Tuesday, February 23, 2010

by jingo by gee by gosh by gum

Dustin Hawkins latest article is about illegal immigration, which he opposes. He also opposes any consideration given to those who have entered this country illegal. Rather he'd like to see them rounded up and shipped off. Pat for the course, but the last bit really goes off.
Is this Cuba? Is this Afghanistan? Is this Rwanda? Are we such a garbage dump of a nation that we have to desperately give citizenship to anybody and everybody we can find? Newsflash: This is the greatest nation God has seen fit to raise up in the history of mankind. We can not only have the cream of the crop from other nations; we can ask them to wait in line, obey our laws, and prove themselves -- and the ones worth having will do it because this is the place people all over the world dream of coming one day.
So two points. America is the bestest nation on the earth, which is par for the course I guess. It did put me in mind of the e. e. cummings poem referenced above.

But also Hawkins makes America sound like a sort of exclusive country club. Of course we should have only the best sorts. Which is why there is really no problem with immigration laws that prioritize European immigrants and penalize Latin American immigrants. Only the best for the best nation.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Michael Barone's latest article is a knock on Barack Obama for having bad intiuation. Sort of a dog bites man story, except for Barone's example of a good intuitive President.
In the first category are great American presidents like Franklin Roosevelt. FDR could have nationalized the banks in 1933 and war industries in the 1940s. Instead, he prevented runs on the banks and called in captains of industry to help run the war effort.

Fluent in German, he listened to Adolf Hitler on shortwave radio and recognized by 1938 that he was a monster that must be destroyed. Alerted by Albert Einstein's letter to the possibilities of nuclear fission, he said, "We can't let Hitler get this before we do," and authorized the spending in secret of something approaching 1 percent of gross domestic product on building the atomic bomb.

His judgment in picking military leaders -- Gens. Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, and Adms. King and Nimitz -- was unerringly brilliant. His decisions to invade North Africa in 1942 (against all military advice), to concentrate on the European theater and not the Pacific in 1943 (against the Navy's urging), to stage the cross-channel invasion in 1944 rather than 1943 (despite British and Russian pressure) all look very good in retrospect. It wasn't so easy to make them at the time.
So it's nice that Barone is seeing FDR clearly and acknowledging the contributions of this great President.

Townhalls readers are not as convinced, however. In particular they take issue with the theory that Obama's intuition is to blame - rather they think he is deliberately working to destroy America and succeeding.
Obama is doing very well at orchestrating the demise of our rights and ownership -- heading straight toward a brand of Marxism and Socialism. His actions are intentional - it is not a failure of intuition. Barone, work it out on a clean sheet of paper. Try to devise the best way of transforming the citizens from owning the government to a government owning its citizens. Just go back to the founders and designers of Marxism and Socialism and you will find your way.
Some of them do take issue with the praise of FDR but not as many as you would think.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Voters

Roger Chapin's latest article takes aim at American Voters for being too reactionary, and not thinking things through. That's why the voted in Obama; not that he was good, but that he wasn't Bush. But then he says this interesting bit about Sarah Palin.
And now a large number of them – including many who enthusiastically voted for Obama - are now rallying to another pied piper, Sarah Palin. She wows her audiences with high-sounding platitudes and free market principles but often fails to give specifics on her policy proposals. Too often, it’s as if one need only smell their date’s perfume and they’re ready to get married. Palin needs to display more substance.
I am curious as to how many Obama supporters are really going for Sarah Palin. Seems like a bizarre move; Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are somewhat ideologically different, seem to have different leadership styles, and certainly have different personas. My guess is that the bulk of Palin's supporters are people who hated Obama before the election and still hate him today.

The rest of his article is about who we need politicians willing to make the hard choices and do unpopular things - like deal seriously with Iran, whatever he means by that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Walter E. Williams and the Census

Walter E. Williams' latest article concerns the Census; he essentially argues that the census should consist of one question, specifically how many people live in that house.
Unless a census taker can show me a constitutional requirement, the only information I plan to give are the number and names of the people in my household. The census taker might say, "It's the law." Thomas Jefferson said, "Whensoever the General Government (Washington) assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."
For those of you wondering, I doubt that Williams would accept the General Welfare clause as applying in this case. He kind of hates that clause anyway. But this would seem an ideal place to apply it. Gathering that information is useful for administering government programs and for research purposes.

