Saturday, August 31, 2013

Whatever floats your boat?

Luke Chrisco.

Google it.

Action short of war

The professional lefties at KOS quote with approval a lefty law professor who quotes Obama in 2007 pontificating that, except in case of imminent or actual threat to the nation, the president has no authority to launch a military attack.

We are not even remotely faced with such a threat from Syria.

But that restriction is nowhere in the constitution.

The constitution reserves the decision whether or not to go to war to the congress, which is to make that decision through a formal declaration of war.

If such a declaration seems inappropriate for the limited action contemplated then that action is not a war and congress does not get to make the choice.

Harry Truman fought a war in Korea without any sort of express congressional OK, and that was unconstitutional.

What Obama did in Libya was in the gray area.

A limited action of the kind contemplated for Syria is by intention and design well short of war, and so this is not strictly congress's call.

The president has done everything possible to make sure everyone knows that he intends only a punitive strike - which is all GW should have done about 9/11 in Afghanistan, by the way.

He could do this on his own, though not consistent with his remark of 2007, referred to above.

But the risks are too great not to seek and abide a congressional decision.

Not only the risks of another outright war and spreading chaos in the region but of the political ruin of his second term.

There are real dangers of disaster and impeachment.

At this moment, many people across the political spectrum are insisting any military action at all, however limited, without congressional sanction would be unconstitutional and an impeachable offense.

Of course, no one is thinking of a declaration of war.

Not even those who want a war.

A resolution or even something much lower key than that is all most of these folks have in mind.

But their claim is untrue.

They are looking at the made up constitution, with its "resolutions authorizing the use of force," that the classe politique has agreed should govern such things since the end of the Vietnam War.

The constitution according to which congress has to OK not only outright war but any lesser action, given the exception noted by Obama, with a degree of gravity and formality proportionate to it - and in no case is an actual declaration really necessary.

Given all which, it would be much better for the region, for America, and for himself for Obama to climb down.

Yes, I agree it would be nice if we actually had such a constitution, provided our rulers would abide it.

But that wouldn't happen, anyway.

Update, Saturday, 08312013 1620 hrs EDT.

Obama will seek congressional approval.

Boehner's office issued an approving statement irrelevantly reminding everyone congress has the constitutional power to declare war.

I doubt anyone will remark on that irrelevancy since everyone is agreed to deny it, though congress will not in any case declare war and no one, apart perhaps from the president, would be more surprised than Boehner if it did.

Surprised and alarmed, since everyone is perfectly clear a war is certainly not what's wanted.

It is said O's administration continues to maintain, all the same, that he can constitutionally act without congressional leave, despite his theory of 2007 and the nonsense now in vogue.

Correctly, I think.

Much better not to, though, as I noted above.

Indeed, much better not to do this, at all.

And congress may refuse its permission.

I hope it does.

And I hope he then abandons the project, though he may feel instead compelled to go ahead for fear of lending weight to a constitutional theory he now denies.

Update 09012013 0833 hrs EDT.

A number of politicians, pundits, and editorial writers have now registered concern lest the president lend credence to that theory - his own theory of 2007.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Live according to the customs of the country

The advice of the skeptical philosophe.

The point is not to change the world, but to understand it, so as to live as best one can.

You might have thought, in the nature of the case, the skeptic does not understand it.

But that would have been wrong.

The advice of the Epicurean was not much dissimilar.

Live un-noticed.

Cultivate your own garden.

Nor very different from that of the cynic or misanthrope.

Just my luck

I voted for Nader instead of Kerry in 2004 because Kerry was too bellicose.

So who is Secretary of State, giving 9 reasons for war in 2013?

Shit.

I don't want a new deal.

I want a new deck.

We need a whole new classe politique.

But we'll be stuck with this same crop of jackasses until they die out, replaced by the next crop, in a natural progression that dooms our generation for all its time in this world to having to choose among them.

Barring a well-timed and well-placed tsunami or a lucky hit with an asteroid.

God.

To be doomed all our lives to being governed by these lice.

Incitement to hatred is what the left does

Political engagement is mostly not a product of love but of hate.


The preferred target is white people through hysterical accusations of racism, but second best is white men, then Christians, then capitalism, Wall Street, corporate America, and just America, in no particular order.

Even the neocons don’t want it


He’s right on all points except the supposed need for regime change.

It would likely just make things worse not only for Christians but all Syrians, bigoted Muslims included, and certainly for Israel.

And anyway it's none of our affair.

Too, note the insistence on consultation of congress.

Both Bushes actually did get congressional OK for their neocon wars.

Obama blew off the congress in Libya and looks ready to blow them off, again.

Careful of the Christians, now.


Perhaps he is thinking this is a fight brought on by Muslims and between differing factions of Muslims, with the Christians of the country victims of the violence of both sides.

That sounds basically right, but in any case I suspect Obama and others considering action don’t view it as a mission to rescue Syria’s Christians.

Syria has some 2.5 million Christians in a population of about 20 million.

On the other hand, in many places around the globe action to stop or frustrate Muslim terrorists or Islamist forces really is a sort of rescue mission, aimed at saving non-Muslims from Muslim violence.

By no means everywhere, of course.

And most of the Muslim violence we hear of is Muslim on Muslim violence.

But in many places, it is exactly that.

It makes you wonder how far American supporters of the global war on terror and the associated military and intelligence struggles see the thing as a whole as a vast outburst of Muslim violence aimed at non-Muslims and, most concerningly, in many places specifically at Christians.

Well, that is certainly not an incorrect description of the “clash of civilizations” that has dominated international politics since the end of the Cold War.

And that is certainly the viewpoint of the ultra-hawks at Front Page, Jihad Watch, and other venues where the whole business is seen primarily as an outburst of Muslim violence and aggression against people who are not Muslims, worldwide.

Those are the folks who see the struggle as, whether Obama likes it or not, a global war of self-defense against Islam, uniting the interests of all its targets.

The point they miss, of course, is that the US is very far, indeed, from the Muslim world and would not be a target of Muslim violence, at all, were it not for our endless interventions there, mostly on behalf of a tiny European settler state that would be one of their targets whether or not we chose to be its bodyguard, as we have done.

