Monthly Archives: December 2011

Tahir Square backlash

Viewing the Arab Spring from the perspective of winter, I am not as cynical as some who think all of the upheaval in the Middle East was as concocted as the color revolutions of Europe were by the powers that be.  I sincerely believe the fellow who set himself on fire in a town square in Tunisia because he was fed up having to pay bribes to petty bureaucrats just to sell fruits to feed his family because of rising food prices, made a gesture wholly natural and wholly out of frustration, not because George Soros or Barak Obama told him to. The Powers that Be much prefer stability than upheaval.

However, be that as it may, aftermath of all these “revolutions” and culture shocks in the politics and government of the region is leading to a power vacuum which is being filled by Islamist political parties.  It may well be the Year of the Protestor according to Time Magazine but it could means decades of Islamist rule judging by the election results according to writers like Chronicles Dr. Srdja Trifkovic.

Why this disconnect between Tahir Square and the ballot box? Because the sad reality is revolutions more often than not are not made by majorities. The secularists of the Arab may well have been sophisticated enough to know they could bring down a government by filling a public square with Twitter bombs and Facebook posts, but they simply are too small a minority to run the country, at least for right now. The Muslim Brotherhood could never get away with organizing such massive protests, the students could and prevent the U.S. from decisively backing the government. But the Brotherhood can get away with winning the majority of seats in the Egyptian Parliament because they for many many years were the only organized opposition to the government and were organized at the street level through the social service the government was happy to hand over to them. Now they’ll be running the show because for the masses not educated in the ways of social media, they are their only true representative. History repeats itself in Egypt, as in Iran cira n1979-81, the technocratic elite who thought they would run things while Ayatollah Khomeini would be a figurehead never believe the mullahs were actually dead serious about setting up a theocracy. Instead they wound up back in exile in Paris being kicked out of Iran once again.

But the non-Islamists shouldn’t lose hope just for the very fact they are young. Eventually they will inherit the Middle East and elsewhere in time and can run it any way they wish. They have to bide their time and hope Islamism runs its course as a manner of governing as beginning to be the case in Iran. In the meantime they would best be engaged with those who have to work for a living and who don’t inhabit Internet cafes. They might learn something in the process.

Christopher Hitchens, RIP

Yes, it’s possible to feel compassion, even a sneaking admiration, for a man who was once accurately described as “lying, self-serving, fat-assed, chain-smoking, drunken, opportunistic [and] cynical.” Christopher Hitchens was all those things, but also a gifted writer, polemicist, and story teller, and now he is gone, following an excruciating battle with esophageal cancer. You’d have to be pretty hard-hearted not to be touched by what he endured.

But questions remain. What does Hitchens’ legacy tell us about ourselves and our time? That legacy, of course, is that of articulate and militant promotion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Look at how that legacy is celebrated by supposedly antagonistic camps in the political blogosphere. Over at The Other McCain, Hitchens is recognized as an “atheist [who] abandoned the Left for conservatism.” Meanwhile, at Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs, Hitchens is mourned with this farewell: “One of the real heroes of rational humanism and critical thinking has left us, and we’ll all be poorer for his leaving. I’ll miss you, Christopher.”

Despite the ferocity of his prose, Hitch has in death transubstantiated into a revered figure of unity. Those who once were far off have been brought near by his life’s work, and especially by his advocacy of war, the great unifier.

Problem is, Hitchens never “abandoned the Left for conservatism”; he remained a self-described Trotskyite. The Neocon Wars he supported were conceived and implemented as grand Trotskyite projects to promote big government and globalism. Yes, he despised Islam, but he despised all religion. Hitchens also had nothing but the leftist’s contempt for traditional culture, especially the South, for daring to defend its beloved symbols.

