Monthly Archives: January 2011

Democrats risk losing Southern Whites, says civil rights leader

Here’s a totally unexpected development: Southern whites, who are routinely demonized and blamed for every ill from black illegitimacy to the black crime rate, have had enough of the party that’s turned against them.

That’s a problem, says this Democratic leader, because white Southerners’ votes are crucial:

In an interview, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Democrats need to “go all out” to win back white Southern voters before the next election.

White voters preferred Republican candidates by almost two-to-one in the midterms last year. Their support helped the GOP win 22 seats in the states that make up the Old Confederacy.

But I didn’t see a single suggestion by Lewis or any other Democratic strategist for fooling persuading white Southerners into returning to the party of Sam Ervin and James Webb. However, I can suggest a sure-fire way to win them back: Start an advertising campaign with the theme, “Support the Democratic Party, or we’ll call you a racist.”

It can’t fail.

Myths of Martin Luther King

Myths of Martin Luther King

by Marcus Epstein

There is probably no greater sacred cow in America than Martin Luther King Jr. The slightest criticism of him or even suggesting that he isn’t deserving of a national holiday leads to the usual accusations of racist, fascism, and the rest of the usual left-wing epithets not only from liberals, but also from many ostensible conservatives and libertarians.

This is amazing because during the 50s and 60s, the Right almost unanimously opposed the civil rights movement. Contrary to the claims of many neocons, the opposition was not limited to the John Birch Society and southern conservatives. It was made by politicians like Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, and in the pages of Modern Age, Human Events, National Review, and the Freeman.

Today, the official conservative and libertarian movement portrays King as someone on our side who would be fighting Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton if he were alive. Most all conservative publications and websites have articles around this time of the year praising King and discussing how today’s civil rights leaders are betraying his legacy. Jim Powell’s otherwise excellent The Triumph of Liberty rates King next to Ludwig von Mises and Albert J. Nock as a libertarian hero. Attend any IHS seminar, and you’ll read “A letter from a Birmingham Jail” as a great piece of anti-statist wisdom. The Heritage Foundation regularly has lectures and symposiums honoring his legacy. There are nearly a half dozen neocon and left-libertarian think tanks and legal foundations with names such as “The Center for Equal Opportunity” and the “American Civil Rights Institute” which claim to model themselves after King. Continue reading

A Lesson from Critical Theory

Critical Theory was never for anything, only against something: Western civilisation.

Since the US “right” isn’t at all united by a common worldview, it can unite within single-issue institutions. For example, those who oppose mass immigration can unite within orgs fighting for reduced immigration. Similarly relevant activists can join single-issue protectionist trade groups, and so on.

Uniting within single-issue institutions isn’t enough for the long-term though.

I realise this is not a new idea, but it’s worth repeating.

Let’s Discuss Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus seems to be a bit of a mystery nationally. He  is friendly to the TEA Party according to Debbie Dooley of the Tea Party Patriots. Here is what Debbie wrote since you have to be a member of the group to see the Facebook page.

This comment is from a tea party activist in Wisconsin about Preibus. “Reince is definitely in favor of the Tea Party Movement. He attended dozens of tea party events here in Wisconsin and has always publicly spoken out in favor of the movement. My group, the Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty, hosted a gubernatorial debate last summer and I learned after the fact that Reince had called the candidates urging them to take part after we had extended the invitations. I met with Reince many times over the last year and a half to discuss what we want, which legislation we think should be enacted/repealed, how we can work best with our legislators. Reince “gets it.”

But Aaron at the Republican Liberty Caucus doesn’t like him. (HT: Justin Huff) And Sean has expressed his reservations below. And Red State doesn’t like him.

I take it for granted that anyone who rises to this level in the party is 1.) a hack  2.) an operator 3.) a least a bit Machiavellian. Steele is a bit of an anomaly. He was chosen in the wake of Obama’s election for his celebrity status, his moderation and the fact that he was black. Normally the RNC Chairman is someone more like Priebus, a functionary. So I don’t necessarily hold his hack status against him per se. It is part of the gig. I do think there are hacks who rise through the ranks from the grassroots and those who rise through the ranks who have been establishment from the start. The former would generally be better than the latter.

What is important for an RNC Chairman is that he do his job of fund raising, organizing GOTV activities, etc. adequately, and from our standpoint that the RNC refrains from endorsing RNC favorite candidates prior to the primaries. According to the RLC article he doesn’t forswear pre-primary endorsements. If true this is a problem.