Anyway, are Paul’s remarks supposed to be a subtle reminder to Christian Zionists and other Christian supporters of neocon Hawkery and liberal interventionism that, so far, all our democracy-favoring or tyrant-punishing interventions in the “Arab Spring,” or in the earlier neocon wars, have done nothing but bring down worse persecution and violence on Christians living in Muslim lands?

Possibly a hint that, if their real concern is for the safety of Christians in Muslim lands from Muslim violence and oppression, maybe they ought to be opposing still more clumsy American attempts to control events there?

Just a thought.

What’s up with that taboo?


Over the last several days some on the left and some on the right have expressed bemusement that over a hundred thousand killed in the Syrian conflict by other means provoked no intervention but a few hundred killed by gas, perhaps by the government, seem to some on both sides an unacceptable outrage calling immediate attack, by us, on the government.

A lot of this is probably just faking by people who have wanted us to intervene, all along.

And the attack itself may well have been a rebel provocation.

A careful America tells Obama to cool it


It’s pretty depressing that per the poll per KOS, 58% of those polled agreed "The use of chemical weapons by any country is a 'red line,' that is an action that would require a significant U.S. response, including the possibility of military action."

If our leaders are always sticking their noses into trouble all over the world, it’s not in the face of a people seriously committed to a Little America policy of minding out own business.

Not matter what people say when asked that question straight out.

Better late than never


I commented on Booman’s post,

Better late than never to join the club of those worried about what too many decades of "win at any cost" politics are doing to American government.

The Supremes were always the worst offenders and became the most constitutionally disobedient branch, and a spectacularly disobedient branch, with the numberous [sic] and actually rather shockingly revolutionary decisions of the Warren and succeeding liberal courts, continuing to our own day.

As for presidents, the Democrats have probably been the biggest offenders, over the long haul, too.

Nobody ever topped Wilson and FDR for stomping the constitution during wartime, and nobody ever topped Truman either in autocratic foreign policy or at home.

Sure, the Republicans had been constitutional fakers throughout the Lochner Era.

But the Democrats turned it around in 1937 and have been running with the ball, ever since.

Federalists and anti-federalists


From the first day under the Philadelphia constitution right up to the start of the 20th Century, there have been in American politics a nationalist party standing for an omnicompetent central government assigning the states a weak and strictly subordinate role opposed to an anti-nationalist party standing for weak central government and strong state governments.

The Philadelphia constitution itself represents a compromise between nationalists who wanted a much more centralized national government, the states left a distinctly subordinate role if not abolished altogether, and the anti-nationalists many of whom would have preferred the Union continue under the Articles of Confederation and some of whom even refused to sign the new constitution they helped to write.

At the beginning of the life of the new republic, the nationalist party was the Federalists and the anti-nationalist party was the Jeffersonian Republicans, renamed the Democrats in the early 19th Century.

By the end of the Civil War the party system had altered and Jefferson’s Republicans had survived as the Democrats while the Federalists had disappeared, replaced by a new nationalist party, the Republicans.

Both parties have continued into our time, but at the turn of the 18th to the 19th Centuries, with the rise of progressivism, they began to swap roles, with the Democrats favoring strong national government fostering the progressive agenda and the Republicans moving into opposition to defend laissez-faire – a process much accelerated by the Great Depression and the four term presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

After the Second World War they continued the process of swapping post-Civil War constituencies during the civil rights struggle, the Democrats becoming the party of choice for American blacks and other non-whites and the Republicans become more predominantly a white party.

And at the same time they swapped regional bases, the South being the stronghold today of the Republicans and the rest of the country being divided between crossover states and others more or less dominated by the Democrats.

Of all this history, Ann Coulter in Mugged sees only that from the Civil War to the height of the civil rights clashes of the mid-20th Century the Democrats were the party of white supremacy, segregation, and Jim Crow while the Republicans had crushed slavery and struggled mightily during the Reconstruction decades for legal and social equality for American blacks.

In truth, the principal opposition to the civil rights revolution came from the Democrats of the southern states, while the movement was relatively firmly supported by the Republicans and rather less so by liberal Democrats, though by the 1960's Lyndon Johnson, previously a defender of segregation, had become a supporter of civil rights.

Here we are barely into the second decade of the 21st Century and the Republicans are revisiting the positions of the pre-Civil War Jeffersonians.

Why the big exchange of positions, by the way?

Before 1900 strong national power was a tool for the rich and business interests against ordinary folk, at the time yeoman farmers.

After that strong national power was a tool for for the ordinary people of America, in ever larger part employees of others, against the rich and business interests of the country.

It took Herbert Croly about 600 pages to trumpet that change, in 1909.

American blacks being overwhelmingly not among the rich, it has behooved them to remain in the Democratic fold long after the battles over segregation and Jim Crow were fought and won by them and their allies.

With few exceptions, the same has been true of other minorities and notably so of Hispanics.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

See that the laws are faithfully executed

CNS today reports the IG says the IRS intentionally hindered efforts by the Social Security Administration to stop illegal aliens using fake or stolen SSNs in tax returns.

Were you expecting, or anyway hoping,  for Social Security checks in your old age?

This might not be good.

Do you think Holder and Obama will jump right on it?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jeremiah Johnson

An excellent film that left viewers wondering why it was made.

But, up to a point, I sympathise, and always have.

An urban hermit, I follow with my almost equally un-sociable wife Voltaire's misanthropic advice to cultivate one's own garden, though he most certainly did not follow it himself.

A choice made all the more comfortable by the Internet.

Thank you, Al Gore.

;-)

The Year of Living Dangerously

The movie dates from 1983.

Can it really be 30 years since this came out?

Can I really have been 34 when I saw it at the theater?

And I can't remember with whom.

Who was I with, then?

Anyway this may have been the last time it really made sense for the US to aid Muslims to political power, even against communists.

This time in Indonesia, I mean.

Even though things are a bit dicey there, now, owing to increasing Muslim radicalism.