But then again Williams opposes most of those government programs as well, if not all of them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Palin for President?

Maybe not says Bruce Biolosky in his latest article. After taking some time to slag off Obama (kind of a requisite these days), he notes that Palin may not be an ideal candidate either.
As attractive as Ms. Palin may be as a political personality, she does not have any of these elements of a political resume. She may have done an extraordinary job as Alaskan Governor, but she did that for only two and one-half years. She may have electrified a portion of the electorate, but she has few political allegiances to call on if she becomes President. Most importantly, she has not spent the amount of time needed to work on the issues of the day. By her own admission, she has had to expand the scope of her political universe since resigning as Governor. She has started to receive daily updates on her Blackberry, but that is not the same as Reagan’s detailed policy statements in his own hand.

. . . Sarah Palin may turn out to be an excellent candidate and an excellent President. She has certain innate abilities that cannot be molded into a political figure. She just needs to spend a lot more time enveloping herself in the political process and understanding the issues and possible solutions facing our country. This will not ruin her – it did not ruin Reagan.
Unfortunately for Mr. Biolosky, Palin is getting her political tutelage not from the mechanisms of government, but from the political fringes. She is proving popular to the Republican Base, and those seem to be the people she most wants to talk to.

Republicans are quick to dismiss any politician (well, liberal politician) who has an extensive academic background as being from an Ivory Tower, as being out of touch with how real America works. Well Palin is building her own kind of tower, one made of conservative ideology perhaps, but a tower nonetheless.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Doug Giles Latest Article is entitled "The Vagina Monologues Chick Speaks Out of Her Backside Regarding Palin"

I've really got nothing to add to that (but I won't let that stop me). Doug Giles just gets worse and worse, but since the Conservative Movement already has an Ann Coulter, it's hard for him to get sufficient nastiness to really stand out.

As you might expect, he constructs caricatures of his chosen targets (in this case, Joy Behar of the View and Eve Ensler of the Vagina Monologues) and attacks them rather than responding to anything they might say.
Joy and Eve spent three and a half eye-burning, ear-screeching minutes blah-blah-blah-ing about how Sarah Palin, from an intelligence standpoint, hasn’t “evolved” yet.

. . . Palin is ignorant? These two … uh … um … what should I call them? These two uh, “women,” are calling Palin out in regard to her intelligence? Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are!
It's so much easier to debate a caricature rather than present their arguments and deal with them.

Doug Giles also would to see Behar and Ensler debate Sarah Palin. So would I, but it will never happen. Palin is a dingbat and putting her up against those two would surely reveal the depths of her dingbattery. And unfortunately for us all, she's not quite enough of a dingbat to participate in activities that would reveal the depths of her dingbattery.

According to spell check dingbattery isn't a word, so I, your beloved blog-o-fascist, command you, my minions, to use it in a sentence at your earliest convenience.

I shouldn't pass over the generalized sexism in Giles article - he spends some time feeling sorry for Behar and Ensler's husbands before noting they aren't married - because they are too outspoken to land a man.

For those interested, here's the article.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Republican Plan to Healthcare Reform

Republicans have a plan to fix health care. I know it seems like they are the party of "No," but really they have some ideas. And Dick Morris and Eileen McGann have articulated these ideas in their latest article.
The Republicans need to explain how much of the unnecessary medical costs are being driven by useless tort litigation. In Mississippi, where they acted to preclude much of it, malpractice premiums have declined by 50 percent.
Hmmmm. Malpractice premiums have declined - how much has that affected the patients bills? Presumably were that number as impressive they would have cited it. I generally favor the jury system; but I know that Conservatives have grave doubts about their fellow citizens ability to judge cases fairly.