Now why, in the middle of a euology, would some trouble-maker elbow his way to the podium to demand time for a rebuttal? Because if we continue to spread the misconception that support for war, any war, somehow defines conservatism, we will end up abandoning genuine conservatism and its love of liberty for a bizarre ideology that promotes and glorifies war’s chief sponsor and beneficiary, which is authoritarian government. These days, the policies of open borders, perpetual war, and the scuttling of the Bill of Rights in the name of national security are sold in the name of “conservatism.”

Can we mourn the man while repudiating his projects? We must do both.

National Review Says Don’t Vote for Newt

National Review has an editorial from “The Editors” that specifically says not to vote for Newt. (H/T Joseph Lawler at AmSpec) As Lawler asks, what is the word for the opposite of endorsing someone? They suggest Romney, Huntsman and Santorum as acceptable options.

Here is what they say about Ron Paul:

Representative Paul’s recent re-dabbling in vile conspiracy theories about September 11 are a reminder that the excesses of the movement he leads are actually its essence.

What are they even talking about? Re-dabbling? Did I miss some recent development? Tom DiLorenzo reports that Bill Bennett brought up Ron Paul and conspiracy theories tonight on Hannity. Is this just a new concerted attack on Paul by people who are frightened by his increasing poll numbers and/or did I miss something?

 

Why the pro-war, pro-affirmative action, pro-immigration Newt Gingrich is wrong for the GOP

Gingrich is Not the GOP’s Answer to Obama
By Peter Morrison, VDare, December 14, 2011

There’s an old proverb that says once a person becomes known as an early riser, he can sleep all day. The point of the saying is that many people will ignore a person’s actual behavior, and instead base their opinion of him on his reputation. Nothing demonstrates this truth more powerfully than the very strange career of Newt Gingrich. He is arguably the most left-wing of the current candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, but because the media portrayed him as a right-wing conservative back in the 1990s, and continue the charade even today, that’s how most people view him. Even millions of conservatives think he’s one of us, when nothing could be further from the truth.

In actuality, Gingrich was never really a conservative, not even in the early 1990s when he first shot to fame. However, it suited the mainstream media’s purposes to portray him as a right-wing foil to Bill Clinton, and that’s the reputation that has stuck with him. In addition, he long ago mastered the arts of speaking out of both sides of his mouth, saying one thing while doing another, and constantly revising his “fundamental” principles. For example, while he was on the path to becoming Speaker of the House, Gingrich strongly denounced affirmative action, quotas and other race-based privileges as un-Constitutional and unfair. Shortly after becoming Speaker, however, he quickly reversed himself, not only supporting race-based privileges for minorities, but also denouncing other Republicans who opposed them. He said the GOP needs to embrace affirmative action and quotas in order to be “fair”, and to attract black voters.

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Updates:

Steve Sailer writes about liberal journalists strange new respect for Newt Gingrich.

Gary Johnson to Run for Libertarian Presidential Nomination (Maybe?)

IPR has the exclusive. (Good job Trent!)

You have to wonder if the Bob Barr situation will hurt Gary Johnson’s chances?

I think it may unless Johnson is able to bring a lot of his own people to the convention. I don’t think LP regulars will be in much of a mood for another interloper of questionable libertarian credentials.

Besides the questionable libertarian credentials (by LP standards), I have expressed before that I’m not crazy about people who perform poorly in a major party primary jumping ship and seeking the nomination of a minor party, especially in the same race for the same office. Unless the person is obviously done wrong by the major party in which case seeking a minor party nomination could have a righteous feel about it, it comes off as sour grapes and gives off a petty “I’ll show you” vibe. It also potentially gives off a whiney needy vibe. Like the candidate is desperately seeking someone, anyone to love him. (See Bob Smith.)

Johnson, as a two term governer of a state, potentially has some room to complain about being ignored, not being invited to debates, etc. But I think those were reflective of his poll numbers and the fact that he really doesn’t have a base within the GOP. He may have a general election base, but he doesn’t have a GOP primary base. I don’t get the sense that there has been an organized campaign to marginalize him because he never had enough support for there to need to be one.

Update: Not so fast. Now there is an indication he may not switch tomorrow. Does that mean he still will at a later date? The editorial comments above still apply.