Later, Reagan helped Muslim fighters in Afghanistan throw out the Russians and their client communists and we got the Taliban for our trouble.

And then al-Qaeda.

It's not even clear this was better for the Afghans.

And I who say so am a lifelong anti-communist!

Ann Coulter: Mugged

Loaded with choice facts succinctly put, seen through a grid of "interpretation" so bizarre as to suggest LSD.

Yes, that's what happened but, no, that's not it, at all.

Off to a good start, though.

Right off the bat she attributes the disasters of black culture to that of the American South in which they have been "steeped for centuries."

Horrific ways she traces to the Celtic fringes of the British Isles, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Nasty and stupid ways she contrasts with those of the English settlers of New England, industrious, peaceable, and literate, that she traces to East Anglia.

She must have laughed, thinking of the looks on the faces of Pat Buchanan and Jim Webb, Scotch-Irish ethnic patriots of the Appalachians.

The bio at Wikipedia says she has been criticized for her Christianity and her remark that Jews need to "be perfected" by conversion to Christianity to be saved.

The Jewish host who elicited that remark by flat asking her condemned it as anti-Semitic.

The noisy folk of the left generally seized the occasion to bash her for this orthodox remark, damning her for ignorance, intolerance, stupidity, and bigotry.

Some Jews have condemned as anti-Semitic prayers for the Auschwitz dead by Catholic nuns.

And others have positively derailed in reaction to Mormon posthumous conversion ceremonies.

(When I first heard of them the very thought made me smile.)

I am reminded of atheists who resent it when people pray for them.

Others sincerely wish you well according to their lights and try to do you good in ways that are harmless, and so you resent it?

As my mother would say about an unsuitable gift, "It's the thought that counts."

The Wikipedia bio says she somewhere wrote or remarked that the current US immigration policy and repeated amnesties of vast waves of illegals are partially aimed at reducing the percentage of whites in the American population.

Insightful and irrepressible, she is.

Loony, sure.

But insightful and irrepressible.

Death to Nidal Hasan. Let’s hope it doesn’t take forever to get it done


He killed 13 and wounded 31.

He only regretted he didn’t kill more.

But the military services are out of practice.

Says the story, “The U.S. military last executed a prisoner in 1961.”

There are five men on military death row, at least one since the 1980s.

A military execution requires a death warrant signed by the president. 

GW signed the last one in 2008, but he left office and that guy was saved by a temporary reprieve. 

He is still on death row, waiting. 

Libertarianism and colonialism

I am not at all sure how libertarianism handles political issues inherent in colonialism, though I am fairly sure there is nothing in its doctrines of property or government to prevent it.

Imagine highly advanced nation A begins to settle and economically exploit more or less empty parts of faraway geographic region B, the whole of which is somewhat sparsely inhabited by several peoples of a stone age, semi-nomadic, and essentially hunting and food gathering culture.

So great is this gap, in fact, that there is no role in the settler economy that could be usefully played by voluntary native labor; and there is no question of the settlers using involuntary labor.

To prevent conflict with competing advanced nation C, A declares the whole of region B subject to its control.

This has little impact on a few of the indigenous people, and none on nearly all.

The indigenous culture and economy are as close to totally untouched as makes no difference.

The power in B of nation A is mostly used to keep out those competitors, mentioned above, to prevent occasional thefts of settler property or attacks on settlements by indigenous individuals or groups, and to provide police and government for nation A’s own colonists.

It is not in any sense used to govern the indigenous peoples who continue to live according to their own ways, subject to their customary leaders, however formal or informal.

Eventually, the settlers of nationality A in B achieve independence and sovereignty with regard to nation A, continuing their mutually useful economic and cultural relations.

Meanwhile, life goes on for the indigenous of B much as though nothing had happened and the alien civilization of the settlers has no significant impact on them or their ways, and vice versa.

Having had no political role in the originally colonial government of the region by nation A, the natives now have no role in the “national” government of the new settler state of B, controlled by the settlers from A and their descendants.

I gather there is nothing in libertarianism that would prevent the settler society from simply ignoring the indigenous society or societies in region B, forever.

And yet I cannot imagine liberals accepting such a situation for any length of time.

Martin Luther King, white people’s preferred black leader

A thought came to me when listening to Mika B on Morning Joe as I drove to work today, talking about MLK's "I have a dream" speech and the recent commemoration of it.

It was from the beginning, and still remains, only too evident that many whites who opposed some or all of his methods or agenda nevertheless praised MLK on every suitable public occasion because they deplored the likes of Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver, and all their epigones, and only too rightly feared their influence on the black people of America.

Cleaver was a leader of a terrorist group built on hatred of white people and dedicated to violence against them and what was called in those days "the white power structure," The Black Panther Party.

Malcolm X, an uneducated criminal and ex-con, was a leader of the hate-based, wholly fraudulent black nationalist religious movement, The Nation of Islam, which he had first learned of while in prison, now led by the equally hateful, but less frightful to whites, Louis Farrakhan.

(Reputedly, Malcolm, as he was known, despised MLK and spoke with contempt of the civil rights movement he led and, in particular, derided the mass meeting at which the "I have a dream" speech was given as well as the content of the speech.)

To this day, Malcolm is a hero among the black people of America and, like Che among silly, fellow-traveling, or communist whites, appears on walls and T-shirts of black college students.

This goes far to explain the enthusiasm for King's "I have a dream" speech – and an extraordinarily fine speech it is, of course – displayed by white people opposed to everything in it not achieved by the collapse of legally mandated segregation and universal compliance with the 15th Amendment.

The fundamental truth is that nobody in America of any race supports the whole agenda advanced in that speech but the most orthodox of liberals and others to their left.

As for Dr. King's opponents, to this day, there are no conservatives of any race known to me who do not deplore all forms of affirmative action and, since they oppose the whole of American social democracy, every social democratic measure urged by King then or his followers since.

And there may even be conservatives (or others!) now alive who oppose the rest of King's agenda, not only legally compulsory integration of employment and public accommodations but also voting for Negroes everywhere in the country and the end of legally mandated segregation.

There certainly were on the day he made that speech, and by no means all of them were of the South.