Leftist: Violence OK if Part of Strategy


Francis Fox Piven:

The reason I respect nonviolence is I think it helps to protect the protesters. The espousal of the goal of nonviolence is a form of self-defence. … It’s partly a problem of strategy and propaganda. … Probably, unless you have good reason for breaking a window, probably you shouldn’t do that – unless it’s a big part of your strategy.

H/T.

Articles for your consideration

“Ron Paul vs. Federal Reserve” over at BATR.

“Don’t Jump to Conclusions over Senseless Act” by Robert Rolfling

“As Obamacare Goes” by J.J. Jackson at Liberty Reborn

“A Nation of Truth Rejectors” by Rev. Chuck Baldwin

“Without Form or Void” from Daryl Hart at Front Porch Republic

Glenn Greenwald always stays his course in “The Reflexive Call for Fewer Liberties” at Salon

“Why Protecting the Homeland is Destroying the Economy” by Simon Black at Lew Rockwell

Righteous violence

This year, AD 2011, will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks and the beginning of the so-called Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). And yet after 10 years of war, there are a number of U.S. citizens who hate their fellow Americans more than they do the perpetrator of the New York and Washington attacks, Osama bin Laden. All an Al Qaeda operative would have to do to find out the state of American morale and unity is to browse the comment sections of major news outlet websites and gauge the vitriol following the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords themselves. It would be an enlightening experience. The operative would no doubt tell his bosses all Al Qaeda has to do is simply hold out indefinitely and the U.S. war effort may very well fall apart due to the nation’s own internal differences.

Continue reading

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead: Steele Out at RNC!

Steele dropped out of the election as he was losing support with each new round of voting.

Steele called it quits after four rounds of voting in which his support steadily dwindled, throwing his support behind Maria Cino…

“It’s very clear the party wants to do something different,”  a shaken Steele said. “This is tough, because it is what it is… At this time I will step aside so others may lead.”

Steele recapped his legacy and the GOP victories in the 2010 elections, before saying, “And now, I exit stage right.”

Reince Priebus was eventually elected. I don’t know much about Priebus, but that is probably a good thing. Hopefully he will keep a low profile unlike the relentless self promoter he is replacing.

Here is a video of me celebrating Steele’s ouster.

Martin Luther King would approve of DC’s wars

I’ve long argued the Evil Empire promotes the worship of Martin Luther King, Jr. because King’s image sanctifies the projection of DC’s power at home and abroad. We’re supposed to believe the central government’s “wars of liberation” in Iraq and Afghanistan are extensions of the hallowed Civil Rights movement. Condi Rice even made that explicit when she denounced opponents of the Iraq War as “racist.” (What a handy word!)

Now another apparatchik has made my case. Yesterday, the Defense Department presented a “certificate of appreciation” to Jeh C. Johnson, the department’s general counsel, at the 26th annual observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Pentagon. What critics would call illegal invasions, he assured his audience, are actually noble, selfless acts of kindness:

Volunteers in today’s military, he said, “have made the conscious decision to travel a dangerous road and personally stop and administer aid to those who want peace, freedom and a better place in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in defense of the American people.

“Every day, our servicemen and women practice the dangerousness — the dangerous unselfishness Dr. King preached on April 3, 1968,” Johnson told the audience.

Yep — the Pentagon is the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with cluster bombs.

Daniel Larison Replies to My New START Post

Daniel Larison has replied to my New START post. Recently another CHT blogger, who shall remain nameless, got all Mr. Fancy Pants on us because a ”big name” blog responded to him. Well la de dah. I’ll have Mr. Fancy Pants know that he ain’t the only one who can get himself responded to by the big wigs. ;-)

In all seriousness, here is my reply to Daniel.

I don’t really disagree with too much here. The main reason I might have hoped for the treaty to pass was so as not to antagonize Russia which I would like to see as an ally. Were it not for historical circumstances, Russia should be a natural ally of the US. (White, Christian, abundant natural resources, etc.) (Besides, whats not to like about a country that produces such a disproportionate number of great boxers and mixed martial artists?)

To be honest, I wasn’t comfortable with the treaty passing or being defeated which is one reason I didn’t have much to say about it. On the one hand I agree with you that the opponents of the treaty were right or wrong for all the wrong reasons and they were the usual cast of characters. A defeat of the treaty would have emboldened them. On the other hand, the major proponents of the treaty were the usual cast of conventional wisdom spouting internationalist consensus Establishmentarians. So a wrong element won either way.