Former Senator (and Former Potential Constitution Party Nominee for President) Bob Smith Endorses Newt Gingrich

What’s up with all these Gingrich endorsements? Do these people not know the guy’s record? Anyway, this is news because Bob Smith once left the Republican Party and flirted with the Constitution Party. I believe he twice flirted with the CP as a potential Presidential candidate. The endorsement reads in part:

“It is not enough to simply defeat President Obama. We must replace him with an inspirational, experienced, conservative leader, with the guts to challenge and change the establishment. Newt Gingrich is that leader.”

Read more…

This will not make Smith’s CP friends, if he still has any, happy.

Honestly, I’m a bit embarrassed for Smith who comes off as kinda pathetic. His Senate speech leaving the GOP was really quite good, but he went back like a dog with his tail tucked between his legs, and it has all been down hill from there. He seems to be desperately trying to recapture a piece of his former status to no avail. He briefly ran for Senate in Florida this last cycle. Anyone who would endorse Gingrich at this point was never CP material to begin with as some of us suggested at the time.

Cross posted (without the editorial content) at Independent Political Report. There our friend Peter Gemma reminds us that Smith endorsed Duncan Hunter in 2008, which I had forgotten. I guess he has moved on entirely from his third party flirtation phase.

Editor’s Note: I just added a category for Newt Gingrich since we will unfortunately be talking a lot about him for a while.

Did Bob Barr Just Endorse Newt Gingrich?

It looks like he did, along with a lot of other pathetic Georgia Republicans. At first there was some skepticism that this was legit, but so far there have been no objections from the Barr camp. Barr was considering a run for Congress as a Republican, but recently announced he wasn’t going to run. But he does seem to be attempting to re-ingratiate himself with the GOP.

On a larger scale, this mass endorsement by elected Republican officials seems to indicate that establishment Republicans are coming to terms with the fact that Gingrich is the last remaining alternative to Romney. Of course there is still Ron Paul, but these types of Republicans are too fearful and/or wishy-washy to endorse a real alternative like Paul.

Update: The “some skepticism” link above was incorrect. It is now fixed.

Precision and Misdirection in the Use of the Word Neoconservative

Jeffrey Lord still has his panties in a wad over the Monroe Doctrine, and Jim Antle replied. Roger Kaplan, who posts infrequently, chimed in with an attempt to clarify. While Kaplan makes some important points, I also think he attempts some deliberate misdirection. Read his post for context. Below is my reply.

Mr. Kaplan, there is some truth here, but I am afraid some misdirection also.

First, the First Gulf War may have been an exercise in international border enforcement, but it wasn’t our fight. Nowhere is it written in stone by the Hand of God that the US must lead or participate in such ventures. We went to war because the Bush I Administration, with the slobbering acquiescence of Republicans and Democrats alike, took it upon this country to play global enforcer, something I see nowhere in the job description of the US government called the Constitution. Likewise with “get-the-varmints” warfare. Don’t see that in the job description either.

Second, I agree that people throw around the word neoconservative too casually. Many hyper-interventionists (John Bolton for example) are not neoconservatives proper. They are a type of bellicose, militaristic nationalist, and are less motivated by spreading democracy than they are by stomping out perceived (and always alarmingly exaggerated) threats.

I also agree that there is a difference between the “first generation” of neoconservatives, Irving Kristol for example, and “second generation” neoconservatives, Kristol the Younger for example. The second generation is more fixated on foreign policy as you indicate and more grandiose and less cautious with their rhetoric and plans. But it is clear that the seeds of neoconservative thought that grew into the Jacobin radicalism of “second generation” neoconservatism were there from the beginning.

But while I agree that we need to be more careful with the use of neoconservative, confining the term only to those with a direct lineage to the originals is precision with the intent to mislead. Rumsfeld and Cheney may be more Bolton like, but Wolfowitz not a neoconservative? Come on now.