It is notorious, for example, that during the civil rights struggle William F. Buckley, Jr. insisted upon the right of the whites of the South to maintain their political dominance, even where they were a minority, so long as blacks were "culturally inferior" to the point of being insufficiently competent to participate in the minimal responsibilities of democracy, such as voting.

But he and many others like him never climbed on the King bandwagon, no matter how much they deplored Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver or feared their influence.

His magazine even very late into the 20th Century, at least, opposed making MLK's birthday a national holiday and continued to deplore his life and career, as well as those aspects of his agenda unlovable to fiscal conservatism.

In the new 21st Century, invited to recant, Buckley instead insisted he had been right.

All the same, more Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and both were passed in response to King's powerful influence.

The winds of change were blowing very strong, indeed, in those days.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rousseau, l'etat civil

Chapter 1.8.

In passing from a state of nature to civil society each gives up natural liberty limited only by his natural force and an unlimited right to whatever he can get and keep for positive property and civil liberty under the General Will.

Not as different from Hobbes as all that, or as Locke.

Reality based news media


That’s the PC thing to do.

There has been no surgery, you understand.

Not even hormone therapy.

There have been no physical or biological changes.

"The Associated Press will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning and female pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman," the August 26 announcement reads.

If he had expressed a wish to live as Abraham Lincoln would they be calling him "Abe"?

If he had expressed a wish to live as a parrot would they be calling him "Polly"?

Depending on his mental state, it might be prudent and merciful to address him as a female.

But AP and the Times are not addressing him.

They are addressing us, and we don't have any delusions about this fellow's sex.

Do we?

Pat steps up

Another liberal coup in New Mexico


Given how little what it actually says matters, why do we have a written constitution?

And given how little the judiciary cares about them, why do we have legislatures, elections, plebiscites, and so on?

I lose track.

“He said he had it coming.”


Per John Amato quoting Digby quoting Rick Perlstein, Ronald Reagan said MLK had it coming, referring to his assassination.

Actually, it would have been every last Democrat from Dixie jumping up and down and shouting that, right out loud with no pussy-footing, back in the day.

No citation is given in support of Perlstein’s exact allegation, but I suppose it could be right.

This is Perlstein, as quoted, as quoted.

He said he had it coming.

He said, "it's the sort of great tragedy when we begin compromising with law and order and people started choosing which laws they would break."

Conservatives have never at any time been fans of disobedience as a tactic for forcing government to comply with the wishes of those doing the crimes, whether “civil” or not.

Most of America, at the time, disapproved as well – though very likely most of black America was actually wavering between King’s non-violence and the rioting and murder they would later engage in, while probably nearly all of white America vigorously disapproved.

As to the left, well, as far as they are concerned, anything that works is fine, as we know.

They have no real respect for the integrity of the process, here in America, nor for the democratic will of the people, nor for the constitution.

They are the ones who said back then and have said every time since those days when blacks riot in an orgy of violence against whites that we whites have it coming, America has it coming.

When Rev. Wright shouted “God damn America” Bill Moyers responded, “That’s right!”

And then there was the Kerner report.

So there you have it.

What am I? Chopped liver?


And Fox seems fine with that.

No worries about constitutionality?

Or will they start yelling about it as soon as something happens, as they did in the case of Libya?

The story says David Cameron has to get a parliamentary OK and the US wants to do this through NATO.

Not one word about anyone seeking a congressional resolution, much less a flat out declaration of war.

And the UN?

No idea.

I have checked several major liberal sites this morning.

Not one word about all this.

What the hell?

Common dreams, more radical than liberal, is the only site yelling about war without congressional authority being unconstitutional.

KOS has got excerpts from and links to the broadly supportive liberal establishment press.

We have to save the world from moral obscenity, you know.

I am not aware the Republicans, or the conservatives, are trying to stop this.

Update 08282013 2039 hrs EDT.

Over a hundred Republican legislators and just under 20 Democrats have written to the president insisting he cannot act without a congressional mandate. 

Why not all of them? 

Of course, from the sound of things he isn't planning on war.

Though he may find he lacks the spine to back away, in the event. 

End update. 



Out of the mouths of loonies come occasional true things


Dennis Prager is just tired of it all.

Another war


That flaccid noodle in the White House has let himself be pushed into another stupidity for which we Americans will be urged by the moron patriots among us to thank yet another posse of enabling volunteers who will get themselves maimed or killed killing and maiming in a fight that is none of our affair and can do us no earthly good – nor the Syrians, most likely.

And how far we are from old days, with that huckster, that careerist, that anti-warrior at just the right time, John Kerry, lecturing on "moral obscenities."

He of the "me, too" tough guy campaign of 2004 so absurd I voted for Nader.

In 2000 I had voted foolishly for GW because Gore was an arrogant blockhead and GW promised a "humbler," less interventionist foreign policy than Clinton's.

That worked out as well as a peace vote for Wilson, FDR, or LBJ.

Says the story,

U.S. officials say an attack on Syria isn't imminent, because it will take time to make all the information public, and preparations must also be coordinated with allies. 

The U.S. is also unlikely to attack while a U.N. weapons team remains in Syria — and it isn't scheduled to leave until Sunday.

They do not say an attack is not coming, and that does not seem very different from saying one is coming.

In a passing nod at the constitution, airy consultations of some sort with the Congress are in the offing.

Well, that's better than Truman ever did.

PS.

How many times do we need to prove at the outset of this new century that we can easily overwhelm regular forces but we cannot finally defeat irregulars in a Muslim country using means acceptable to ourselves.

Could we make a desert and call it peace? Sure.

Could we turn Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan into glass-surfaced ash trays? Sure.

But what would be the point, apart from setting a historic world's record for genocidal atrocity?

(Sound like Vietnam? You bet.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tribal antipathies

It is an error, a distortion, and a slander to insist that the neighbors who dislike you are to be regarded as mass-murdering lunatics, genocidal slaughterers.

We could say the same for those who liken your Presbyterian neighbors who play the pipes and dance at the annual Highland Games to Nazi, Aryan supremacists out to reduce all Slavdom to Helotry.

