- Name: svensun
- Location: San Fernando Valley, California
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Mearsheimer and Walt Want 'Blood For Oil'
Mearsheimer and Walt's arguments have to leap and twist through such contortions of logic and facts, that after reading it, any reasonable observer would be left with only certain conclusion as to the basis of their argument: they hate Israel, and they hate the 'influence' of American jews upon US policy. As to whether they are actually anti-semitic, I am not certain, but if they hate Israel (a logical conclusion derived from reading their article), and they hate the role of American jews in influencing foreign policy (another logical conclusion from the same article), then one has the beginnings of a convincing argument that they ARE anti-semitic. They are stunned that we provide Israel with so much aid and support, when it is, in their eyes, apparently NOT in our national interest.
It's not if you think it's a mistake to: 1. keep your promises, oaths and committments; 2. support a democracy, THE ONLY democracy before 2003 in the Middle East; 3. the ONLY government on Earth, aside from the hated (by the left, and not coincidentally by the same Islamic fascists that hate Israel) Iraqi government, where ARABS have full democratic rights; 4. support the ONLY nation in the Middle East that has fully supported our war on Islamic terror, to the hilt; 5. support the ONLY nation that WILLINGLY declined to defend itself while its cities were bombarded by missiles, back in 1991, so that the US could pursue it's strategic goals in the Middle East, etc.
If you ignore all that or try to twist these facts around, as Mearsheimer and Walt do, then I suppose you can make a case that the US should abandon Israel, just like we abandoned South Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Laos, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic States, etc. There is, after all, a certain political segment in the US which seems to enjoy abandoning our allies at crucial times in history. Mearsheimer and Walt apparently believe countries such as Lebanon and Syria would make much better US allies. Oh yes, wonderful Lebanon, where the government is effectively controlled by a militia that takes orders from TEHRAN! Let's not forget Syria, too; the home base of more terrorist groups per capita than anywhere on earth. What great allies these would be! At least, apparently, the authors believe we should be 'neutral arbiters' between these nations and Israel. Just as we could have been 'neutral arbiters' between Hitler and Poland, I suppose.
Apparently, the authors feel it would be much more to our advantage to cozy up to the Arab states, like the French, Germans and British do. Who cares if they are undemocratic, and encourage their government-controlled press to print every filthy lie and evil rumor against our nation. They would be better friends, presumably because they have something we want and need. So tell me, who is it that wants to trade 'blood for oil'? I would say it is Mearsheimer and Walt: they seem quite willing to sacrifice Israeli blood for Arab oil.
No, thank you.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Traditional Values Effectively Banned in California
On John Fleishman's FlashReport, I read a comment to an outstanding essay on the destructive potential of the Governor's action by Karen England (Director of the Capitol Resource Institute, which fights the good fight). This comment, I later learned, was by a fellow named Shane Patrick Connolly, a Republican candidate for the CA Senate, District 13 in Santa Clara. I found his comment a bit hard to swallow. Read it for yourself, and read my reaction:
Mr Connolly writes:
As I responded to Steve Frank earlier today, The key to this is "receiving State funds".Posted by Shane Patrick Connolly at August 29, 2006 3:16pm
In the same way that we should insist that government funds don't go to artists who produce works that are offensive to community standards, we should insist that those who receive government funds don't offend the community's standards against discrimination.
I think the CRI's response was a bit histrionic (are they taking lessons from Geoff Kors over at Equality California?). The legislation doesn't force anyone to "condone" anyone else - no one is forced to speak affirmatively of any particular person or group.
I'm sure you don't think that it would be appropriate to give government (our!) money to an Islamist school where they were to be taught to hate Jews, Christians, and Hindus or to praise Osama bin Laden. I would assert (and, to date, the court has agreed - allowing our military services to recruit on campuses receiving public money when the campuses tried to bar the recruiters for violating their non-discrimination policies, asserting free-speech) that when you accept public money, you are self-imposing limits on your freedoms, including speech.
