Political commentary from a conservative ideologue deep in the heart of Texas. Member: Jewish-Crusader Alliance, Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Saturday, July 05, 2003
Osama bin Laden made a serious error.
OBL thought that America was too decadent, too weak, too frightened to fight back effectively after a serious attack at our homeland.
What he did was not weaken our country, but strengthen it. A generation of Americans who had fallen asleep have now awakened. And now a new generation of patriots will be born of those believers who, while never having lost their faith in their country, had soft-pedaled their patriotism prior to 9/11/01.
Al Qaida would have been much better advised to gnaw around the edges of the West. Attacks against Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other American allies in the region would have given more traction to their de facto allies, the American and European Left.
Instead of driving a wedge into American public opinion, they have unified it against them. If their is any consolation to be taken from the horrific events of that day, it is this.
If the flight bound for either Capitol Hill or the White House had found its mark, it would have made the reaction more intense not less. Perhaps that was OBL's true hope, that America would lash out blindly against Arabs everywhere in the Middle East.
Sorry to dissapoint you.
Bill Whittle has finally released his new essay Trinity:
Money is a work token, remember. We get money in exchange for our work, our creativity, our inventiveness, our sweat.
Whose money is this? Whose sweat is this? Whose missed family time is this? Whose inventiveness is this? Whose genius is this? Whose work is this?
You want to know whose money it is? It’s your money, that’s whose money this is. Your money. Not the King’s money. The King never worked a goddam day in his life. Not the State’s money. Your money. Your sweat. Your hopes. Your ingenuity.
When we talk about Freedom, that central, mystical pillar of the Trinity, we are not talking about government. We are talking about Freedom, and they are not the same. Democracy is a tool. A republic is a tool. The US Constitution is the greatest tool to unlock human creativity in the history of the world, and I no longer give a flying damn if some people recognize that fact or not.
To date, the Founders have accomplished the unthinkable: they have made freedom idiot-proof.
Democracy, The US Republic, and the Constitution of the United States of America are stainless-steel, lifetime-guaranteed tools to limit government and preserve freedom. Because government is nothing more and nothing less than other people telling you what to do.
Can we all hold hands and say that together?
Government…is other people…telling you…what to do.
Government…is other people…telling you…what to do.
Government…is other people…telling you…what to do…
And let’s be clear on one point: many people, perhaps most people in this world, fear freedom. They will never admit it, but it is true. When the lights go out and they look at the ceiling before they go to sleep, the idea of being responsible for themselves, for feeding and clothing and defending and ordering their lives, scares the living shit out of most people out there.
Poor, servile Gonzalo, Ward of the State, is not the aberration; he is the norm. We ignore that fact at our own peril, fellow citizens. Everybody wants a little freedom, little bite-sized pieces of freedom, like a cheap toy handed out in the state-sponsored Happy Meal.. But real freedom, untrammeled, unrefined, raw self-determination: that requires more than a vague desire. That requires some guts.
I don't know how much more clearly one could state the concept.
This passage made me think of a book that I saw my father reading when he was studying for his Master's degree - Eric Fromm's Escape from Freedom. I haven't read it (but saved it to my Amazon wish list to remind myself to buy it), however, reading the reviewer's comments at a couple of sites confirmed that its title is indicative of its contents.
As Bill points out, most people are scared to death of freedom. They would rather give up freedom for "security". Especially if they think that security means taking from the "rich" to give themselves more. Very misguided.
I've made numerous posts here about the dangers of the growth of government power. None so eloquent as Whittle's. Go read it all.
From Cliff May during a symposium hosted by Frontpage:
Beer can taste great and be less filling. Our justification for intervening in Iraq was based both on national security and on concerns over Saddam’s gross violations of human rights. There was a time when those on the Left cared about torture, rape as an instrument of government policy and mass murders. How sad that that time has passed.
More accurately perhaps, the left only cares about "torture, rape as an instrument of government policy and mass murders" selectively. It is important enough to act upon in the case of Bosnia or Liberia but not in the case of Iraq. The determining factor appears to be the opinion of France. Russia's opinion matters little to the left as evidenced by their support of the action against Bosnia without UN approval because of fear of a Russian veto.