But that is how post-WW2 liberals have taught us all to condemn the mildest of anti-Semites, the most pacific of racists, the least aggressive of nationalists, and at last the Zionist partisans of a frankly Jewish State in Palestine.

And to refuse the truths in common stereotypes for no better reason than that they demand it.

Except for the tribalisms of non-Europeans, for which they have great indulgence.

Meanwhile, an explosive suggestion


Not that it seems to be helping a lot, but it does keep numerous Black Studies Departments in funds and their faculties in employment.

Who else signs up for that stuff?

OK, George Will, broken clock


The look on Donna Brazile’s face is priceless.

Will is basically right, though few will admit it because it’s sure hard to see how that’s white people’s fault or could be fixed by some liberal spending program.

On the other hand, give them time.

The liberals will come up with something that addresses both points.

C&L thinks Will is outrageous.

Many bad things are neither un-freedom nor unconstitutional


Though MLK said so, saying didn’t make it so.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. 

This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. 

It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.

How not?

He cites three particulars.

But these three things are not un-freedom and if overcome no one would be the more free for that.

Well, the first two, anyway.

His description of a purported third lacks all but emotive content, anyway.

Correction,  08282013, 2007 hrs EDT.

Ah, a reference to racial exclusion of blacks in employment and public accommodations.

Not unfreedom and addressed by legal compulsion, long since. 

End Correction. 

The first has been a done deal for a very long time.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

He goes on to a manifest falsehood.

Likening the Declaration’s assertions that all men are created equal and have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to a check written to its people by the nation’s founders he says, for the black people of America even up to the very day on which he spoke, it has been a “bad check” returned for “insufficient funds.”

So far as I can tell, the equality asserted in the Declaration excludes hereditary monarchy and aristocracy as well as slavery, insisting upon equal rights of “all men,” particularly including the three cited, but no more than that.

And no state when King spoke denied black Americans that equality or those rights, which do not exclude either legally mandated segregation or private (or public) discrimination.

On the other hand, the courts at that time had for long tolerated various mechanisms by which the 15th Amendment guaranteeing voting rights to the freedmen was frustrated.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Efforts to make that stick during Reconstruction failed and were eventually abandoned.

That would be fixed during the 1960’s.

King in this speech threatens,

[T]here will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

But those had not been withheld, though for long the Negroes of America had been denied the equal protection, the very literal equal protection of the law, fruitlessly guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

That, too, was ending.

He goes on.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" 

We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. 

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

As to that about brutality, he was mostly in the right.

But in part this was a complaint against arrests intentionally sought in an extensive and well-publicized campaign of civil disobedience directed against both legally mandated segregation – pretty much torn apart by Brown and its judicial echoes and expansions – and legally allowed private discrimination in public accommodations.

And as to the latter, there was nothing in the constitution to guarantee access, regardless of race or other factors, to anyone.

Still isn’t.

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

As to the first, he was on solid ground and had a valid complaint.

As to the second, well, really?

Later, expounding on his dream, he writes,

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

To which one can only reply that so long as crime and other statistics show an unfortunate correlation between skin color and highly undesirable character content, judgment concerning the latter will not be entirely separated from the former.

Magnificent speech, of course.

Common purpose? Sacrifice? Unifying national goals?


Should people be jabbering like that all the time in a free country?

If we are free, doesn’t that mean it’s perfectly normal and expected that we are not living to suit or advantage someone else, that we do not submit to somebody else’s – or, perhaps, any – cause, and that our purposes are optional, self-chosen, and quite our own?

In a free country, isn’t the “national goal” only to keep us safe in our freedom?

National goals and grand causes enslave each of us to whoever bellows loudest and most urgently, demanding we submit, follow him, and sacrifice whatever is needed for the sake of his national goals.

Goals involving imposition of rules to live by, ordinarily.

His rules, those of his god, or those of his ideology.

Lately, when people yell about national causes and sacrifice, they do not merely want to impose on us, though.

They want to use us, our lives, our power, and our wealth to impose on others, half-way around the world.

Phooey.

That, in a free country?

Russians right again

US military intervention in Syria would 'repeat the mistakes' of Iraq war, Russia warns

They and the French warned GW not to do it, back in the day.

He ignored them and conservatives went wild mocking France and pushing "freedom fries."

And going on two trillion dollars later, all pissed down a hole, things are just as bad as the French and the Russians and many, many Americans warned.

Do we really need to make the mess bigger?

All this poison gas stuff is too corny for words, anyway.

Huge numbers of civilians have already been killed in this war by other means, and neither we nor the Europeans have budged.

So a few hundreds, maybe, have been killed by gas - and why believe we really know by whom? - so now we all have to get stupid, again?

Let's not.

Did “The Butler” do it?


Paul Begala says AK in a video pledged “to serve our president and all mankind.”

Really?

And Begala praises him for that, as did, apparently, Sarah Palin.

Sure.

Sign us all up to be slaves of Big Brother.

So we, too, can by hard work continue “the never-ending task of perfecting our nation.”

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bald chimpanzees

If the realities of sex don't convince you of our animal origins nothing will.

Unless,  .  .  .  , well, unless any of a great many things is (or are) true, incompatible with what is called "natural history," in one or another respect.

Phenomenalism, say.

Or, more drastically, solipsism.

Imagine foundationalism built on sand.

Or marsh.

And the upper stories pretty dubious, too.

All the same, everything goes as if  .  .  .  .

Well,  sort of.

A world record?

CNN today says there is a kid in Saudi Arabia who weighs 1,345 pounds.

He is only "between 18 and 20" years old.

This is not permission to eat.

From sparse to ubiquitous

Minorities previously invisible in American pop culture are now over-represented.

Women are over-represented in positions of power, the military, the police, and so on.

These sins against the truth are regularly projected into the past, except when the point is bashing white people or men.

Hollywood at work.

Compulsory integration

CNS reports the DOJ is trying to stop Louisiana issuing school vouchers in districts under desegregation orders.

To recap the history, legally compulsory segregation has - falsely - long been held unconstitutional.