If the bill would have sought to limit speech, in general, without the direct linkage to government funds, I'd agree completely. As a student, I actively opposed vague "speech codes" that were proposed for the law school at my university arguing that it would inhibit the free exchange of ideas, even those some might find offensive. We were successful in persuading the university president to overturn the law school dean's speech restrictions.
Bottom line - if you don't want "strings" attached, don't take government funds. As we limited-government conservatives well know, it's just the nature of the beast that more government involvement = less freedom.
Here is my response, which I first posted at FlashReport:
I believe Shane Connolly makes a big mistake when he assumes that this law will simply affect those who are directly funded by the State. It is quite obvious, for example, that if a school district allows a ministry group or the Boy Scouts to meet on campus after hours, that school district, NOT THE MINISTRY, will be threatened with the cut-off of all, or some portion, of state funds for allowing that activity on their grounds. Likewise, it is also conceivable, per the insanity of the ACLU, that a religious institution, or other organization that does not recognize homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle,or hire open homosexuals for its ministry or other jobs, could be denied CHP or CDF fire protection because that would constitute receipt of 'state funding'. There is no doubt that traditional-values organizations will be cut from all student loans, or provision of housing or welfare programs for the needy.
This opens such a can of worms, that Shane Connolly's 'caveat' about 'receiving' government funds seems quite inane, and rather meaningless.
I can already foresee that my church will be forced from the city-owned theater it rents, since the city most assuredly receives a variety of state funds, and in order not to risk those funds, the city, every other city and county, as well as every school district in the state, will soon institute a blanket policy of refusing to have any business with or provide any services to any traditional-values organization. The Boy Scouts, already under heavy assault, will most assuredly vanish from the public square, and much of the private square, as clubs or groups that sponsor troops, but also do business with the State in some way, will soon also cut all ties and support for the Scouts. This could include Lions Clubs, Rotary, Chambers of Commerce, and other service groups, which might be involved in providing state-funded services, such as food share programs, job training and educational services, you name it. The effect will be vast, powerful and chilling.
It was bad enough with just the threat of an ACLU lawsuit and some nutty federal judge dangling over our heads. Now that funding can be cut off, without any trial or hearing, with simply a bureaucratic decision by some anonymous functionary in Sacramento, just imagine the effect! Any group which holds to traditional values will soon find itself anathema throughout the State. It is coming. Just watch and see, unless this Orwellian law is somehow reversed.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Democrats' 'Winning' Strategy for the Fall?
My comments follow:
Nine Ways Republicans Are Ruining the Country
Say it loud, say it often, "Republicans are bad on national security." Every Democrat running for national office -- and local offices too, why not? -- should say, "I'm running because Republicans are bad on national security."
Then they should go on to say, here's why I'm saying it:
1. 9/11 happened on their watch. Of course, we can't say, absolutely, that it would not have happened if they had not been asleep at the wheel. But we can say that they did not do all they could have done to prevent it. We can say that Bush literally pushed away the warnings.
2. George Bush and the Republicans failed to get Osama bin Laden. We got both Hitler and Hirohito in less time than we've been chasing bin Laden. Every day that bin Laden's out there, he's proof that you can attack the United States and get away with it. That's a bad message to send, nd believe me, people in the terrorist world have heard it loud and clear. That's very bad for national security.
3. George Bush and the Republicans gave Osama bin Laden what he wanted. Bin Laden wanted the US to get into a quagmire. He wanted our troops tied down in an Islamic country so that an insurgency could do to them what the Afghanis did to the Russians and to the British before them.
A modern, hi-tech army is very good at invasions. It's also good for fighting back against other armies. But a modern hi-tech army is not good at occupying a country against the will of the population. Even if the army is as violent and ruthless as the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan were.
4. George Bush and the Republicans squandered America's power and prestige. Before 9/11 most people in the world probably thought that America's intelligence services were able and astute, agencies to be feared. The Bush administration has made them appear bumbling and inept. They did this, first, by ignoring their warnings and then, second, by making them the fall guys for 9/11.
After 9/11 most of the world feared America's wrath and America's might. By failing to get bin Laden and his gang, then by attacking the wrong country, unleashing chaos, and getting our armed forces into a situation that they can't win, the administration showed the world they have less to fear than they imagined.