In most cases the term neoconservative is not meant to indicate only people with a direct lineage, but the ideas they promulgated. Kristol the Elder didn’t write a book called Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea for nothing. Unfortunately, neoconservatives ideas suffuse the whole “conservative” interventionist paradigm making it very hard to sort out.

I think most “conservative” interventionists are primarily concerned with what they see as our national interests and suppressing imagined threats, and less concerned with democratization projects, but the tension still exists as was illustrated here in the AmSpec blog regarding Egypt and Libya. But these bellicose nationalists have a very hard time disentangling themselves from neocon ideas and rhetoric especially when pressed on national interest questions. They quickly resort to classic neocon formulations of US as necessary enforcer of world order and bringer of light complete with all or nothing Jacobin–like good guys vs. bad guys scenarios.

There are a few illiberal interventionists who recognize neoconservatism as the post-Enlightenment liberal ideological dogma that it is and still maintain their interventionism (Ron L who comments here at times is one), but they are few and far between. In my experience neoconservative presumptions suffuse the thought processes of the average run-of-the-mill “conservative” interventionist to the point where it is very hard to make distinctions.

For example, Newt Gingrich’s (is he or is he not a neoconservative?) latest book is on the necessity of American Exceptionalism. (It is interesting that he felt the need to write that as his campaign book instead of something on the economy.) Romney (is he or isn’t he a neoconservative?) babbles incessantly about American Exceptionalism and sings pitch perfect from the neocon hymnal. American Exceptionalism, as it is (mis)understood by “conservatives” today, is an entirely neocon infused idea. Both the militant nationalists and the neocons share the presumption that American has a special role to fill in the world and since there are no more naked Imperialists (let’s invade country x so we can pump their oil) this is always prefaced on a notion of America as benign hegemon. It is conceivably possible to be a militant nationalist without having pretensions of being responsible for the whole world. A militant nationalist might conceivably be concerned only about his own “sphere.” So the world hegemon thing is a neocon baby whether you like it or not.

My Heisman Trophy Rant!!!!!

Alright, I’m going to get this off my chest and since I have posting privileges at this blog, y’all are going to be the ones ”lucky” enough to read it. Every year the Heisman Trophy drives me up the freakin’ wall.

Here is what the award is officially given for:

The outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.

Get that? “The outstanding college football player.” Nowhere does that say the outstanding skill position player. Nowhere does it say the outstanding quarterback or running back. Nowhere does it say the outstanding offensive player other than a lineman. No, it says the outstanding college football PLAYER. Are defensive backs not football players? Are defensive linemen not football players? Are offensive linemen not football players? And for that matter, does the award say anything about the player necessarily playing for a highly ranked team? If someone had been lost on a deserted island before 1935 and was found today and asked to read that very simple language would he, uncorrupted by years of brainwashing, come to the conclusion that the award could only go to a quarterback or running back? I think not. 
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Jewish Oligarch to run against Putin next year

“MOSCOW—Russian billionaire tycoon and Nets basketball team owner Mikhail Prokhorov Monday said he will run against Vladimir Putin in next year’s presidential election.” ~ WSJ

The next year is going to be intense.  The neocons will want to intervene in Russia in every way imaginable — crying “anti-Semitism,” “election tampering,” and you name it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some call for boycotts of Russia demanding “fair elections.”  Some will probably decry Putin as the next Hitler.  (After all, in neocon time it’s always 1939.)

It seems that Putin’s major sin is that he isn’t a globalist:  he booted out the Russian oligarchs (Prokhorov’s buddies) who were looting Russia, secured Russia’s borders, deported illegal immigrants, put the interests of Europe before Israel (but not supporting the creation of a Muslim state, Kosovo, in Europe), introduced Christian prayer into Russian schools, and, in short, pursued policies that were in the general interest of Russians.  How dare he!

Updates:

Recent CHT posts on Russia and Putin: “The super alpha Vladimir Putin,” “Srdja Trifkovic on Putin and Russia,” and “Three Cheers: Putin to return to power.”