In an odd way non-interventionists and hawkish unilateralist interventionists have in common being on the outs with the foreign policy consensus establishment. Look at the way they view us both as the problem. (Think about Foreign Policy warning of the twin specters of isolationism and neocon interventionism.) While neocons were in power for a while, they are generally outside the foreign policy establishment. Not as far outside as non-interventionists, but outside nonetheless.

“Anyone who wants to scale back the warfare state and restore some sanity to U.S. foreign policy should be able to see” that both the hawkish interventionists and internationalist establishment are both going to have to be overcome. There was just something about the latter getting their way on the treaty against the base that seems to me to not bode well. Again, I admitted that my opposition (such as it was) was more visceral than rational. I guess it depends on who you see as ultimately the bigger impediment to establishing a non-interventionist policy.

To answer my own question, I think the foreign policy internationalist consensus establishment is ultimately the bigger impediment because they are … well the establishment. The hawkish interventionists are outliers just like  we are.

Are we hardwired to be ethnocentric?

Are we hardwired to be ethnocentric? After all, birds of a feather flock together. Steve Sailer has tirelessly reported on findings in sociobiology that demonstrate the biological basis for ethnocentrism (i.e. preferring others of one’s own ethnicity/race), such as applications of William D. Hamilton’s theory of kin selection and inclusive fitness—the more genes we share with another individual, the more altruistic we feel toward him.

And now there is yet another study proving this insight. Nicholas Wade at the NY Times reports on a Dutch study where subjects were given oxytocin and then had to select their preferences.

Dutch students were given standard moral dilemmas in which a choice must be made about whether to help a person onto an overloaded lifeboat, thereby drowning the five already there, or saving five people in the path of a train by throwing a bystander onto the tracks.

In Dr. De Dreu’s experiments, the five people who might be saved were nameless, but the sacrificial victim had either a Dutch or a Muslim name. Subjects who had taken oxytocin were far more likely to sacrifice the Muhammads than the Maartens.

Wade continues:

What does it mean that a chemical basis for ethnocentrism is embedded in the human brain? “In the ancestral environment it was very important for people to detect in others whether they had a long-term commitment to the group,” Dr. De Dreu said. “Ethnocentrism is a very basic part of humans, and it’s not something we can change by education. That doesn’t mean that the negative aspects of it should be taken for granted.”

If these findings are correct, then the war against ethnocentrism (often labeled as a war against “racism”) may itself be a  war against human nature.

Updates:

Carsten K. W. De Dreu’s paper, “Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism

Allan C. Park’s take on the experiments.

Donald Trump “Seriously” Considering a Run for President in 2012

Trump says this is the first time he has “seriously” considered running, but third party advocates will remember that he flirted with seeking the Reform Party nomination in 2000.

Trump cites trade as his main reason for considering a run.

“The Apprentice” host cited what he called the “unfair” trade relationship between America and China and the administration’s inability to utilize the country’s top business talent in trade negotiations as his main reasons for mulling a run.

Trump says he “guess(es)” he would run as a Republican this time around.

Cross posted at IPR.

Cut Out the Heated Vitriolic Rhetoric you Teabagger Wingnuts!

You think I’m just being sarcastic? You think no one could really lack self-awareness enough to say something that oblivious? Think again. Meet Jim Saul the fourth commenter down.

The violent rhetoric of the teabaggers and other wingnuts need not directly incite those like the Tucson shooter to make such events more likely.

My reply to Mr. Pot is below.

So Jim Saul, calling people teabaggers ( a sexual reference) and wingnuts (a slur suggesting mental instability) is OK though? Grow up and come in from the playground. Name calling is for children. If you disagree with the TEA Party agenda then make your case, and I’m sure many of them will be willing to make their’s. Name calling in lieu of actual argument is not befitting adult intellectual discourse.

Stop the US-Korea NAFTA

Everyone should check out the new website: Stop the US-Korea NAFTA.

From the website:

Top 10 reasons to oppose the NAFTA-style Korea trade pact

  1. Undermines U.S. sovereignty in favor of international law & foreign tribunals of UN & World Bank.
  2. Violates U.S. Constitution by circumventing Congressional authority regarding appropriation of U.S. tax dollars.
  3. State legislators oppose because it undermines State’s sovereignty.
  4. Negotiated with expedited Executive authority & Congress is banned from amending or fully debating it.
  5. Kills almost 160,000 U.S. jobs & encourages offshoring by multi-national corporations.
  6. Favors powerful multi-national corporations over U.S. small business even when bidding for government contracts.
  7. Not real “free trade” – benefits Korea much more than U.S. & increases U.S. trade deficit by $16.7 billion.
  8. Allows unsafe food products into U.S.
  9. Benefits the NORTH Korea & strengthens Chinese leverage against us.
  10. Throws open the doors to Korean immigration

You can take action here.