5. The Bush administration empowered Hezbollah. The 'insurgency' in Iraq was Hezbollah's textbook and their inspiration. If Iraqis could do that to Americans, surely they could do the same to the Israelis. And they have. It's not yet on the record, but it's clear from everyone's conduct, that the administration encouraged the Israelis to 'unleash' their forces against Hezbollah. They probably thought Israel's modern hi-tech armies would quickly smash their enemy.
6. The Bush administration radicalized Hamas. Hamas was elected. Sworn to the destruction of Israel or not, they should have been encouraged to become responsible players with carrots as well as sticks. Instead the administration put them up against the wall, hoping to starve the Palestinian people into voting for a different group. Would that work if someone tried to do it to us?
7. Bush and the Republicans tied down our forces in Iraq while Iran and North Korea invested in nuclear technology. That made North Korea feel secure enough to test ICBMs. If they had been successful, they would have had a delivery system for their nuclear weapons. That would be incredibly bad for national security. Iran, with American forces tied down in Iraq, feels secure enough to defy the UN as well as the US. Very bad for national security.
8. By the way, every major European nation has had successful arrests and real trials of real, dangerous terrorists. People on the level of this group that the British just took down. The most ferocious terrorist arrested in the United States since 9/11 has been the shoe bomber. Ten, twenty, forty, a hundred billion dollars, a trillion dollars, and the best we have to show for it is the shoe bomber?! Republicans are bad on national security.
9. We have trashed the bill of rights. We have trashed the Geneva conventions. We have a president and a vice president willing to go the mat to fight for the right to torture people.
We have spent a fortune on illegal wiretaps.
We have spent a fortune on collecting everyone's telephone data.
And what have we achieved by all of this?
A quagmire in Iraq. Dishonor. Debts. An empowered al Qaeda. A new war in Lebanon. The inability to stand up to Iran and North Korea. Osama bin Laden at large, an inspiration to extremists everywhere.
Republican are unimaginably bad on national security. Say it loud. Say it often, it's the truth, Republicans are bad on national security.
So now DNC talking points constitute 'facts'? It's obvious that the Dems have been getting killed in their internal polling and focus groups with their earlier 'cut and run' strategy, so now they have formulated this new 'Republicans are bad on national defense' sloganeering to hide their utter lack of any agenda or even concept on how to protect the nation, other than to 'consult with our allies' more. While Mr. Beinhart, who has been yelling since 9/11 that the Dems must be 'tougher' on terrorism, must be thrilled that his party is now apparently taking his advice to stop sounding like they are ready to surrender, he does a very poor job in his op-ed of identifying the Republican 'failures'. If this list is all the 'failure' he can find, then it will be a very hard road for the Dems to take this Fall. The credibility of his 'points' is rather easily countered:
#1 - He's going to drag this nonsense up again? Does he want a replay of the Jamie Gorelick-9/11 Commission fiasco?
Does Beinhart really want Clinton's named dragged up again, after Bill was such a help to Lieberman? Does he want the ghost of Bill haunting Al Gore again? All I can say is, "Democrats- the gift that keeps on giving".
#2 Another oldie, if not goodie! Yeah, this one really worked for Kerry, too. So we can assume that the Dems will immediately vote to declare war on Pakistan or Iran, the two most likely UBL hiding places? Wow, I'm sure all those Lamont voters will love that one!
#3 Yes, that's why Osama attacked us, because he just knew we would come. He wasn't fooled into thinking Americans were 'paper tigers' when Clinton ran out of Mogadishu after 18 Rangers were killed, he just said that to fool us. He just knew, after trying and failing to knock over the WTC in '93, that if he did it again, THEN we would fall into his trap, right? He wasn't fooled when Clinton responded to the African embassy bombings and the attack on the USS Cole by sending in the FBI; he just KNEW that he could trick us into attacking Afghanistan and Iraq if he kept trying. There's NO WAY he could have thought we were cowardly and unwilling to fight and take losses, especially after the way we handled the Kosovo situation, right? Besides, Osama would much rather be hiding in the mountains rather than having the support and resources of an entire nation at his disposal, right? In fact if WE were smart, we would surrender our country, and head up into the hills so that we could wage a guerrilla war on the terrorists.