Israel the “Litmus Test for Conservatives”?

So says the pro-war Americaneocon. This Bizarro-world definition of conservatism would have us accept that anyone who fails to sacrifice American lives and fortunes for a foreign power isn’t really conservative. And keep in mind that we’re talking about a foreign power that has not hesitated to betray American security to promote its own interests.

After that mind-bending assertion, Americaneocon lobs this quote from Commentary at those who now question DC’s slavish support for the Likud Party:

Far from respecting Israel’s sovereignty, Paul is willing to watch with complacence as its very existence is called into question without the U.S. feeling obligated to lift a finger. His “respect” for Israel is little different from the sentiments voiced by an earlier generation of isolationists — the “America First” group — whose admiration of Nazi Germany and indifference to the fate of the Jews restrained the country’s initial response to both Hitler and the Holocaust.

Where to begin? First, it’s ridiculous to say that those who wanted to keep America out of war in the 30s and 40s did so to promote Nazism. And when the US did go to war, it was because of Pearl Harbor, not because it wanted to stop the Holocaust. In fact, American political and military leaders weren’t even aware of Hitler’s crimes until nearly a year after America went to war.

Americaneocon’s post sounds like a desperate attempt to stem the growing tide rising against DC’s policy of perpetual war. Smearing us as “Nazis” is a tired leftist tactic that only reveals how frightened the war party and its mouthpieces have become.

But then, what else can we expect from Neocons, whose leftist roots are never far from the surface? For a quick introduction to real, that is, historical conservatism as practiced by actual conservatives, as opposed to the alien ideology of big-government Neoconservatism, read this.

Does “Natural Born” Require Two Citizen Parents?

Does the phrase “natural born citizen” require a President to have two citizen parents? This came up in a thread below, and since I think it is an issue of utmost importance to anyone who says they care about original intent, I have decided to post my rather long thoughts on the matter below. (I post it as is so look back to understand the context and what and who I am addressing.) I don’t really answer the question here, because I haven’t seen it decisively answered, but I offer a way to approach the question and what I think the most cautious consensus opinion should be. I would prefer people take up the issue under this stand alone threads so as not to clutter up this very important question with more stuff about the Trump debate.

Kirt and C Bowen, I don’t think a definitive case can be made about what the Founders intended, but I think a compelling case can be made. If a definitive case could be made then someone would have already made it. I’ve only looked into it superficially and asked people I trust. There was actually surprisingly little said about what they meant and intended. That is why so many people end up referring to a foreigner, Vattel. What I believe is that the preponderance of the evidence suggests that the person was supposed to have two citizen parents. As Kirt rightly points out, the issue is complicated by matters of history. They didn’t have all the apparatuses of state for recording citizenship back then that we have today nor hospital births nor easy mass travel etc. So people were generally assumed to be subjects of the place they resided unless they otherwise weren’t, meaning they still claimed allegiance to a foreign government/King, they were obvious temporary residents, etc. IMO, at a minimum, the person should be born of two parents neither of whom still legally technically owed allegiance to a foreign government. This IMO represents the most cautious default opinion. This should be the opinion that conservatives defend with a unified voice. I think the issue should be clarified with a Constitutional amendment, although I don’t think I would like the way that would likely go. I think requiring that the President be born of two citizen parents is a good and cautious policy. There is no right to be President and if the President were the minimalist position it ought to be, no reason to believe that we so desperately need to broaden the talent pool to include those otherwise born.

The problem is that very few conservatives initially even bothered to look at the issue from an original intent standpoint. Many just made arguments off the top of their head based on what felt right to them. Worse, many made definitive foot stomping arguments based on what felt right to them. This is true of both the birthers who foot stomped that being born on foreign soil, if true, was exclusionary, and anti-birthers who foot stomped that it wasn’t. I was guilty of this at first, because initially I argued that what was meant by natural born was “not naturalized” or “born a citizen,” essentially what Kirt says it means. In fact, I’m still of the opinion that a better case can be made for a child of two citizens born on foreign soil than can be made for someone born on US soil with one or two foreign parents. The birthers in general, there are exceptions I’m sure, generally didn’t latch on to the Obama is inedible regardless of where he was born argument until definitive proof he wasn’t born in HI seemed less and less likely to be forthcoming, which raised skepticism and decreased the credibility of the claim in the minds of many.