Government action against so-called "de facto segregation" is and has always been legally compulsory integration.

No one has said, so far as I know, that forced integration, whether or not at the hands of the feds, is itself unconstitutional, but that is an interesting thought.

It has always been seen as an outrage of judicial despotism - well,  it's usually some court behind it -  by most of the public.

And this business takes that compulsion to another level, as the kids say.

It appears Louisiana parents, given a chance, send their kids to racially homogeneous schools of their kids' own race.

White parents?

Black?

Both?

The story isn't specific because neither politicians nor journos want to be honest about what is actually at issue.

Why is legally compulsory integration a good thing, again?

It's certainly not what the people want, and never was.

In past polls, parents of all races have opposed compulsory integration and preferred segregated schools.

Just more liberal authoritarianism.

MLK III is a liar and a racist

It is racist hate speech and a bare-faced lie to say Trayvon Martin, shot in self-defense by a white man, was murdered because he was black. 

He was not murdered at all.

Who murders blacks in America?

Who murders anyone in America?

Mostly, just blacks.

The black crime rate is so astronomical that, even given how small a part of our population they are, blacks force our national rate way above that for white nations, generally.

Was the anniversary of the "I have a dream" speech a time to speak the truth about race in America?

Sure.

But what this race-baiting disgrace did instead was lie.

Is America a white nation?

Is America a Christian nation?

Only a very ignorant person or a PC liar would deny such glaring demographic, historical, and cultural truths.

Things that are not freedom

Political liberty is not equality.

Freedom is not wealth, prestige, rank, or power.

Individuals, groups, and peoples are free who are not ruled by others in certain specific, familiar, and recognized respects.

A slave is not free.

A prisoner is not free.

A nation subject to another is not free.

A people excluded from self-rule, denied democracy, is not free.

One is not the less free for being among those excluded from racially, religiously, sexually, or otherwise exclusive institutions.

One is not the less free for being unemployed, poor, ignorant, or stupid.

One is not the less free for having unfree or even slave ancestors, as we all do.

One is not the less free for being black in a white land, or white in a black land.

One is not the less free for minority status.

Clearly, an individual, group, or people can be free in some respects though not in others, and in many it can be a matter of degree.

Where women are not slaves and have the vote and the common political rights, feminism is not about freedom but power and even privilege.

Globally, today, blacks in white lands have no more freedoms to win.

Though whites, and blacks as well, have many freedoms to win in black lands.

How is it that The Telegraph is confused about these things?

They deserved worse

See this at the Telegraph.

Gotta love that official secrets act.

I'm only disappointed they didn't arrest Greenwald, his editors, and his publishers.

What's a prat?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Citizen Obama

Long lawless in foreign affairs, the imperial presidency is morphing into a lawless autocracy.

Democrats, I among them, screamed "presidential absolutism" when GW penned his signing statements,  indicating his role as Decider extended to deciding what a law might really mean, what in it might be or not be law, and both how and whether to enforce it, in letter or in spirit, in whole or in part.

Obama has gone GW one better.

He skips the signing statements, and plays fast and loose with laws in place before he was.

Think DOMA.

Think immigration.

As for enforcing laws that don't exist, think gun law, environmental law, and the defunct Voting Rights Act.

The judicial dictatorship of runaway Supremes is at least excusable on a plea the constitution is rigged against democracy and very difficult to change - at least, if the faking favors what's popular. 

Does it, generally? 

Well,  no.

But for well over half a century it has favored the liberal agenda. 

And this novel, runaway presidency?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Are dummies better off among smarter folk?

Smart people will push dummies out of leadership positions and out-shine them in competition.

But societies progress and gain a whole lot from that, though the egos of the dummies are hurt.

Provided they are not cannibalized, figuratively or literally, the dummies are all the better off for it.

Does this have anything to do with the real world?

Oh, yes.

On the other hand, as civilization progresses and becomes more reliant on technology, there could be a problem.

At the extreme, in the far future, the last advance in robotics made by humans will put the last human out of a job, leaving a society of robots doing all the work and doing everything so much more cheaply - if only because it takes less to produce a robot and keep him running than it does a human worker - that humans live lives of blessed, or accursed leisure.

But long before then the demand for the labor of stupid humans could shrivel first and pretty fast, so that in each generation more and more humans are too stupid to be employable in straight-up, fair competition against other humans and available robots.

Creating a politically volatile situation.

Are we, in fact, already there?

Will it only get worse as the stupid are much more fertile than the smart?

Or does the problem solve itself because, as the smart are less numerous and society becomes dumber, the threat of progress making human workers obsolete recedes?

Mother Jones next?

To an article there expressing the moral urgency of the army providing both hormone therapy and "sex-reassignment" surgery (as if you could actually do that) to Bradley Manning I added a comment asking how much they would spend to convince a man who wanted to be a dog they were doing their best to make it so?

I expect to be banned for even asking such a horrifically insensitive question.

She was snookered!


Quoting one of the more transparently absurd not-guilty pleas I have ever seen, David at KOS, where I HAVE BEEN BANNED AND CANNOT COMMENT, explains it really was all just an innocent misunderstanding.

Too much education is a bad thing


Equal access is one thing, broader or universal access is quite another.

Colleges and universities expand to satisfy demand, and if that means radically watering down education or selling trivial voc-ed stuff and calling it “professionalizing” – there didn’t used to be schools of journalism, for example; hairdressing, next – they will do that.

A gigantic waste of national and personal resources.

Universal high school is already a waste.

Huge numbers of people are just killing time after they've learned to read at about the 5th grade level, say.

Considering the threat level, what did you expect?


The internet has become an effective and valued tool of terrorism, war, espionage, and treason.

It would be absurd and irresponsible if American security services, and those of other good guy governments, did not jump on it and do their level best to be on top of it.

Just as it would be absurd and irresponsible if America did not keep on top of advances in chemical and biological warfare, despite the stupidity, or treason, of the professional left.

I would have left this comment at KOS, but they have BANNED me.

Am I cruising for a bruising? Or, as they reputedly say in Texas, looking to get shot?


Steve M takes the liberal view.