Thursday, July 03, 2003
MORE INANITY FROM "DEAN NATION"
You can find a lot of great stuff when you start turning over the rocks at Dean World HQ. From 0's press release:
Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas and Chief Justice Rehnquist opposed the civil rights of homosexuals. Scalia wrote a harsh dissent filled with words that will be hateful to many Americans. He spoke darkly of “the homosexual agenda” and echoed Senator Rick Santorum by writing that laws against homosexuality further “the same interest” as laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity.
You may not agree with Scalia's views but how can you argue against his logic?
What is the state's "interest" in establishing laws against anything? To discourage that thing.
Are laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality and obscenity anything more than attempts by the state to discourage behaviours that society has come to view as immoral? What Scalia is pointing out is that there IS NO DIFFERENCE between legislating morality in those instances and legislating against homosexual behavior.
I think it is idiotic and a complete waste of time to have laws against homosexuality, fornication or adultery. I don't want to hire law enforcement personnel to capture people engaging in these behaviors and punish them. That doesn't mean that I believe its OK to do those things. It also doesn't mean that I believe that the Constitution forbids the states from legislating activities between consenting adults.
What about prostitution? Who is the victim there? Isn't that legislating morality?
Apparently, when a Justice points out inconsistencies in the opinion of the majority, it is evidence of being unfit to serve on the Supreme Court...if "many Americans" might feel that the language of the dissent is "hateful".
As a former Governor who appointed many judges to the Vermont bench, I value the quality of judicial temperament. Scalia’s intemperate dissent in this case shows why he should never have been appointed to the Supreme Court in the first place and why he is not fit to serve as Chief Justice should a vacancy occur. His increasingly shrill opinions have become an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.
Dean ought to know a lot about embarrassment. He gets a big dose of it every time he opens his mouth.
It was stupid for Texas to have that law on the books and doubly stupid for the police to enforce it. But the Supreme Court has to think about not only the remedy but also the precedent. And they can't argue it without, well....arguing the case.
In "Dean Nation", much like the EU, it is more important to spare people's feelings than to agressively debate important subjects. Feelings over facts...it's the postmodern way!
LESS THAN (HOD)0
I was reminded of this while manuevering around the compost pile over at the Dean-0 Worship Site.
Having dismissed 0 as an idiot, I didn't pay much attention to anything he said until the now infamous Meet the Press interview.
Richard Cohen writes:
By now you have probably heard of Howard Dean's recent appearance on "Meet the Press," in which he may have set a record for saying, "I can't answer that question." The question that got the most attention involved the number of troops on active duty. But there was a question that Dean did answer -- and answered extensively -- that deserved as much attention. It involved why he switched his position on capital punishment. He said he changed his mind. A review of his remarks, however, suggests he actually lost it.
Hmm...not a good start for 0.
Dean once opposed the death penalty, citing "two reasons. One you might have the wrong guy, and, two, the state is like a parent" -- it ought to set an example. He also said, "I truly don't believe it's a deterrent." That's three reasons, but never mind. Then, on account of two horrific crimes, Dean's thinking underwent an evolution. "I came to realize because of the Polly Klaas case and because of similar other cases that sometimes the state inadvertently has a hand in killing innocent people because they let people out [of prison] who ought never to have been let out."
Granted, that was the case with Klaas, the 12-year-old California girl who was abducted, sexually attacked and murdered back in 1993. Her killer, Richard Allen Davis, had a long criminal record and was out on parole when he committed the crime. But none of his previous crimes were for death penalty offenses. Dean could argue that Davis should never have been free and deserved to die because of what he did to Klaas, but not for anything he did before. Davis didn't slip the noose. There was no noose for what he had done.
The second case Dean cited apparently took place in Vermont. "We had a case where a guy who was a rapist, a serial sex offender, was convicted, then was let out on . . . a technicality, a new trial was ordered and the victim wouldn't . . . go through the second trial. And so the guy basically got time served, and he was the man who murdered a 15-year-old girl and raped her and then left her for dead. . . . So life without parole doesn't work, either."