This is an issue of extreme current and future importance. If “natural born” means simply born a citizen, then Obama (assuming he was born in HI which I do), Jindal and Rubio are eligible. If natural born means something other than just born a citizen then Obama, Jindal and Rubio are not eligible. Since Rubio and Jindal are both talked up as potential VP nominees and future candidates and Obama is the current President who is seeking reelection, then I can’t understand how this could be viewed as an issue of little significance.

I don’t think there is a conspiracy of silence on the part of organized conservatism to not address the issue because they want to maintain the viability of Rubio (I believe this is what C Bowen is implying), although I think many do. That would imply more logic and forethought and organization than I have witnesses in this debate which I have been following closely from the start. As I said, I haven’t seen any kind of organization or a script or talking points. I’ve just seen a bunch of knuckleheads foot stomping and making definitive statements based on what felt right to them. I do think fear of birther taint has contributed significantly to this lack of a consensus. I also think that modern “conservatives” are just squeamish about making the argument because it seems anachronistic and harsh to them and might bring the dreaded r word charge. Birthers are partially at fault for their own taint associated with them because they weren’t cautious with their claims or their sources and brought discredit on themselves in many ways. But “reasonable” conservatives are guilty of letting their fear turn off their brains and silence them. Reasonable conservatives ought to be able to sift through the junk and figure out what is important. From the very beginning organized conservatism should have made the case in a unified voice that Obama is most likely ineligible because his alleged father was a transient foreign national. (The transient issue is potentially important because Obama’s alleged father wasn’t even here with the intent of becoming a citizen in the case that allegiance is the issue.) I’m as guilty here as anyone, because I didn’t make that case from the start, but at least I always had sense enough never to foot stomp and never to believe that his eligibility was determined by anything other than the original intent of the Constitution. By implication, organized conservatism should rule out Rubio and Jindal as potential VPs or Presidential candidates.

While I agree with Kirt that we are unlikely to overturn a popular election based on a preponderance of the evidence interpretation of the Constitution that contradicts the “current interpretation” so blatantly, to me this is also about what our unified voice should be. At a minimum, no one who calls himself a conservative or a Constitutionalist or anyone else for that matter should be able to simply assert the eligibility of Obama or Jindal or Rubio without being asked to back up that opinion with evidence regarding original intent.

The Leftist Mind

The Organization for a Free Society has issued its “Manifesto” for the Occupy movement. It was intended to to be an outline of their agenda, but in fact is a revealing peek inside the leftist mind. Here’s an excerpt, if you have the stomach for it:

We imagine an economy in which people are empowered to manage their own affairs, there are no classes, the means of production of social wealth are owned by everyone together, we function in solidaristic [what?] communities, and peoples’ needs and desires are accounted for. …

We envision a world where individuals can define their genders and sexualities however they like, where gender is not fixed but a matter of choice, where people have the opportunity to be and grow into or out of whatever they want. …

We imagine a world where people can choose to express their sexual desires freely, partnering in whatever ways make sense to them. …

This is more than just a rejection of traditional society and its morals. This is a rejection of being human, a hatred of flesh and blood. And I believe that’s what separates the left from conservatives. Leftists imagine pretty things in pretty worlds and demand that they be made real. Physical reality is the enemy, and if it must be hacked and hammered to forge a better world, then it’s all for a good cause. So what if a few eggs get cracked making that ideal omelet?

What we must never forget is that they’ve had their chance. The Soviet Union, Communist China, and Cambodia allowed the world to witness the actual fruits of egalitarianism, and they were widespread poverty and butchery. So while some may dismiss this “Manifesto” as a typical wish list for wide-eyed idealists, those of us with a memory cannot let such ideologies pass as either achievable or desirable.