Frankly I think Andrew Cohen, of the Atlantic, has it right.
Make no mistake-- the "reform" in "tort reform" is about eliminating or reducing the ability of trial juries to act as levelers of the playing field; as avengers of otherwise toothless victims; as the voice of a community in meting out justice. It is about helping corporations before individuals; about the bottom line and not the bottom rung.
Yep. It is baffling to me that republicans think the solution to overly expensive healthcare is to hold doctors less responsible.

But Morris and McGann have other suggestions.
Then Republicans need to discuss other cost-saving measures, such as allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines and other measures to encourage competition.
It will encourage competition exactly as long as it takes for the big insurers to crush the little guys, at which point the competition will end. It does seem like the Republican/Conservative plans are to empower corporations and weaken the power of the people. I'm not sure that will actually improve things that much.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


David Limbaugh's latest article opens with this amusing sentence.
Conservatives understand that liberals often demonize their opponents rather than debate the merits of the issues because the tactic works.
Does David even listen to his brother's show? Evidence suggests that he may not.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Is an Honest Debate on Abortion possible?

I have doubted it for a long time. Take the flap over a Superbowl ad in which the mother of Tim Tebow explains how she was asked to consider aborting her future son, but she didn't and she's glad she didn't. On the face of it pretty benign - certainly better than that truck you see occasionally with aborted fetuses on it.

Maybe they don't have that truck where you live - but yeah, it's a billboard truck, with a billboard of an aborted fetus. I hate it particularly because the first time I saw it, my brain didn't process what it was initially. I thought it was Mongolian Beef, and thought it looked kind of tasty - until I pulled a little closer. That was unpleasant.

At any rate, they have pointed out some potential problems in Pam Tebow's story, and in his latest article, Kevin McCullough takes them to task for it. Some pro-Choice people have suggested that Abortion in the Phillipines was illegal; he counters with illegal or not, up to 0.27% of women have abortions even today (he uses 27 out of a 1,000, but I put it into percents for you), and that as she had amoebic dysentery, it's likely that she would have been offered it.

I can't parse it myself, and don't see any reason too. I tend to doubt that the Tebows are making anything up, but they may have embellished it over the years as their opposition to Abortion seems heart felt.

What's frustrating about the debate however, is that the Tebows and McCullough pretending they don't understand the issue. All they want, apparently, is to encourage woman to think twice before having an abortion. But of course that isn't all they want. What the Tebows and McCullough would like to see is an America where Tebow didn't have that decision to make - they are very clear about that. They want an America in which Abortion is illegal, like it is in the Phillipines.

So behind that heartwarming story about Pam Tebow choosing to have her son is her belief that it shouldn't be a choice but a requirement.

In fairness there is a bit of this on the other side as well, since as the Pro Choice movements regular unwillingness to grapple with why, exactly, the Pro Life people are upset with the practice of Abortion. Rather some ascribe it all to a desire to control women, which I guess I can understand, since there certainly is an element of that in all of this.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Radical Social Experiment

Oliver North's latest article concerns how much he loves the military and how he opposes Obama's "Radical Social Experiment," by which he means allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military.
Both houses should go on record now so "We the People" know who favors treating America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines like lab rats in Mr. Obama's radical social experiment.
The social experiment trope is, I suppose, pretty well set at this point. But it's an odd one isn't it? I mean it's not like Obama is trying this experiment to prove some sort of scientific or sociological theory. He's doing this because he believes it's the right thing to do; he believes that gay Americans should have the same rights and privileges as straight Americans. But I suppose the propaganda benefits of portraying Obama as a mad and heartless scientist outweigh the benefits of honestly portraying people you disagree with.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ben Shapiro - then and now

