Sunday, August 26, 2007

The problems that Democrats have

David Brooks does an excellent take down of the pseudo-science that thinks that the Democrats should always be winning. In his opening, Brooks notes that Democrats just don't understand why it could be that:
Serious thinkers set to work, and produced a long shelf of books answering this question. Their answers tended to rely on similar themes. First, Democrats lose because they are too intelligent. Their arguments are too complicated for American voters. Second, Democrats lose because they are too tolerant. They refuse to cater to racism and hatred. Finally, Democrats lose because they are not good at the dark art of politics. Republicans, though they are knuckle-dragging simpletons when it comes to policy, are devilishly clever when it comes to electioneering. They have brilliant political consultants like Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, who frame issues so fiendishly, they can fool the American people into voting against their own best interests.

To say that the Democrats are condescending is woefully inadequate. Remember the book "What's the matter with Kansas?" Why didn't the writer do another book "What's the matter with the people who live in D.C.?"

Further proof that the narrative is more important than the facts.

The Problem with Liberals

At the above link, is an excellent analysis of the problems with those people who call themselves "liberals" but are instead no different from fascist jack booted thugs.

I really liked this in the introduction:

In fact, considering that I was raised as a good Democrat and a proud liberal, it pains me to have to admit such distaste for the current state of liberalism. But how can I remain silent when so many people tell me that they agree with my ideas, but are afraid to speak up for themselves because of the names they will be called? How can I remain silent when I have a position of power to defend myself, and I know that young people in colleges across this nation are afraid to turn in papers that contradict the liberal social agenda of their professors? How can I remain silent when there is so much at stake?

Week after week, I endeavor to write columns which raise questions and propose answers. Week after week I am told by my liberal friends that my questions are foolish and my answers are stupid. Yet I wait in vain for anyone to read my last two columns on global warming and show me where I went wrong. What I hear instead is that “all” the climate scientists in the world agree that global warming is man-made and ruinous, with the implication left hanging or spoken aloud that I am supposed to shut up, get in line and do what I am told.

Read the whole thing. It does clarify that the word "liberal" has been hijacked.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Good read

The essence of good literature, is to point out and make obvious, that which you already know, but that you forgot that you know it. Peggy's essay at the above link is a reminder of what we all too often forget: The Americans are basically good fair and decent.
I know that some are too quick to point out Abu Ghraib, and Guantanomo. Both of these seem to be more the aberration than the rule, yet we are so quick to tar with a broad brush all members of the military with the perfidy of the few. But what they forget is that their mere presence is changing the Middle East every day. In the past, regimes in the area have always used propaganda to portray us as blood thirsty killers intent on ravaging their women. But instead, when troops show that they are kind to all who don't shoot at them, the narrative comes into question.
Too bad the narrative in this country wouldn't also be given a second look.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Who not to vote for

Okay, I wouldn't tell you who to vote for, but I have to warn you against anyone that ActBlue is for. At the above link, you can see where the money is going. The fact that most of the Presidential money for ActBlue is going to John Edwards is good enough for me to say that those people should not be accepted by anyone who thinks.

I am opposed to John Edwards mostly because he is a trial lawyer. I am a lawyer too, but I fight for people's freedom. Edwards and his ilk fight for money, and regret having to pass it on to their clients.

Edwards is good looking, smooth, and has the natural ability to charm people. He is also a pandering idiot. This is just my opinion, but if you look closely at him and his hypocrisy, I think that you will join me in this opinion.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The problems with being a Libertarian

As a general rule, I have always considered myself to be of a Libertarian bent. But the article at the above link, states some problems that need to be worked out. Some of the best lines
Jeff Friedman, editor of Critical Review. . . noted this problem in his compelling essay several years ago entitled "What's Wrong With Libertarianism?" In a nutshell, he observed that libertarians make a moral case for their philosophy (i.e., it is wrong for government to push people around) which they are unwilling to push to the extreme, namely, to the point where they argue that their system of governance would be best even if one could prove that people would be materially better off in some system of stronger government. At that point they switch to what we call consequentialism, and argue that not only is the libertarian system more just by virtue of its minimal coercion, but that it is also produces more prosperity for its citizens.