Neither does Dean's logic. According to Dean's own account, the sex offender had never been convicted of a previous capital crime. And, in the eyes of the law, he wasn't even convicted of one of them -- one man's "technicality" being another's constitutional abuse. Whatever the case, the death penalty played no role.
It's not that Russert wasn't persistent. He went after Dean time and time again, finding only a bowl of fudge sitting opposite him -- a man so desperately in search of a rationale that ultimately he stood American jurisprudence on its head...
What Cohen doesn't comment about, and what made my jaw drop, was that Dean made the point that he was only for the death penalty in certain cases - "The only three instances that I support the death penalty are, one, murder of a child, two, a mass murder like a terrorist and, three, the shooting of a police officer, ...
Think about the implications here. If you rape and murder an eighty-year old grandmother - no death penalty; torture and kill a 30 year old business man - no way. His position is so devoid of any consistency that it stuns me. It seems to me that you are either for the death penalty or against it. You can argue that the death penalty shouldn't be assessed in certain circumstances but to argue that the murder of some citizens should be punished less severly than others because of their age is a clumsy attempt at vote grabbing that is too transparent for all but the brain-dead to spot.
Apparently HOD0's about face isn't suprising to everyone. Russert pointed out that the operatives back home in the People's Republic of Vermont (PRV) haven't failed to notice:
"'This doesn't surprise me. I think Dean's willing to do what he has to do to win,'" said Frank Bryan, a political science professor at the University of Vermont and longtime observer of Dean. 'I really believe he's very ambitious and he wants to win badly. He has to get to the final plateau, and I think he will take risks with his inconsistencies being discovered in order to get to the next step.'...
"Eric Davis, a Middlebury College political science professor," also from Vermont, "summed up Dean's change in two words: South Carolina. ...'I think what's going on here is Dean is trying to appeal to electorates in more conservative states...'" South Carolina being the third primary after Iowa and New Hampshire.
Better get your story straight Dr. 0 - people are starting to notice!
Also, Russert, in what must have been a shock a nation constantly pounded with the "Tax Cut for the Rich" mantra, trotted out a few FACTS about the cuts for Dr. 0 to chew on:
MR. RUSSERT: Let's turn to the campaign. This is what you said last month about the Bush tax cut and I'll show you and our viewers. "It has become clear what this president is attempting to do and why we must repeal the entire package of tax cuts." The Department of Treasury, we consulted and asked them: What effect would that have across America? And this is what they said. A married couple with two children making $40,000 a year, under the Bush plan, would pay $45 in taxes. Repealing them, under the Dean plan, if you will, would pay $1,978, a tax increase of over 4,000 percent. A married couple over 65 making $40,000 and claiming their Social Security, under Bush would pay $675 in taxes. You're suggesting close to $1,400, a 107 percent tax increase. Can you honestly go across the country and say, "I'm going to raise your taxes 4,000 percent or 107 percent," and be elected?
To answer Russert's question, since Dean never did, you can only be elected with such a moronic economic policy if you scream "Tax cuts for the rich...Enron! WorldCom! Global Crossing (oops, GC was in bed with the Dems)!" If the debate ever centers around the F***ing FACTS the common sense of the voters kicks in and the Democrats get kicked out.
It bears repeating: A married couple with two children making $40,000 a year, under the Bush plan, would pay $45 in taxes. Repealing them, under the Dean plan, if you will, would pay $1,978, a tax increase of over 4,000 percent.. Forty-five fucking dollars! Would it be better for that family to give that additional $1,933 to the US government to spend on research into global warming or create self-esteem programs for felons? Or might it be better used saving for the kids education or paying for braces or as a down-payment for a house?
Dr. Dean-0's response to the question was to question the credibility of the Treasury Department. It looks like he needs to spend a little time propping up his on sagging cred - it seems to be hanging around his ankles.
HOWARD DEAN-0, CONCERNED AND CONFUSED ON THE STUMP
Dr. Dean-0 misses another good opportunity to shut up:
Dean called for a short-term deployment of roughly 2,000 U.S. troops as part of an international effort to stabilize the African nation.
"We could stabilize the situation and remain in Liberia for no more than several months, at which time a U.N. peacekeeping mission could be deployed to oversee a period of transition," he said.
Maybe. And maybe we'll be there for years. I don't know and neither does Howard Dean.