Maybe I'm a hard-hearted guy, but when I see in the newspapers that civilians in Afghanistan or the West Bank were killed by American or Israeli troops, I don't really care. In fact, I would rather that the good guys use the Air Force to kill the bad guys, even if that means some civilians get killed along the way. One American soldier is worth far more than an Afghan civilian.
Fall 2001 (I believe, don't have a direct link to the article)
Since the death of the Soviet Union, we are unquestionably the world's only superpower, the world's remaining empire. Acquiring an empire requires a different mindset than maintaining and expanding one. Empires either decline or they grow. If America is to survive and flourish, Americans must realize that empire isn't a choice: It's a duty.
- August 2005
Some restrictions, however, are just and right and Constitutional -- and necessary. No war can be won when members of a disloyal opposition are given free reign to undermine it.
- February 2006
President Obama is, however, a man who embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader, right down to the arrogant chin-up head tilt he utilizes when waiting for applause. He sees democracy as a filthy process that can be cured only by the centralized power of bureaucrats. He sees his presidency as a Hegelian synthesis marking the end of political conflict. He sees himself as embodiment of the collective will. No president should speak in these terms -- not in a representative republic. Obama does it habitually.
-February 3, 2010

I know I'm missing some doozies by Ben Shapiro - but this is just sad. After arguing that President Bush and the Republican Congress should embrace Empire and should pass and enforce sedition laws to silence criticism, not to mention glorifying civilian death on the grounds that only American Soldiers matter, he has the gall to attack President Obama as a fascist.

His technique is to take Obama's state of the Union and translate it as nastily as possible.
But in Obama's mind, it is not even the government that embodies us -- it is Obama himself who encapsulates our hopes, dreams and spirit. "What keeps me going -- what keeps me fighting," he blathered, as though we were all deeply interested in the state of his psyche, "is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism, that fundamental deceny that has always been at the core of the American people, that lives on."
See - when Obama talks about being inspired by the American people that's supremely arrogant. He assumes that the American people care about what inspires him. I wonder if this awkward assignation of arrogance manifests itself in Bens normal life.
"Hey Ben, Great show today."

"Why are you so arrogant as to assume I care what you think about my show?"
Oh well, consistency and logic really aren't Ben's strengths.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

How do liberal think?

Boy John Hawkins is really a revelation. He is so good at regurgitating what he heard on talk radio while making it sound even dumber. Perhaps that's a function of reading vs. listening, but his latest article, Seven Huge Flaws in the Way Liberals Think, is just hilariously bad. Here are the flaws.
1) Liberals believe they can change human nature.
2) Liberals believe we can talk everything out with our enemies.
3) Liberals don't have enough respect for our culture and traditions.
4) Liberalism is a fundamentally immoral political philosophy.
5) Liberals believe merely being liberal makes them good people.
6) Liberals have too much faith in government.
7) Liberals have minimal interest in whether the programs they support work or not.
Got that?

Flaw number one is one that we share with Christians. It's also logical. What Hawkin's and others assume is that Human Nature is set and no amount of abuse or support can change. What I think is that we will always have crime, but if the economy improves and people are doing better there will be less crime.

Flaw number two is based on a purposeful misconception. Liberals, for the most part, don't really think we can sit down and talk with Osama Bin Ladin and his ilk; they do think we should be involved in diplomacy with other nations. Conservatives of Hawkin's ilk seem to think that we should only talk with anybody the least bit hostile down the barrel of a gun.

Flaw number three is standard conservative talking point, and to a certain extent true. That said, George W. Bush was willing to overthrow plenty of long term beliefs about privacy and the rights of prisoners and torture; I doubt Hawkins had much trouble with that. We used to believe that Americans were better than other nations because we acted better than they did; we weren't willing to get down to their level. Not sure that's true anymore.

Flaw number four isn't very specific, is it? What Hawkins is referring to is that we believe our political enemies to be devils, while we will excuse any immorality in our political allies. Again, this is somewhat true, but it's true of both parties. And conservatives are far worse about describing their political enemies as monsters.

Flaw number five is true of both parties, in so far as it is true at all.

Flaw number six is a judgment call; I think it's more fair to say that Conservatives believe that Government can't do anything and when they get power they try to prove their point. But perhaps that's overly harsh.

Flaw number seven is standard radio claptrap. Again conservatives believe that all non-military or law enforcement government programs have failed. And yet liberals continue to support government programs. This means they don't care if they succeed or fail. No. What it actually means is that liberals don't share conservative beliefs on the success or failure of government programs.

Oh well - good on you Hawkins - another article, another paycheck. It doesn't have to make sense, does it?