#4 Yeah Bush really blew this one. At least before he invaded Iraq, no one, not even ourselves, really knew how bad our intelligence was. So what if we were fooled, and didn't have a clue about what was going on in the world. Our enemies didn't know that, either, right?
#5 Oh yes, Hezbollah re-arming in Lebanon is our fault, too. Everything is America's fault. Didn't you know that? The sooner the American voters learn this, the better, from the DNC perspective.
#6 Oh yes, Hamas was actually a nice charity outfit before Bush did all those mean things, just like Hezbollah. They provided all sorts of wonderful social services, the kinds of things that we should do, but don't do enough, like provide those wonderful textbooks for kids that portray jews as pigs and monkeys, and show them how to make those groovy belts full of nails and rat poison. Yes, Hamas was really a nice bunch of guys, before Bush came along. Just ask any Israeli.
#7 Yes, North Korea having nukes has NOTHING to do with Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter; it's all Bush's fault. Beinhart forgot to mention that Bush is the rat who started accusing the North Koreans of lying and building a bomb. He probably provoked them into really doing it. They were being nice and honest before then!
#8 Yes, let's just hope Americans forget about Jose Padilla, the Lackawanna ring, the Lodi Ring, as well as Zacarias Moussaoui, and others I've forgotten about myself. Let's also forget that their have been exactly ZERO big attacks in the US since 9/11 (there have been plenty of lone actors, the latest being the guy in Seattle, obviously a terrorist).
Bush has failed plenty, probably because he's too busy spying on Americans, and torturing innocent muslim goatherders at Gitmo, which leads me to...
#9 How dare Bush spy on people talking to Al qaeda? Who does he think he is, the President? Just because Lincoln and FDR did it, doesn't mean he can do it! Better to have a hundred 9/11's than to have some government agent accidentally overhear some Democrat getting phone sex!
And how 'dare' Bush not apply the Geneva Convention rules for legal soldiers to terrorists! Just because they attack civilians, don't wear uniforms, and hide among the populace, that's no reason to deny them the protection they refuse to give our soldiers. So what if the Geneva Convention says we have the right to shoot them! What they receive should be decided by the ACLU! But we shouldn't treat them like prisoners of war, either, because that would mean they will be interned until the end of hostilities, and that's not fair, because they won't surrender, in fact there is no one who CAN surrender! We really need to just follow the Geneva Conventions, as defined by the ACLU, even if it doesn't apply, because that will protect OUR troops from the enemy. If you don't believe this, then just ask the survivors of the Bataan Death March, or the Japanese Hell Ships, or Cabanatuan. They'll tell all about how great the Geneva Convention is in protecting American soldiers.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Ideas Have Consequences?
Of course, liberals on that site ran with this concept, soon describing with all sorts of lurid details the conservative 'desire' to BAN and BURN books!
Here's a typical quote from the thread:
My, my. The pseudo-conservatives are getting down to their book burning rants now. They seem to be scared to death of anyone who thinks for himself instead of just chanting their slogans.
Well, sensing an opportunity, I just couldn't resist posting something myself! I was especially amazed that almost NONE of the liberals spouting off had bothered to read the rather short paragraphs written by the editors of Human Events explaining why each book was chosen! Apparently it was just too much for these broad-minded people to bother reading why these books might be harmful, or figuring out that the conservative response to such books is NOT to 'ban' or 'burn' them, but to REFUTE them! It has become apparent to me, as Evan Sayet, Dick McDonald, Ann Coulter and others keep pointing out, that it is now firmly the Left which has become the 'intellectual' home of the prejudiced, the bigoted and the ignorant among us.
