Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Change" a red herring: Unlimited government is the problem

Democrats in general, I would submit, confuse change with improvement. They fail to weigh the costs and benefits of change, to consider its unintended consequences, or to worry about what we need to conserve and how we might go about doing that faithfully. They ask Americans to embrace change for its own sake, in the faith that history is governed by a law of progress, which guarantees that change is almost always an improvement. The ability to bring about historical change, then, becomes the highest mark of the liberal leader. Thus Hillary Clinton quickly joined Obama on the change bandwagon. Her initial claim of "experience" sounded in retrospect a bit too boring-indeed, almost Republican in its plainness. So "Ready on Day One" signs morphed into "Ready for Change."

As for John McCain, he doesn't really have a slogan, unless we count "Mac is Back." McCain differentiated himself from Romney by saying that he is a leader rather than a manager. A leader, McCain argued, appeals to patriotism rather than self-interest. Certainly McCain's leading characteristic is his personal honor, which-unlike many republican men of honor-he talks about a lot and in public. He fits the traditional category of a war hero-turned-politician, but with one important difference. Usually war heroes are victorious generals, whereas McCain is famous as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, a war that ended in defeat. This fact helps to explain the somewhat prickly and self-referential quality to his sense of honor. He despises self-interest and likes to say so frequently in public, whether it's the self-interest involved in campaign contributions (which he wants to regulate), attitudes towards illegal immigration (he imputes to its critics the most selfish motives), or even something like waterboarding (a kind of selfish act, motivated by an urgent sense of national interest). McCain stands against all considerations of low self-interest-or maybe any self-interest-in favor of doing the honorable thing, which sometimes turns out to mean simply doing the thing that John McCain wants to do.

Utterly missing in this election season is a serious focus on limited or constitutional government. The Democrats, generally speaking, want more government, not less, so their neglect of the issue is to be expected. But the Republican dereliction is more troubling. It represents a falling away from the standards of Ronald Reagan's conservatism-a decline already reflected in the "compassionate conservatism" of George W. Bush. After 9/11, many prominent conservatives-e.g., George Will, David Brooks, Fred Barnes -pronounced that small government conservatism is dead. That awful reminder of the dangerous world we live in, and of the need to defend ourselves, somehow meant that big government conservatism, as they called it, was now the only game in town. Conservatives would need to make their peace with this idea, they argued, in order to win future elections....

From a certain point of view-let's call it, for shorthand purposes, the libertarian point of view, or the view associated this year with Ron Paul-every dollar that government spends comes at the cost of freedom. The premise of this view is that government and freedom are opposites-that all government is oppression. By this way of thinking, limited government is simply limited oppression, differing in magnitude but not in kind from tyranny. Interestingly, this notion does not come originally from any libertarian thinker or friend of freedom. It comes from Machiavelli, the great analyst of open and hidden power, of force and fraud. From Machiavelli's point of view, there's no difference between just and unjust government, which are the same phenomenon called by different names. All government, whether considered to be just or unjust, is oppression. Just government is the kind we happen to agree with and profit from, and unjust is the opposite kind.

Against this view stand the American Founders and the greatest statesmen, who have always sharply distinguished between just and unjust-or between free and tyrannical-forms of government. What is the Declaration of Independence but a great meditation on the difference between the absolute despotism contemplated by King George III and the freedom that the Americans hoped to enjoy under their own form of self-government? The Declaration does not proclaim that just government is merely less oppressive than unjust government-as if the American republic and, say, Nazi Germany were separated only by degrees of tyranny. Our ancestors thought that republican governments like ours were good because, grounded in human nature and operating by law and consent, they affirmed human liberty.

Much more here



Four Times as Many Journalists Self-Define as Liberal than Conservative: "A recent study by the Pew Research Center has revealed that journalists are far more likely to define themselves as liberal than the general population, and far less likely to define themselves as conservative. The massive study was conducted late last year, and surveyed the views of over 500 journalists. "As was the case in 2004," reads the commentary on the study by the Pew Research Center, "majorities of the national and local journalists surveyed describe themselves as political moderates; 53% of national journalists and 58% of local journalists say they are moderates. About a third of national journalists (32%), and 23% of local journalists, describe themselves as liberals. Relatively small minorities of national and local journalists call themselves conservatives (8% national, 14% local)." Commentary by the popular Newsbusters website suggested that the statistics do not even fully describe the imbalance in the media, pointing out, "It's not much of a leap to presume many of the 53 percent who describe themselves as 'moderate' are really quite liberal."

Another crooked lawyer caught: "The prominent lawyer Melvyn I. Weiss of the Milberg Weiss law firm, a prolific filer of lawsuits against publicly held corporations, has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, according to his defense lawyer. According to a statement released Thursday by the defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, Mr. Weiss will plead guilty to participating in a criminal conspiracy to pay a share of legal fees to plaintiffs in shareholder suits brought by Milberg Weiss. Such kickbacks are improper because they give plaintiffs representing a class of all shareholders an incentive to accept a deal that might not be best for the class. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Mr. Weiss faces a sentence of up to 33 months in prison. Mr. Weiss has also agreed to pay a total of $10 million in fines and penalties, according to the statement."

Do these dummies still get their 70 virgins? "Palestinian militants accidentally set off a large blast at a Hamas training base in the central Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing two members of the violent Islamic group and wounding another, a Palestinian medical official said. Hamas initially blamed Israel for the blast, but later acknowledged that it was caused by a mishandling of explosives, saying its men died while performing a "holy mission." The Israeli military denied involvement."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Palestinian militants accidentally set off a large blast at a Hamas training base in the central Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing two members of the violent Islamic group and wounding another, a Palestinian medical official said. Hamas initially blamed Israel for the blast, but later acknowledged that it was caused by a mishandling of explosives, saying its men died while performing a "holy mission."

The radical home-grown American "Weather Underground" did the exact same thing in Greenwich Village. They were the same Black-Panther linked group that organized Timothy Leary's prison break. But that accident humanized them. It ended their bombing runs, period. Radical as they were, they did not have a holy book to pray to, to explain their bad karma away.