Gottfried on the Neocon Smear Machine

Paul Gottfried discusses why the neocons so adamantly are trying to smear everyone to their right regarding the Gabriel Giffords shooting:

One, the neocon infrastructure is indirectly under attack from the liberal Left, which is trying to implicate Sarah P. in the supposedly rightwing hysteria that led to Loughner’s horrible crimes. The head honchos at FOX are trying to save their usable politicians against this savage assault and are understandably diverting attention, from GOP personalities toward “extremist” sources. We are made to believe that these other sources on the far right might have contributed to Loughner’s muddy thinking, together with selected readings from Hitler and Marx. By transferring their cooties to those on their right, FOX and the rest of the neocon establishment are shielding their own kind against further negative fallout. The attempt to avoid such fallout also explains the maudlin repeated expressions of affection that GOP politicians have been issuing around the clock about Rep. Giffords. Never mind that before the election she and the Tea Party candidate in the Arizona First District had been in an acrimonious battle and that furthermore the GOP made strenuous efforts to get Giffords defeated.

The other explanation, which does not rule out the first but seems entirely convincing, is that the violent acts committed by Loughner are allowing the neocons to tar the non-authorized Right with a Nazi brush. It should be no secret that the neoconservatives have never been able to stifle their opposition on the right entirely. Their pesky opponents stay around, no matter how hard the neocons and their drudges pummel or ignore them. Wouldn’t it be nice if those on top could drive away the lingering opposition to their rule that persists on the right? And that could be done by exposing AmRen as the true culprit in Loughner’s crimes, while placing in the public mind a link between the non-neocon Right and mass murder. And it would be even better from this standpoint if one could get the FBI, Homeland Security, and other government surveillance organizations to go after “rightwing extremism,” that is, that part of the Right that the neocons have not been able to dominate and adapt to their use.

Celebrating secession

It’s interesting how in the wake of another piece of dreck article about secession, we read in the news of an historic vote taking place in Sudan over the weekend – a vote to decide whether Sudan’s own “South”, as it were, should secede from the rest of the country.  Jimmy Carter is there, not to try to talk Southerners out of it but to make sure the vote goes smoothly.

If the mainstream view of secession as it concerns the U.S. is that it was a bad thing to occur, as read in frequent articles popping up during the beginning of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States; then why wouldn’t Sudan’s southerners be admonished for trying to do the same thing? Wouldn’t Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir be seen as a present-day Abraham Lincoln trying to save the Union?

Well, actually no. Instead Bashir, according to George Clooney and other celebrities, is seen a war criminal and terrorist. But let’s put Old Bashir in Old Abe’s shoes for a minute. Southern Sudan has been trying to secede from the north since 1985. Obviously as head of one of the largest countries on earth, Bashir didn’t want see it break apart, given how destabilizing it would be, along giving up the vast oil reserves which lie in the South. Having acquiesced to this vote in a peace treaty after the north basically tired of the war and realizing the south was unconquerable, other parts of Sudan tried to break away too, like Darfur. The response from Old Bashir was the Khartoum government arming janjaweed militias to kill and terrorize women and children and using air force plains to bomb villages to cower the population into surrender. It sounds like the March to the Sea doesn’t it?

So it’s okay for south of Sudan to secede and not the South as we know it? There were votes taken too in the southern states for secession, whether by popular vote or by special assembly. It was hardly done by putsch. You can make a fair argument that we have two different circumstances here, but you cannot argue regarding the legitimacy of secession itself as a means of solving political, social or economic disputes. The south of Sudan believes it is a distinct and separate region, which is true. It is made up of Christian and animist peoples who are black and who are different than the Arabs and Islamists who rule in Khartoum. Such persons do not wish to live under Sharia Law nor the racist rule of the lighter-skinned peoples. In the same regard, the southern states of North America believe they were a distinct region; believed they were under economic, social and political threat by the northern states of the same continent; and believed they would be better off apart rather than continuing within the same Union. That’s all it was, a wish for a divorce not a takeover of the U.S. government which really would have been treason.

One cannot celebrate the birth of a new nation via secession by popular ballot then damn the South for trying to do the exact same thing back in 1860-61. We can argue the causes for secession and whether they were legitimate or not, but not whether they had a right to do so. Otherwise go help Old Bashir invade southern Sudan or help Serbia gain back Kosovo. One or the other.