Here is my response:
I have repeatedly read comments in this thread claiming that the authors of this list of books believe these are books that should be 'banned' or 'burned'. That is utter nonsense and rubbish, and reflects the prejudice, bigotry and ignorance of the authors of those comments than it does upon Human Events and the conservative figures they assembled, who voted on the list. The purpose of this list, if anyone bothered to read the accompanying paragraphs, is to highlight books of the last two centuries which contained ideas that have had the most harmful effect upon society. There is no attempt to 'ban' these books or the ideas contained in them, but a desire to REFUTE THEIR HARMFUL IDEAS. Isn't that what our 1st Amendment freedom of speech is about, to have a free 'marketplace of ideas', where someone can make a claim, and others can challenge it? I will continue this line of thought in my next post...From this episode, I have come to the conclusion that Human Events should have one of those warning pages attached to it's website, alerting liberals that they should not enter the website unless they can get a responsible conservative to verify that they are actually capable of rational thought. That would solve most of the problem. My next goal is to throw liberals into a tizzy by posting Human Events' Top Ten list of the 10 Books Liberals Most Want To Burn!
The point is that, perhaps as opposed to many of those who post on this thread, conservatives, believe, to quote the title of Richard Weaver's seminal 1947 book, IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUENCES. The conservatives who chose this list are making the point that the ideas contained in these books have had the most deleterious and damaging consequences over the last two hundred years. Personally, I would have put SILENT SPRING much higher on the list, near the top, as the falsehood promoted in that book that DDT is a dangerous chemical has and IS, as I write this, killing many millions of people around the Third World, who are being ravaged by the plagues of yellow fever and malaria, diseases which could be easily prevented, as the nations of India and South Africa have proven, since they refuse to bow to eco-wacko pressure, and use DDT to protect their people. Even Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, has had the sense to objectively see through the lies and deceptions of SILENT SPRING.
For Moore's quote, see http://www.eco-imperialism.com/main.php I am stunned that those criticizing this list have failed to respond to the comments of the editors of Human Events as to WHY these books were chosen as 'most harmful'. Perhaps the editors' mistake was to write their comments in paragraph form. Remember that Human Events IS a periodical for conservatives. For those of you unused to reading conservative publications, the general assumption conservatives make is that you will read the ENTIRE article, as opposed to just a list or headline. It is then expected that you will THINK about it, and then respond THOUGHTFULLY and COGENTLY, by making assertions backed up with evidence. Since this approach may be too foreign for many of those who scan the Netscape threads, I will try to summarize the reasons WHY conservative believe the ideas contained in these 10 particular books have been especially harmful, using bullet statements that could fit on a chewing gum wrapper...
OK, here goes...
1. The Communist Manifesto - spawned Marxism, which has, conservatively, according to Time-Life, been responsible for the deaths at least 100 million people since 1917.
2. Mein Kampf - need I say anything? OK, spawn of #2 killer, after Marxism.
3. Quotations from Chairman Mao - another big killer, with estimates, according to Wikipedia, from many millions up to 77 million dead.
4. The Kinsey Report - phony 'scientific data' on human sexuality, based upon an oversampling of prison inmates, has led to the 'normalization' of sexual deviancy in the Western world.The Wikipedia entry sums up the problem: "Many of Kinsey's conclusions, while radical for the time, are now generally accepted."
5. Democracy and Education - Influenced public schools to stop teaching facts and content, and instead teach 'skills', meaning that today children learn nothing, and our schools are failing.
6. Das Kapital - Convinced generations of impressionable youth that capitalism is evil; their opposition to free enterprise has harmed the economy, creating more poverty and suffering worldwide, and leading to socialism and other forms of state usurpation of private property.
7. The Feminine Mystique - Betty Friedan convinced many women that working was their 'real job', not raising children. Her ideas are 'harming women, devastating marriage and destroying the family,' according to Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse
8. The Course of Positive Philosophy - This concept, that man alone can 'scientifically' reason out truth and morality, laid the philosophical groundwork from which sprang Marxism, Nazism, Eugenics, Social Darwinism, etc.
9. Beyond Good and Evil - Creates a philosophical and 'moral' justification for 'survival of the fittest'. Guess who loved Nietche? If you said Ronald Reagan or Bush, this book is for you!
10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money - It has been the justification massive overspending by the federal goverment, beginning with FDR, and continuing today. This wastes money, hurts personal incentive, and takes money away from the free market, making our society poorer overall.