Ron Paul Should Attend the Trump Debate

It looks like most of the candidates are dropping out of the Trump moderated debate. This is unfortunate.

Trump has gone out of his way to criticize Ron Paul, I think because his ego was bruised when people were chanting for Ron Paul during Trump’s speech at CPAC, and Paul’s supporters went after Trump for his response. So I can see why Paul might have a legitimate beef with Trump, but I think Paul should have agreed to attend the debate anyway. Not attending, gives the appearance, whether real or not of shunning Trump because of the birther stuff. This then gives the appearance of deliberately attempting to avoid conspiracy “taint” which I think empowers the conventional wisdom right think enforcers. Paul should have gone to the debate if for no other reason than to not be accused of not going to the debate base on Trump’s birther history and giving the conventional wisdom enforcers the satisfaction if that makes any kind of convoluted sense. It looks particularly bad since Paul was one of the two earliest to decline. Huntsman, the other candidate to drop out early, was clearly looking to avoid Trump taint.

Ron Paul Redux!

We suspected most people would cling to their establishment-approved beliefs and loyalties until it became impossible to do so.

That time has arrived. The overgrown central government in DC is out of gas, and only the diehards can pretend they don’t see it. To all who care to notice, the Empire is directionless, soulless, and broke. The former colossus has gone lame.

It’s almost comical how all but one of the Republican candidates bluster about launching new wars, pledging billions more on quixotic liberation crusades. That one candidate, of course, is Ron Paul, whose unwavering message of strict Constitutionalism and cutting the feeding tubes to a bloated, dying Empire was once almost universally ignored. Then – well, things changed:

But a funny thing has happened to Paul as he runs for president a third time: Some of his positions once dismissed as kooky or quirky don’t seem so bizarre anymore to many voters or to his fellow Republican lawmakers.

Federally funded bank bailouts, trillion-dollar deficits, high unemployment and the nation’s weariness with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused some Republicans to view the 76-year-old Paul in a different light.

Many of his ideas are now part of the standard GOP playbook, including some that once deviated from Republican doctrine. Now they all want to tame federal spending and debt, and to rein in the size of the federal government. And increasingly, many Republicans are considering reducing America’s military and diplomatic role overseas. Some even favor Paul’s long crusade to return to the gold standard.

But wait a minute! If Dr. Paul has the right diagnosis and just the right prescription, why would anyone oppose him?

Problem is, the parasites in government who make their living from a fattened bureaucracy have lots of friends in the media, as well as powerful think tanks dedicated to molding public opinion. The goal is to demonize any dissent from big government intervention, whether foreign or domestic. DC’s “humanitarian interventionism” is founded on the fanciful notion that violence must be continuously dispensed in the name of good, and that any who get in the way or disagree are on the side of darkness.

The end result is that no other opinions are tolerated, and the two make-believe wings of American politics provide an illusion of choice. So housebroken conservatives condemn Paul as a “reactionary, anti-semitic peacenik,” while neutered liberals scream he and his supporters are linked to “anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis, anti-government militia extremists, and even domestic terrorists.”

Notice how the quotes from both a “patriotic conservative” and the Occupy LA movement parrot the same party line. Their handlers have done a thorough job.

As delightful as it is that non-interventionism and Constitutionalism are resurgent in the political mainstream, I don’t believe electing Ron Paul is the end-all, be-all his supporters think it is. For one thing, he isn’t going to win the presidency. Second, the only alternative to Empire is the resumption of local self-determination, and that will be accomplished at the State level. We must stop looking to DC to save us – especially from DC.

Still, Paul’s surprising popularity reveals the end is near for the megastate, which is wheezing and stumbling toward the grave. Now that it’s obvious the status quo is dying, all sorts of once-unthinkable ideas have roared back into the marketplace of ideas. As noted author Ed Sebesta has observed, “Secession is back as an issue in politics.” He’s right, because the option of business as usual – reconstructing society both at home and abroad using the sprawling machinery of an ever-expanding central government, thereby empowering and enriching politicians and their cronies – has ruined us.

