Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are conservatism and racism indistinguishable?

That question will no doubt amuse most readers here but that they are indistinguishable is the burden of a recent Leftist book -- called Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same (Part of the SUNY Series in African American Studies). From the blurb:
In this provocative, wide-ranging study, Robert C. Smith contends that ideological conservatism and racism are and always have been equivalent in the United States. In this carefully constructed and thoroughly documented philosophical, historical, and empirical inquiry, Smith analyzes conservative ideas from John Locke to William F. Buckley Jr., as well as the parallels between the rise and decline of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1970s and the ascendancy of the conservative movement to national power in 1980. Using archival material from the Reagan library, the book includes detailed analysis of the Reagan presidency and race, focusing on affirmative action, the Voting Rights act, the Grove City case, welfare reform, South Africa policy, and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They are the Same goes beyond a focus on the right wing, concluding with an analysis of the enduring impact of the conservative movement and the Reagan presidency on liberalism, race, and the Democratic Party.


It seems to be mainly a belated bit of Reagan hatred and consists of the author's own angry interpretation of various historical events.

One wonders what he makes of the fact that Hitler was a socialist, that it was Democrat politicians (George Wallace, Orval Faubus etc.) who were the chief opponents of racial integration in the South, that the KKK was almost entirely composed of Democrats and that a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

I might also note that I did some actual psychological research into the question during my academic career. I did a random population survey and found that racist attitudes were equally likely to be found among Leftist and Rightist voters in Australia. And Australia is about as similar to the USA as you can get.


Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan to Ruin Your Life

Terence P. Jeffrey is the author of Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan to Ruin Your Life. The former campaign manager for Pat Buchanan’s 1996 presidential campaign now writes a column for Creators Syndicate and serves as editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com and editor at large of Human Events. Excerpts from an interview with him below

* What is the problem with the Fairness Doctrine and why are many liberals pushing it?

The opaque FCC ruling that became known as the “Fairness Doctrine” technically told broadcasters they had to air multiple sides of any controversial issue discussed on their air. The FCC imposed it in the 1940s, directly contradicting the intentions of Congress, which created the FCC to regulate the technical aspects of radio while denying it the power to censor radio speech. In practical terms, the Fairness Doctrine inhibited the development of programs like those of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. In the 1980s, an FCC dominated by Reagan appointees repealed the Fairness Doctrine. That is when the modern era of political talk radio began.

Liberal politicians used to being coddled by the liberal establishment would like to shut up Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin — and others. That is why, for example, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she supports re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine. Fortunately, she has never had the votes to do it legislatively. However, that does not mean an Obama-dominated FCC won’t find some new regulatory means to strike back at conservative talk radio — perhaps by forcing conservative broadcast licensees to surrender their licenses to new owners who will broadcast the type of speech the liberals like.

* Tell me about how liberals want to control how many children Americans have?

During his 2009 Senate confirmation hearing to become director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, John P. Holdren was asked, “What would your number for the right population in the U.S. be today?” He said: “I no longer think it’s productive, senator, to focus on the optimum population for the United States.”

Back in 1973, however, Holdren co-authored “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions” with Paul and Anne Ehrlich. In “Human Ecology,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs said: “Political pressure must be applied immediately to induce the United States government to assume its responsibility to halt the growth of the American population. Once growth is halted, the government should undertake to influence the birth rate so that the population is reduced to an optimum size and maintained there.” This conclusion was driven by their perception that increasing population was a threat to global ecology.

In a 1995 essay published by the World Bank, Holdren joined with Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily of the Center for Conservation Biology in stating that one of the things they “know for certain” is: “No form of material growth (including population growth) other than asymptotic growth is sustainable.” Holdren, Ehrlich and Daily went on to say, “This is enough to say quite a lot about what needs to be faced up to eventually (a world of zero net physical growth), what should be done now (change unsustainable practices, reduce excessive material consumption, slow down population growth), and what the penalty will be for postponing attention to population limitation (lower well-being per person).”

Holdren, as he told the Senate at his confirmation hearing, may no longer believe it is “productive … to focus on the optimum population for the United States,” but committed environmentalists who accept the argument that increasing population is a threat to the planet may be more inclined to agree with his earlier statements.

* You write that liberals want to even get control over what books you read. How so?

The First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In “Control Freaks,” I point out that in the first round of oral arguments in the case of Citizens United v. FEC, the Obama administration argued that the Constitution allowed the government to ban a corporation from publishing a book that mentioned a candidate for federal office.

In the second round of oral arguments, then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan retreated from that declaration a little bit, but stood her ground in telling the court that the Obama administration did believe it could prohibit a corporation from publishing a pamphlet — or other media — that mentioned a candidate for federal office. In his concurring opinion in Citizens United v. FEC, Chief Justice John Roberts accurately said: “The government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech.”

Fortunately, the court did not — by a 5-4 margin.



Democrat thinking on the Iranian bomb

Excerpt from Caroline Glick in Israel

It is worth considering where "the Americans" stand on Iran as it declares itself a nuclear power and tests new, advanced weapons systems on a daily basis.