As I said before, I would have included Silent Spring on this list, and dropped Das Kapital to the Also Ran category, since it's most obvious offense seems to have been serving as the inspiration for all the Democratic Party's campaign slogans, at least during my lifetime, which have in practice actually served to get more conservatives elected to office; one might convincingly argue that Das Kapital has, on the whole, been a positive influence, at least on American politics.
It would be nice if those who dispute this list would challenge the assertions made about these books, rather than creating straw man arguments about 'banning' or 'burning', or using ad hominem attacks against conservatives.
In other words, THINK before you write. Try it, you might like it!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Democratic Heroes: Copperheads!
For proof, just read Jonathan Alter's Newsweek article, How to Beat 'Cut and Run'.
Here's the heart of Mr. Alter's argument (my emphasis):
Mr. Alter writes in part:
Unless things improve dramatically on the ground in Iraq, Democrats have a powerful argument: If you believe the Iraq war is a success, vote Republican. If you believe it is a failure, vote Democratic.
Isn't that irresponsible? Not in the slightest. It's only under Bush that criticizing the conduct of a war has been depicted as somehow unpatriotic. Lincoln was lambasted by opponents during the Civil War as was FDR during World War II.
This guy is not just idiotic, but IGNORANT, to boot! He brings up the people who criticized Lincoln during the Civil War, and kept trying to defeat him and his war policies. Does Alter know what such were people were CALLED? COPPERHEADS! Basically, they were compared to a poisonous snake that lacks a rattle, so it can sneak up on you! They weren't just portrayed as UNPATRIOTIC; they were ACCUSED OF TREASON-then TRIED AND CONVICTED OF TREASON!
I quote from a Wikipedia article on the subject:
As war opponents, Copperheads were suspected of disloyalty, and Lincoln often had their leaders arrested and held for months in military prisons without trial.
So Alter thinks THESE people are a good model for the Democrats of today? You know something, maybe he's right, after all! And Bush should do the same thing to Kennedy and Kerry,et al, that Lincoln did to those Copperheads; I think these guys should share cells with their friends at Gitmo!
It seems to me that most Democratic members of Congress have done no worse than Congressman Vallandigham, of Ohio. I quote further from the Wikipedia article cited above:
Most Copperheads actively participated in politics. On May 1, 1863, former Congressman Vallandigham declared that the war was being fought not to save the Union but to free the blacks and enslave the whites. The Army then arrested him for declaring sympathy for the enemy. He was court-martialed and sentenced to imprisonment, but Lincoln commuted the sentence to banishment behind Confederate lines.
I think it would be just to sentence Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, Dean, Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, etc. to banishment behind enemy lines. They could be helicoptered into Waziristan and dropped off on some mountaintop near a Taliban stronghold. Syria or Iran might do just as nicely.
P.S. I couldn't resist commenting on liberal reaction to Alter's article.
The reason that Kerry couldn't, in 2004, and the Democrats today can't speak the truth to the American people is because, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson, "they can't handle the truth" that Kerry and Democrats would tell them.
If the American people really understood what Democrats/progressives really stood for, there would likely be NO Democrats ever elected again to the Senate or Presidency.
I think sevenpointman summed up the 'progressive' agenda quite well: "equity, economic democracy, and the development of a multicultural global consciousness". Now THAT'S a winning platform for you, right out of the Marx/Lenin/Mao/Che playbook.
It seems to me the current leftist view on war is best summed up as a: " bloody exercise in futility". So, basically, an honest Democratic view on the War on Terror would be, to quote Von Rundstedt's advice to Hitler: "Surrender, you fool!"
ADDENDUM: My apologies to the blogger Curmudgette on two counts: for misspelling her name, and for mistakenly taking her comment on the Vietnam War as applying to all wars in general. She has pointed out my error to me, and I have corrected this post to reflect that. While I do not attribute such an attitude regarding war to her, I still insist that based upon the rhetoric we are seeing in general from the Leftists, self-described 'progressives', their position is that war is a 'bloody exercise in futility', at least when it is practiced by the United States, or not sanctioned by a communist dictator, as in the case of WWII.