The era of big government is over. Know hope.

Two Stories of Justice in the UK

Ms. Rhea Page, walking home with her boyfriend recently, was  beaten by a group of Third World muslim females as they shouted “kill the white slag.”   Apparently, however, her attackers were just released from jail because they’re not used to the effects of alcohol:

“A gang of Muslim women who attacked a passer-by in a city centre walked free  from court after a judge heard they were ‘not used  to being drunk’ because of their religion. The group – three sisters and a cousin – allegedly screamed ‘kill the white slag’ as they set upon Rhea Page as she waited for a taxi with her boyfriend. Miss Page, 22, was left with a bald patch where her hair was pulled out in the attack and was left ‘black and blue’ after suffering a flurry of kicks to the head, back, arms and legs while motionless on the pavement.”

Meanwhile, Emma West, who merely complained about the Third World invasion of her native country — about the dispossession of the native English from the country they have occupied for more than 12,000 years — has been thrown in jail without a trial, declared insane, and had her children taken away.

Patrick Deneen On Transhumanism

This article by Patrick Deneen is one of the best analyses of transhumanism I’ve seen.  Deneen contrasts classical, ancient anthropology with the new anthropology that has given rise to the transhumanist agenda.  Choice quote:

The most thoughtful liberals — perhaps above all, Tocqueville — recognized that liberalism contained an internal logic that threatened its own self-destruction.

As Deneen points out, transhumanists are naive (or, I might add, in some cases lying) when they assure everyone that of course the genetically/cybernetically transformed homo superior will respect liberal principles.

Paul Gottfried has a New Book Coming Out on Leo Strauss

This is news to me. Gottfried is ridiculously prolific. Unfortunately, the book, due out 31 Jan 2012, is not priced for routine retail sale. Here is the book description.

This book offers an original interpretation of the achievement of Leo Strauss, stressing how his ideas and followers reshaped the American conservative movement. According to this study, Strauss and his disciples came to influence the establishment Right almost by accident. The conservative movement that reached out to Strauss and his legacy was extremely fluid and lacked a self-confident leadership. Conservative activists and journalists felt a desperate need for academic acceptability, which they thought Strauss and his disciples would furnish. They also became deeply concerned with the problem of “value relativism,” which self-described conservatives thought Strauss had effectively addressed. But until recently, neither Strauss nor his disciples have considered themselves to be “conservatives.” Strauss’s followers continue to view themselves as stalwart Truman-Kennedy Democrats and liberal internationalists. Contrary to another misconception, Straussians have never wished to convert Americans to ancient political ideals and practices, except in a very selective rhetorical fashion. Strauss and his disciples have been avid champions of American modernity, and “timeless” values as interpreted by Strauss and his followers often look starkly contemporary.
 

Pat Buchanan on Pearl Harbor and FDR

Tomorrow is Pearl Harbor Day. Here are Pat Buchanan’s thoughts on that event and its aftermath. It is a powerful column. In typical Buchanan style he makes his case using short staccato sentences that simply lay out facts. Opinion you can argue about. Facts you can’t.

Whether or not FDR had foreknowledge of the attack is much debated. That he intentionally tried to provoke a Japanese first strike should not be. He did. The facts are clear. FDR wanted war with Japan, and he wanted a backdoor into the war in Europe. As the Buchanan article shows, he rebuffed Japan’s repeated, almost frantic, attempts to avoid war because he didn’t want to avoid war. He needed a Japanese first strike to goad a recalcitrant public into accepting a war they did not want, and he got what he wished for.

This isn’t to excuse Japan for a treacherous sneak attack, and they were behaving in an imperialistic manner themselves which is what was alarming the US to begin with, but as with so much else, it wasn’t our fight and we should have minded our own business.