA recommended 2000 calories a day.

Also,

In addition, the meals typically contained 151 percent of the daily amount of salt a person should ingest daily, 89 percent of the fat recommended per day, 83 percent of daily recommended saturated and trans fats, and 60 percent of the cholesterol one should have daily.

Would this even be constitutional?



No journo will ever say it's not.

Benghazi was going flat and they need to keep the initiative, dominating the press with scandal



I surf Republican sites as much as Democratic ones and the front pages of the red sites are flooded with a vast outpouring of screaming accusations, demands for investigation, and talk of impeachment.

These guys just can’t go a second term with a Democratic president without going into full psychopath mode to ensure nothing useful gets done and the press is constantly dominated, not by news of the president’s initiatives and achievements, but by stories about their accusations and White House scandals.

In the present case, it looks like some folks at the IRS did behave, or misbehave, as alleged.

There’s always that little kernel of truth, you know.

Remember that Clinton did actually perjure himself.

The Republicans did not just make that up.

And he, the Democratic president, was the shameful liar when he insisted, "I did not have sex with that woman."

On the other hand, special IRS scrutiny is something only a professional politician - that is, a profession crook, liar, and tax evader - would treat as so big a deal when directed at political actors for political reasons.

As for the rest of us, do we not consider it an old story when prosecutors, having decided they want to sock it to someone they can't touch for his real misdeeds - or anyway for whatever he actually did to piss them off -, arrange for intensive scrutiny of everything about him, looking for a way to slam the guy?

Remember Al Capone?

Or, for that matter, remember what the Obama administration did to their Benghazi patsy, the guy who made that Mohammed video?

And don’t we in fact hope that each party will make a special effort to hold the other and its partisans to account, convinced as we are that each party will let its own members and partisans slide quite a bit more than we would like?

If a Democratic administration doesn’t closely scrutinize the propriety of tax exemption for right wing groups, who will?

No, probably not the Republicans, I would guess.

And, no, eternal caterwauling and demands for impeachment over relative trivia for the evident purpose of sabotaging a presidency are not what we mean by holding the other party to account.

Sorry, no, that's not it.

By the way, this also contributes wonderfully to right wing, long term, deep propaganda of mistrust and hatred for the federal government, for Big Government, for taxes, for the IRS, for Democrats, for progressivism, and for liberalism.

See the hot topic of "paranoia," for instance, now bruited at NRO in The Corner, at Human Events, and elsewhere.

He cut a deal to avoid the needle.



Prosecutors were going to try for death, but agreed to accept lwp provided the deal included loss of any right to any future appeal.

Not sure how much sense that makes, but there you have it.

The enemy within



Thought and speech crime are defined by professional liberalism and its favored client groups, who without exception assume the pose of victims and use it for intellectual and political terrorism ordinarily short of actual violence.

Nobody outside of America is the most constant and serious threat to American freedom of speech or of thought.

Nearly all of the danger comes from within, and it is a royal pain in the butt and a deliberate assault on democracy.

Still, Charles Murray is full of beans, pretending that thought and speech crime in America are recent inventions of the left that have ruined an academic, political, and general culture that, back in the good of days of the 1950’s and 60’s, basked in the sunshine of uniform and universal liberty.

He is completely ignoring the Cold War phenomena of the McCarthy period when it was the right that terrorized the left.

And in his absurdly celebratory allusion to the First Amendment and ratification of the Bill of Rights, he ignores that it was only the federal government that people denied control of speech or the press, reserving exactly such control as the time-tested and valued prerogative of the individual states.

Not to mention the almost immediate betrayal of the First Amendment by the Federalist Party of John Adams, the then party of the right, with its Alien and Sedition Acts aimed at silencing the voices of the Jeffersonians, the then party of the people.

True enough, the shoe today is on the other foot.

But it hurts badly enough not to exaggerate and pretend this is the only shoe that has ever pinched.

The fine political art of apportioning blame.

Republican who'd like to arm fetuses claims 'Democrats worship abortion'

Like the most violent elements of the criminal underclass, especially if they are black, women who will go to any lengths to murder their babies are always the victims when their choices go badly.