The answer to this question was provided in large part in an article in the National Interest by former Clinton administration National Security Council member Bruce Riedel. Titled, "If Israel Attacks," Riedel - who reportedly has close ties to the current administration - asserts that an Israeli military strike against Iran will be a disaster for the US. In his view, the US is better served by allowing Iran to become a nuclear power than by supporting an Israeli attack against Iran.

He writes, "The United States needs to send a clear red light to Israel. There's no option but to actively discourage an Israeli attack."

Riedel explains that to induce Israel to accept the unacceptable specter of a nuclear armed mullocracy, the US should pay it off. Riedel recommends plying Israel's leaders with F-22 Stealth bombers, nuclear submarines, a mutual defense treaty and perhaps even NATO membership.

Riedel's reason for deeming an Israeli strike unacceptable is his conviction that such an operation will be met by an Iranian counter-strike against US forces and interests in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. While there is no reason to doubt he is correct, Riedel studiously ignores the other certainty: A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten those same troops and interests far more.

Riedel would have us believe that the Iranian regime will be a rational nuclear actor. That's the regime that has outlawed music, stones women, and deploys terror proxies throughout the region and the world. That's the same regime whose "supreme leader" just published a fatwa claiming he has the same religious stature as Muhammad.

Riedel bases this view on the actions Iran took when it was weak.

Since Iran didn't place its American hostages on trial in 1980, it can be trusted with nuclear weapons in 2010. Since Iran didn't go to war against the US in 1988 during the Kuwaiti tanker crisis, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can be trusted with nuclear bombs in 2010. And so on and so forth.

Moreover, Riedel ignores what any casual newspaper reader now recognizes: Iran's nuclear weapons program has spurred a regional nuclear arms race. Riedel imagines a bipolar nuclear Middle East, with Israel on the one side and Iran on the other. He fails to notice that already today Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan and Turkey have all initiated nuclear programs.

And if Iran is allowed to go nuclear, these countries will beat a path to any number of nuclear bomb stores.

Some argue that a multipolar nuclear Middle East will adhere to the rules of mutual assured destruction. Assuming this is true, the fact remains that the violent Iranian response to an Israeli strike against its nuclear installations will look like a minor skirmish in comparison to the conventional wars that will break out in a Middle East in which everyone has the bomb.

And in truth, there is no reason to believe that a Middle East in which everyone has nuclear weapons is a Middle East that adheres to the rules of MAD. A recent Zogby/University of Maryland poll of Arab public opinion taken for the Brookings Institute in US-allied Arab states Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the UAE shows that the Arab world is populated by jihadists.

As Herb London from the Hudson Institute pointed out in an analysis of the poll, nearly 70 percent of those polled said the leader they most admire is either a jihadist or a supporter of jihad.

The most popular leaders were Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Hizbullah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah, Syrian President Bashar Assad and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

So if popular revolutions bring down any of the teetering despotic regimes now occupying the seats of power in the Arab world, they will likely be replaced by jihadists. Moreover, since an Iranian nuclear bomb would empower the most radical, destabilizing forces in pan-Arab society, the likelihood that a despot would resort to a nuclear strike on a Western or Israeli target in order to stay in power would similarly rise.

All of this should not be beyond the grasp of an experienced strategic thinker like Riedel. And yet, obviously, it is. Moreover, as an alumnus of the Clinton administration, Riedel's positions in general are more realistic than those of the Obama administration. As Israeli officials acknowledge, the Obama administration is only now coming to terms with the fact that its engagement policy towards Iran has failed.

Moreover, throughout the US government, the White House is the most stubborn defender of the notion that the Iranian nuclear threat is not as serious a threat as the absence of a Palestinian state. That is, President Barack Obama himself is the most strident advocate of a US Middle East policy that ignores all the dangers the US faces in the region and turns American guns against the only country that doesn't threaten any US interest.




'Israel ready to destroy LAF in 4 hours': "The US warned Lebanon that if it did not prevent any recurrence of the border-fire incident that occurred earlier this month, the IDF would destroy the Lebanese Armed Forces within four hours, Israel Radio cited a report by Lebanese newspaper A-Liwaa on Friday. According to the report, Frederick Hoff, assistant to US Middle East Peace Envoy George Mitchell, told Lebanese Army chief of staff Jean Kahwaji that Israel was ready to implement a plan to destroy within four hours all Lebanese military infrastructure, including army bases and offices, should a similar confrontation occur in the future."

Asset forfeiture: Big government turns cops into robbers: "The ‘civil asset forfeiture’ laws are inherently corrupt. They empower law enforcement officers to take and keep your property, even if they haven’t charged you with a crime. It gets worse. It’s your property that’s actually charged with a crime, and your property is considered guilty until proven innocent. This makes it virtually impossible for you to regain your possessions once they’re seized. But it gets even worse …”

Capital gains taxes: "The current capital gains tax rate of 15 percent is set to increase substantially at the end of the year as the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts sunset. The current rate is lower than rates in only nine of the 25 major economies in the world, according to a report by Ernst & Young. If the capital gains tax rate is allowed to increase from 15 to 20 percent, the United States will have a lower tax than only six of those countries. This 33 percent tax hike will further hurt the competitiveness of the U.S. economy and discourage domestic investment.”

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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)


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