Dean argued his position on the use of force is not out of line with his opposition to the war in Iraq.
"The situation in Liberia is significantly different from the situation in Iraq," he said.
Correct, Dean-0. Liberia can't blackmail or intimidate the governments that control more than half of the world's known oil reserves. Liberia hasn't been developing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. Liberia hasn't invaded any of it's neighbors and been subject to the terms of a cease-fire agreement as a consequence of being defeated in a conflict that it started. Yeah, its a little different.
Dean argued there's no inconsistency in opposing the war in Iraq while backing intervention in Africa. He said Bush never made the case that Iraq posed a threat to the world.
"The situation in Liberia is exactly the opposite," Dean said. "There is an imminent threat of serious human catastrophe and the world community is asking the United States to exercise its leadership."
So, let me get this straight, either Dean feels that the systematic use of torture, rape and murder as tools of state control do not constitute a "serious human catastrophe" or he is saying that because the catastrophe in Iraq was ongoing and not "imminent" that no action was necessary. Or he could simply be saying that the "world community" needs to make the decision and we dunder-headed, knuckle-draggers here in the US need to supply the muscle.
It's easy to get confused when trying to determine exactly what Howie-boy actually believes about the use of American power because, well, he's just a little bit confused his own self:
... But on Iraq, Dean has issued what appear to be contradictory remarks. In a February speech he denounced Bush for "focusing...on the wrong war at the wrong time," claimed that he (Dean) was "not ready to abandon a search for better answers" and called for continuing inspections "as long as there is progress toward disclosure and disarmament." But previously, Dean proclaimed that Washington should issue Iraq a sixty-day deadline to comply with the UN resolutions and if it does not, then "we will reserve our right as Americans to defend ourselves and we will go into Iraq." Then, at a Democratic National Committee meeting on February 21, he attacked the Democratic Party leadership for "supporting the President's unilateral attack on Iraq." Aren't these various lines inconsistent?
Dean doesn't concede. Instead, he spells out his position: "One, unilateral action is not appropriate unless there is an imminent threat to the United States. Two, the imminent threat would consist of Iraq's having a nuclear program or developing one or being found, credibly, giving weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons, to terrorists. Three, Saddam needs to be disarmed, period, whether he's an imminent threat or not. Four, the responsibility for disarming Iraq belongs right now to the UN because Saddam is an imminent threat to the region.... Unilateral action is not appropriate." (from The Nation).
So unilateral action is inappropriate unless there is an "imminent threat". Such a threat would be constituted by having a nuclear weapons program (like, for instance, North Korea) but simply running a chem or bio program would not qualify - the country would actually have to be found supplying the weapons to terrorists before "unilateral" action is justified for Dean.
Of course, then he goes on to make the point that Saddam must be disarmed regardless of whether he's an "imminent threat" or not. Nice words, but then in the next sentence he demonstrates that he is completely unserious about disarming Iraq because he continues to insist that, somehow, someway - in spite of a decade of failed attempts - the UN can get the job done.
Also, if you read both quotes carefully, Dean admits that Iraq was a threat "to the region" in the Nation interview but in the previous passage (which is actually the more recent quote) he claims that President Bush failed to make the case "that Iraq posed a threat to the world". So which is it? Has he made up his mind yet? Stay tuned.
We should have issued a "sixty day" deadline according to the boy-wonder. Isn't that essentially precisely what we did? Think about it. Bush went to Congress and then to the UN. Saddam knew that Bush was authorized to act outside of UN restraints if necessary to enforce the previous resolutions. The UN passed 1441 promising "serious consequences" if Iraq failed to cooperate completely.
Iraq continued to obstruct inspections (even Blix admitted - grudgingly - that the Iraqi's were not cooperating fully). Bush very overtly prepared for the war that he had been announcing for six months would be the consequence of further stalling by Saddam.
So he didn't come out and say - "you've got sixty days". It would only have given the French sixty more days to lobby against the US position and it would have changed nothing.
The only thing that scares me more than Howard Dean being in control of American foreign policy is Ralph Nader becoming Commander-in-Cheif. Fortunately, they both have about the same chance of becoming president - 0.