See the comments, in which I dispute that view.

(So did Duffandnonsense.)

A little more of this and I will likely be banned from Steve’s blog.

I would regret that, I confess.

Still, I will not be intimidated and will be silenced only by the flat out, pre-emptive censorship of blocking access.

Still the indispensable nation

Obama on CNN

That’s the Communist News Network, for those of you not in long-term communication with the right wing noise machine.

Anyway, President O is about as clear as can be that he’s not a Little America guy.

He’s a liberal interventionist kind of guy, the kind who quibble with the equally quibbling conservatives about a few tens or hundreds of billions in the intervention budget over a ten year spread, routinely, just for show.

De Gaulle famously said, having been told he was indispensable, that the cemeteries are full of indispensable men.

And history’s dustbin is full of indispensable nations, friends.

The world can and will get along without us, eventually.

It can and would, now, if we walked away.

And wants to.

Only a little less disappointing to the further left – and I must admit I, too, am a bit concerned – the president said the NSA is doing a swell job.

So there will not, evidently, be a lot of reining in of the Bush/Cheney policies that were excessive and absurd everywhere else, and so very likely excessive and absurd in this, too, did we but know.

And he warned of a “definitive” American response to events in Syria and in Egypt, where Islamist democratic forces are currently losing to relatively secularist, pluralist, and anyway anti-Islamist, anti-democratic forces, those of President for Life Assad in Syria and those of the generals in Egypt.

The better outcome for the US and for Israel would be for the anti-democrats to win decisively.

Not to mention for the peoples of Syria and Egypt, whose express political preferences in the matter are divided and, on the Islamist side, stupid, cruel, or both.

The president, perhaps, will join the loonier neocons and the sweet-talking liberal interventionists in agreeing that an anti-Islamist victory would be best in the short run while insisting on taking a longer view, in which, according to them, experience and the cares of actually governing will naturally moderate the democratic Islamists and take the blood-curdling edge off their internal and external views and policies.

Pretty much what fellow traveling liberals used to say about the red regimes they favored.

Heck, people used to say it about Castro, for example; and about Soviet Russia.

As to the chemical weapons thing, the president is playing along with the idiotic liberal morality for which some weapons causing horrific death are verboten while others are, morally, perfectly fine.

And who knows?

Just as he really is a race man, despite his carefully cultivated appearance, he seems really to be a pretty lefty guy, in his heart of hearts.

So maybe his subscription to those taboos is sincere.

But he talked out of the other side of his mouth, too, affirming the primacy, for him, of American interests in the region – What are they? Are we not only spinning our wheels, at best, using power to preserve power? – and the security of our bases there.

On the issue of student debt he deftly pretends to stand in the middle, between spendthrift liberals and niggardly conservatives.

The King above the fray, always looking to what's really best for the country.

But, of course, intervening in education, or in the education market, at all is a liberal thing.

Particularly given the point is to diminish inequality.

Revenge of the main stream media?


Two black teen males, one white victim.

Is it me, or have the main stream media decided to give more than usual prominence to black on white crime stories, for a while?

The kind they usually bury, Lord knows why.

So is this their unsubtle way of trying to restore some small shreds of reality to the picture of interracial violence America carries around in its head?

Or at any rate the picture the media present?

If so, they will have to show, what, thirty to fifty black on white murders for every one story about a Trayvon Martin?

Anyway, even the little blip of truth we’ve seen in the last couple of days has been way too much for the liberals who scour the media clean in their own image.

One more such story and the howls of racism, stereotyping, bigotry, and the like will reach the moon.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fukushima worse than admitted

So says BBC today.

Imagine future disasters poisoning the planet, wiping out all life.

I won't live that long.

You might.

Gender is a matter of grammar. Sex is a matter of biology.


Reality based, are they?

Not for the first time, liberals have a desperate need to pretend reality actually fits their fantasies.

So if I told you I was a fire-plug you wouldn't lock me up?

You would agree with me, and try to make everybody respect my decision to be a fire-plug?

Well, that might actually be the kindest thing.

Harmless, to think you're a fire-plug, I suppose.

Only more reason for liberal fury


Liberal poster boy hero wants to be a girl.

Facing 35 years in prison, not clear how much it will matter.

Liberals have professed to admire Manning's dignity and courage, comparing him to runaway Snowden who refused to stand trial and take his medicine, as required by the official ethic of civil disobedience.

They have denounced the sentence as excessive and the original charges as outrageous.

And they are still denouncing the nasty conditions in which he was held, pre-trial.

It appears not to have occurred to anyone that solitary confinement might be the only reason Manning lived to face trial.

Would he not have been an easy and tempting target for horrific mistreatment and even murder, had other prisoners been able to get to him?

The Chris Lane shooting in Oklahoma


Liberals pour out their anger against conservatives who, outrageously, have suggested the killing was racially motivated.

From the first day and even now, they denounced Zimmerman as a racist murderer, with no shred of evidence and though he had good reason for wonder about Trayvon Martin and even to shoot him.

For the liberals, Zimmerman was white, Martin was black, and that was enough.

But now?

Conservatives have actually cited evidence of their claim the murder of Lane was motivated by racism.

At least one of the three killers had expressed his hatred for whites on the web, somewhere.

Not good enough for John and friends, though.

No sirree.

Proof?

Liberals are now saying one of the three (a light skinned black?) is “clearly a white male.”

No kidding.

So, what’s their point, really?

Killer A is white so killer B, who is black, can’t have committed this crime out of racial hatred of white people?

Killer A is white so killer A, himself, cannot have been motivated by hatred of white people that he shared with his two black buddies?

That he could not have been that impossible thing, a white who was a black wannabe and thought this murder would be a great way to prove himself?

Codswallop.

But liberal fury is limitless at those dirty, rotten conservatives for even DARING to SUGGEST this was a black on white racial killing.

Moral Authority is a figment of liberal propaganda


Someone asked me how long Newtowners would act like they had some kind of moral authority on gun issues. I don't know the answer. Does the moral authority of John Lewis or MLK have an expiration date?

Moral authority?