Laura Clawson, feminist defender of woman’s most sacred right – that to slaughter her children at will before they emerge from the womb to look mommy in the eye – writes, employing the customary and contemptible lie that the issue is women’s health,

If we actually had taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, in other words, poor women wouldn't be forced to turn to butchers like Gosnell, who operated in the kind of conditions that women seeking abortions routinely faced pre-Roe—the kind of conditions that would once again be the most common abortion experience if Stockman's goal of criminalization became a reality.

Not that Stockman [a Republican she is attacking in this post], who voted against not only the bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act but voted against the restrictive Republican VAWA as well, gives one shred of a damn about women's health.

No doubt kiddie-rapists feel much the same about the dreadful conditions under which a bigoted and hateful society forces them to seek their pleasure.

Politicos scare me to death

Frances Moore Lappé on generating political energy with 'good news'

FML is a vegetarian crank and has been all her life.

Having failed to persuade any significant number of people to live as she would like, she aspires like all good political activists to use the power of the state to force people into line.

She is, in short, a public enemy.

And she wrote a book to cheer up and cheer on others of her ilk.

Per this post at KOS, it’s called “EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want.”

The wildly anti-democratic, authoritarian, and even totalitarian impulses of full-time, life-long activists put them in company with Islamofundies who want to subject the whole world to Allah, with old-fashioned trots, anarchists, and commie types who, like Carlos in Paris, think of themselves as “professional revolutionaries.”

If people like that don’t scare you, they should.

They are way too interested in making the whole world dance to their tunes – by shooting at feet, if need be, and in their eyes there is always need.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

He so deserves to have that shoved in his face, the hypocrite

Time to ask Obama about Gosnell

He needs to be challenged on this, again and again.

And I write this as a Democrat who voted for him twice and who supports his current efforts at gun control.

I even support the right of parents jointly – not women alone – to decide on an abortion at will when the pregnancy has gone on for too short a time for the fetus to be recognizably a human baby, whether or not it is in some sense viable at that point

But not after that, when I think no effort to actually kill the unborn child should be allowed except when the condition of the child is such that euthanasia is called for or it is literally true that only a procedure resulting in the death of the child, and not its simple early removal alive from her body, can avert the death of the mother.

Late term abortion at will is no more acceptable than infanticide at will, and no one who claims to be concerned with protecting children should defend it.

Worse still, no one who makes that claim can refuse protection to children born alive who have been targets of failed legal attempts at killing through abortion.

And yet our president has done exactly those things.

He is just that infuriating and outrageous a hypocrite.

Familia es todo



For some people, tribal loyalty isn’t the main thing.

It’s the only thing.

Considering what they did to Derbyshire and how quickly they did it, I doubt they’ll hold out long




How firm can be the spine of a defender who writes anything as silly as this?

In modern America it is axiomatic that “racism,” whatever it is, is wrong — and this is a good thing.

How does he know it’s a good thing if he does not know what racism is?

How can he or we be confident racism is wrong, in that case – let alone accept it as “axiomatic” that it is wrong?

Against opponents like these, the liberal witch-hunters and PC thought police have already won.

Anyway, note well that VerBruggen is not defending Richwine’s actual thesis, but only his right to advance it and defend it without penalty and without fear of losing his job.

And that not so much because he cares what happens to Richwine, in particular, but because of the chilling effect of such events on free and honest scientific investigation – not, by the way, because of the chilling effect on free speech among the laity, the throbbing heart and life’s breathe of democracy and the foundation of political liberty.

A chilling effect that is, of course, desired and intended by our liberal thought and speech police.

Oh, yes, I know, saying racism, or anything else, is (or is not!) wrong is talking nonsense.

So?

One speaks with the vulgar.

See the posts labeled "amoralism."

Update 5/15/2013.

For the past few days, NR has been adding articles by different people defending Richwine and people have published defenses at other conservative sites.

So I take it back.

Somebody might even give him a job.