The problem, Friedman rightly observed, is that we have shown no such thing. To be sure, economists have done a good job of demonstrating that heavy government management of the economy reduces economic growth by destroying property rights and incentives. Nobody has shown, however, that a libertarian system of nearly non-existent government would make people better off. We have anecdotes, we have some notion that we can extrapolate from partial analyses of more ostensibly libertarian times at the turn of the century, and we have the rational profit-maximizer of economics -- but we do not have a methodologically rigorous study that can even explain, for example, the inescapable correlation between sizable government (say, 20-40% of gross domestic product) and sustained economic growth.

Okay, just because the theory isn't perfect, doesn't mean that it's wrong. I will have to think about this some more, but I agree that libertarianism has a strong and compelling moral argument. Now, we just need to refine the details.

Additions to the Blogroll

I'll admit that I am basically lazy. I have always went to the sites on the right to hook into the links that I might want to review. I need to update and actually include those links that I do regularly read, so I have added the Last Best Place, Missoulaopolis and the Conservative Cowgirls.

Thanks to you all for having such fine and interesting blogs.


During my travels around the world, I had often the opportunity to observe the petty friction of graft, mordida, baksheesh, that is so often prevalent especially in the Middle East. This sort of corruption is taken for granted by those that live there, but it is also corrosive for a society. Don't have enough money to get a bureaucrat to do his job? Too bad, someone else will always find a way to grease the right palm, even if it is at your expense.

The difference from that form of corruption and that of our country is one of degree only. In the USA, we use the FBI to chase down direct payment ala William Jefferson, D-LA. But there is still a group in this country that finds the confiscation of wealth is just fine They always seem to be saying that the rich need to pay their "fair share." If you were to take this as anything other than a slogan, you would appear to be saying that the rich need a tax cut. Analysis of the top tax rate sure doesn't seem to allow them to shirk their share. If you figure that in 2003 the top rate was 35%, which is before all of the other taxes, it seems to me that this is confiscatory at the minimum. Under what theory do we allow this to happen? Do those making $300k+ a year use more services than their population should expect?
Why do we take it for granted that this is right, moral or just? I can't find anything to support it except the continuing hyperbole of William Jennings Bryan and his "Cross of Gold."

Would someone please explain it to me?

You gotta stay on top of things.

So, I'm busy trying to stay on top of what the world is saying, and I usually try to check out some of the Fanatical Left, just to see what they are saying, when I found this from Intelligent Disontent. It was rather amusing, because I had already read Instapundit's link which explains how the NYT got it so horribly wrong. Instapundit linked it at 10:26 a.m., which I am assuming is Eastern Time, or 8:26 our time. Intelligent Discontent doesn't show what time it was posted, but surely, after reviewing the shortcomings in the NYT article, you would think that ID would relook their posting.

Unless. . . .

What if the narrative doesn't fit the facts? Well, soldier on boy, we can't let facts get in the way of our mission.

But what about credibility? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice . . . Aren't the Left blogs even mildly concerned? Maybe they don't have to be, since "everyone knows" they mean well, right?

Maybe their audience deserves them.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Discussing Delusions

I have noticed a recent trend by my friends on the Left that is repeating itself throughout the political spectrum: The use or variation of the term "delusional" for anyone who disagrees with you.

Wulfgar seems to like this a lot. This is interesting because of the almost schizophrenic rants are so different from what he posts on his page versus what he posts in comments under other blogs. He seems to take his time and thinks in an orderly and sequential fashion when he posts on Dave's site but his own postings seems more like a stream of consciousness.

Mark Ochenski of the Missoula Independent does the same thing as most Global Warming conspiracists in saying that if you disagree with him, you are either evil, or worse delusional. Never mind that the facts are not nearly as settled as he thinks they are. When they can forecast weather accurately two weeks out I may be more willing to consider their ideas. Right now, I see this as a group with an agenda hijacking some questionable science.

Then there is the national level, with such a prime example as Doonesbury that if you don't agree with his assumptions that you are living in a bubble, immune from reality.