That means liberals will really yell at you if you don’t treat them with absolute reverence.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why ban?

Because of profanity, obscenity, or vicious ad hominem attacks?

Because of wild polemical style?

No.

Because the site is liberal/conservative, the articles/posts are liberal/conservative, and the comments must be, on the whole,  the same?

Yes, indeed.

But at liberal sites my comments look like conservative protests and at conservative sites they look like liberal protests.

As befits an honest individual.

And so I am eventually banned.

Oh, all right.

I suppose some honest individuals are down-the-line liberals or conservatives.

But not many, and damned few.

And not me.

Truth or consequences

Pretty much nothing of John Locke's political theory - involving a fantasy contract built around a fantasy of rights and justice - is true.

But its historical influence has been mostly positive.

Much, though by no means all, of what Marx taught was true.

But his historical influence has been much more devastating than the worst plagues and natural disasters of all time, taken together with Atilla the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Adolph Hitler.

Some time in the 70s , looking back at the Vietnam War era, a liberal friend pointed out the venality and corruption of Ky, Thieu, and Sihanouk, as though that settled the whole thing.

I pointed out that a government can do much, much worse to its people than rob them, and that communist governments always did.

And then there was Pol Pot, in case Mao or Stalin were not enough to illustrate the point.

I opposed the Vietnam war, but not because I was squeamish about the governments we supported or the methods we - or they - used.

Better a puppet kleptocratic dictatorship, I thought, than an honest and indigenous revolutionary totalitarianism.

Better for the Vietnamese.

Or the Cambodians, come to that.

Communist governments were by no means all equally awful.

And the Cambodians, of course, were vastly better off after the Vietnamese reds rescued them from the Khmer Rouge.

Nobody else was going to save them.

Certainly not that unspeakable bastard, Kissinger.

So it was a lucky break for them when the Vietnamese knocked off the Khmer Rouge to please the Russians, to annoy the Chinese.

Has any religion ever been as devastating for mankind as communism has been, I wonder.

I am guessing not.

As Nazism, yes.

As all forms of fascism, yes.

As communism?

I think not.

Whose Black Book could ever equal The Black Book of Communism, which I still have, in paper, in the original French?

Manning gets 35 years

About right.

Snowden, Assange, and Greenwald, next.

Go get 'em, Barack.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Torn


3 black kids decided to kill someone for laughs and chose a passing white guy.

The implications for race politics are all too obvious.

Hence the few liberals who have referred to the story as proof of the need for gun control left the race of the three unmentioned.

Will there be nationwide protests of black hatred for whites?

Will president Obama go on TV to say the victim looks like his mother?

Will anybody point out this sort of thing explains why EVERYONE crosses the street to avoid on-coming black youths?

Or that these guys tell you what you need to know about why black neighborhoods are as horrible as they are?

Nah.

This is turning  into a bigger story every day, nationally and internationally.

As it grows it's going to get to be somebody's fault.

If I were a betting man, I would bet the blame would be firmly pinned on America's white people.

Banned at Townhall!

Can’t be for profanity or unduly aggressive tone.

Has to be substantive.

Too bad.

So, two liberal sites ban me, now, and one conservative.

Frankly, I expected better from the conservatives.

They’re quite bad enough without lying about it


Hanson writes,

A day late and a dollar short, we piggybacked on the Arab Spring in Egypt, damning the damnable Mubarak without much thought of who or what would take his place.

The result is that a kleptocratic dictatorship gave way to a one-vote/one-time Muslim Brotherhood theocracy — and then full circle back to the familiar strongmen with epaulets and sunglasses.

That bolded accusation has appeared in several pieces in NR and elsewhere in conservative media.

One vote one time?

I am not aware of any solid evidence that the government of Morsi, with or without help in the streets from the Muslim Brotherhood, was about to replace democracy with either outright dictatorship of the customary Egyptian presidency for life.

Maybe I missed it.

Which is not to say I had not read of Morsi's departures from constitutional rectitude.

Documenting the atrocities of the Brotherhood unbound, NR has been agitating for more forthright American support for the generals, against the Brotherhood.

Monday, August 19, 2013

And the enemy is?


Cusack is excellent in this kind of thing.

Of course, with him it’s always the same.

In any movie featuring both bad guys and agents of the US government, the agents are the bad guys or they're as bad as the gad guys.

[Update. In this case the not-really-worse-than-our-side enemy is just called "the other side."]

And they’re not always rogues.

So it’s the US government that’s the bad guys.

Cusack is by no means alone in this.

Those are the films we get from Hollywood or wherever.

I sometimes think it's because we have run out of usable enemies.

Sitting here in the Western Hemisphere, an ocean away from anybody who could or even might want to make trouble for us, the US has no enemies that are not enemies of choice, selected for our globalist interventions and wars of choice.

And lately our enemies of choice are people it is not politically acceptable to all or even most Americans to so regard.

Who could be our problem, after all?

Muslim terrorists?

Islamophobia, Zionism, etc.

Russia?

Why is Russia a problem, or our problem?

China? Korea?

Why are we in the Far East, anyway?

Well, that will piss off the brotherhood


Friends don’t let friends rot in prison.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Du Contrat Social

Rousseau says at the outset that man's first law is to look out for his own conservation, his first cares are those he owes himself, and as soon as he reaches the age of reason, being sole judge of the means of his conservation, he becomes his own master.

How like Hobbes he sounds.

But there are many differences.

For one, Hobbes everywhere repeats the evils of anarchy are worse than the worst despotism.

Rousseau stoutly maintains tyranny can indeed be worse than anarchy.

He reminds us the slave is governed and lives or dies for his owner's good.

But legitimate government is erected by a people for their good.

Not an easy distinction for either Rousseau or Hobbes to maintain given, as they both say, people accept imposed rule so as not to be killed.

And that is exactly Seneca's - and Rousseau's, and Hobbes's - understanding of how people become or remain slaves.  

For another,  Rousseau denies the state of nature is a state of war, pitting each and every against each and every man - basing this on the unfortunate and false claim that war is a relation only among states, because "among things of diverse natures there can be no true relation."