The thing that these examples have in common, is that they try to curtail discussion not through the use of superior argument, but instead through ad hominem attacks that question their opponent's sanity. It has the advantage that if you take them on, you are forced into trying to prove a negative (that you're not nuts) before you can address their arguments.

Interestingly, it seems to me that the old Soviet Union used to use its psychiatric hospitals for dissidents as well. Maybe it's time for me to be committed to Warm Springs, because I don't see their argument as being as effective as they do.

Only problem, if you want to go to Warm Springs, you can't be nuts, so they won't take you. It's only if you don't want to go that they will make you.

Maybe Wulfgar can change that and just walk around the blogosphere shouting J'accuse, and we will all be carted off by the nice men in the white coats.

Friday, August 17, 2007

One way to deal with illegal immigration

At the above link, two non federally recognized tribes are selling memberships in their tribe to illegals as a way to avoid being deported. While the cases are probably just a scam, they do raise interesting possibilities.
For instance, being a member of a tribe is a political decision, not a racial one. Because the US Supreme Court has determined that the tribes are "quasi-sovereign" (like quasi-virgin maybe?) they can decide who is a member and who is not. It is not based on a blood quantum, unless the tribe decides that is the minimum standard. However, with each succeeding generation, the quantum will be reduced, to the point that it will not be sustainable as a measure of "Indianess."
By selling memberships, tribes will be able to increase their population, and possibly increase their claim to federal benefits. This is really quite fascinating in a way.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Further signs of delusions

At the above link, the creator of the Daily Kos, and one of his co-writers are proclaiming that they have won the "center" of the American electorate. One of the things that I have learned as I got older is to never believe your own propaganda. Moulitas seems to think that the reason that the Democrats won the Senate and House is because they pushed the Democratic Party leftward, and were rewarded for their desire to be more socialist than the DLC was.
Let me posit another theory as to why the Democrats won both chambers: The general electorate was fed up with Republican corruption and pork barreling. Take for example Conrad Burns. Tester beat him by less than the margin of votes who went to the Libertarian candidate. Suppose that Conrad had been able to attract those votes, would the Senate still be in ostensibly Democratic control? Maybe not.
The advantage that the Democrats had was the manipulation of the media. Remember Abramof? How much do you hear about his relationship with Harry Ried and other Democrats? The fact is, the Democrats are not more moral or honest than the Republicans. They just receive less coverage for their crookedness in the general media. But suppose more of this sort of corruption is exposed. Would the American public react with the attitude that the Democrats may be crooks, but they are on our side, or throw those bums out too?
As a basically Libertarian Republican, I want decent, honest and effective candidates who are able to exercise independent judgment. I don't see that in the Democratic party at the moment. Instead, I see Tester and to a certain extent Baucus becoming captive to the Left Wing noise machine. This is probably reasonable, since look what Kos was able to do to Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary. On the other hand, look what Ned Lamont did in the general as well.
In the past, Baucus would always become Republican just before his election. With the Netroots so active, I am not sure that he will be able to do so now. Keenan may be an unknown quantity at the moment, but if Baucus is pushed too far left, Keenan may be able to upset the senior senator from our fair state.

Too cool to be true

I've always been a Skynard fan, but this is proof of the continuing integration of the world.

The Red Army choir, which I once had a mono recording of, and can still send chills up your spine has now sunk to a new low.

Friday, August 03, 2007

More Lies

So, Scott Beauchamp, the supposed war diarist is outed, and the Left is defending his stories, like Jay Stevens. Stevens seems to believe everything that Beauchamp writes as true and he turns any question of disbelief against the questioner. (How dare you question how bad war is, Scott Beuachamp is there)
Of course, even TNR has had to address that the appalling incident with the disfigured woman took place (if it happened at all) in Kuwait before Scott even made it to the horrors of war. Powerline has some good quips, and comments regarding this so called diarist.
The amusing thing like so many others (Jason Glass, etc.) his lies seem to give him authenticity because that is what people like Jay want to believe.
Reality based community? I think the better term is one I read elsewhere: The community based reality.