State of the Union

No Mas

I understand that _____ _____ has been in the news recently, and if there is one person in the world that I am sick of hearing about it is _____ _____. I know in the past that I have comment on the doings of _____ _____, but no more. (S)he and his/her family are the most over-exposed people in the world, and I for one and sick of them.

So in case anybody is wondering, I have nothing to add to the most recent controversy involving _____ _____.

Posted in , . 7 comments

Democracy Worshipers

“Your people, sir, is … a great beast.”

So Alexander Hamilton reputedly said in an argument with Thomas Jefferson. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Hamilton explained:

“Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.”

In his column, “Democracy Versus Liberty,” Walter Williams cites Hamilton, James Madison and John Randolph, who wrote of “the follies and turbulence” of democracy, and John Adams:

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Yet what our fathers feared we embrace. For it may fairly be said of this generation that it worships democracy. Indeed, the fanaticism of this faith in democracy as the path to worldly salvation causes many to hail any and all revolutions against any and all autocrats.

One wonders: How is it that this childlike faith endures? Read More…

Posted in , . 30 comments

Libya: More Bombing Needed?

At least the U.S. military and other NATO air forces have already had lots of practice hammering this country.

Who could have ever foreseen that the Islamist radicals would take over after the U.S. helped topple the country’s dictator?

Today’s New York Times: “Islamists’ Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya

In the emerging post-Qaddafi Libya… the most powerful military leader is now Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the former leader of a hard-line group once believed to be aligned with Al Qaeda.

The growing influence of Islamists in Libya raises hard questions about the ultimate character of the government and society that will rise in place of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s autocracy.

Posted in . 4 comments

Government Cannot Repeal Scarcity

I missed the Republican debate again last night (this time I was bowling), and the first bit of it that I saw posted to Facebook by a liberal friend of mine was this clip of Ron Paul. Wolf Blitzer asked Paul what should happen to a hypothetical, healthy 30-year-old male, who has the means to buy health insurance but chooses not to, if he is injured in an accident and goes into a coma. Paul’s answer is essentially that in a free society, charitable organizations would take care of such people, which is a fine answer as far as it goes, but I’d like to go further by pointing out the injustice of expecting the government to provide care to people who choose not to provide it for themselves. Read More…

Posted in , . 8 comments

Crocker Provides a Crock

US Ambassador Ryan Crocker apparently believes that a Taliban twenty-hour assault on Kabul’s diplomatic quarter in which twenty-seven people died is “no big deal.”  Maybe not for him but it was apparently a big deal for the Afghans who were killed.  Crocker, who has always known just what to say to make reality go away in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, wants everyone to believe that the Afghans are ready to assume security responsibility in their country because that is what President Obama wants the American people to believe.  Not that it really matters.  The BS artist who turns out to be our next president, whoever that might be, will inevitably convince the public that “we have to fight them over there so we won’t have to do it over here,” guaranteeing a US presence in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future.

Posted in , . 3 comments

On Obama’s Depressingly Conventional Approach to the Drug War

Jacob Sullum’s invaluable feature story in the latest issue of Reason details the many ways that President Obama has failed to live up to the high hopes drug law reformers pinned on him back in 2008, when hope was still fashionable. I found this part particularly stomach-turning:

More generally, Obama has repeatedly expressed the view that many people in federal prisons are serving unconscionably long sentences. Yet he has not used his unilateral, absolute, and constitutionally unambiguous clemency power to shorten a single sentence, even though he has not otherwise been reticent about pushing his executive authority to the limit (and beyond). Obama went almost two years, longer than every president except George Washington and George W. Bush, before approving any clemency petitions. So far all 17 of his clemency actions have been pardons for long-ago crimes, most which did not even result in prison sentences, as opposed to commutations, which authorize the early release of current prisoners. While seven of the pardons involved drug offenders, the most severe sentence among them was five years for conspiracy to import marijuana, which 63-year-old Randy Eugene Dyer of Burien, Washington, completed more than 30 years ago. As of mid-2011, Obama had received about 4,000 petitions for commutations,  in addition to 900 that were pending when he took office. He had not approved any.

Read More…

Posted in , , . Post a comment

Cult of Personality

A post by Bill Whalen at Ricochet makes what I think is a common error among the right when he states that the 2008 election was ” largely about cult of personality.” That may explain why Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the nomination in the Democratic primaries the last time out, but the Republicans lost that election because their years in power were disastrous. Whalen may have memory problems, but in 2008 the country was involved in two foreign quagmires and teetering on the brink of another depression. If Obama loses in 2012, it will because he has failed to undo the massive damage done by Republican governance.

Posted in , . 4 comments

Daily Round-Up: Ponzi Schemes, Santorum vs. Paul, and Moral Ambiguity

Is grandma’s generation, which fought World War II, Korea and the Cold War, more alarmed by Rick Perry’s red-meat rhetoric than by President Obama’s refusal to address the entitlement crisis threatening the fiscal and financial future of the republic?
In last night’s GOP debate, Rick Santorum argued that the ‘they hate us because we’re free’ narrative was the best route for explaining 9/11, provoking a rhetorical scuffle with Ron Paul. Paul insisted that U.S. interventions and occupations abroad are providing terrorists with incentive to attack — and his comments drew jeers from the audience.

Are young Americans morally crippled? Rod Dreher discusses ‘Moral Therapeutic Deism’, a kind of pseudo-Christianity that fails to incorporate traditional moral structures.
I want my kids to know in their bones the stories of our tradition, and they cannot get that simply from listening to their mother and me. They — we — need a community to achieve this, and not just any community.
Posted in . 2 comments

Setting Grandma’s Hair on Fire

Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme for these young people,” said Gov. Rick Perry in his first debate as a presidential candidate. “The idea … that the current program is going to be there for them is a lie.”

Pressed by the moderator, Perry did not back down. He doubled down, calling Social Security a “monstrous lie to our kids.”

Is not such language provocative, Perry was asked. Retort: “Maybe it’s time to have some provocative language in this country.”

Since Barry Goldwater suggested the program be privatized and LBJ ran an ad of a Social Security card being scissored in half, the issue has been “the third rail of American politics.” Touch it — and it kills you.

Apparently, the Mitt Romney campaign thinks it is still the third rail. Read More…

Posted in . 35 comments

Self Restraint is the Best Security

Do you remember traveling with your young children and urging them to “hold it” for a while in order to delay all too frequent bathroom stops?  Well, travel by air now has its own version of that.  I confess to having mixed feelings, but mostly negative, about yesterday’s report of two airliners being shadowed by F-16 fighter jets on 9/11 because cabin crew had observed five passengers spending too much time in the plane’s lavatories.  When the planes landed they were parked in remote areas in the airports (Detroit and New York), boarded by SWAT teams, searched, and the five suspects were led away in handcuffs.  They were all later released with no charges filed against them.  While on one hand I do like to see airline personnel being vigilant just in case a genuine terrorist incident were actually developing, the thought that frequently trips to the bathroom on an airplane can be grounds for extraordinary action by the authorities is somewhat Orwellian.  Many people are nervous air travelers and, derived from my own experience on planes, I would observe that one frequently notes a passenger or several passengers who are up and down the aisle all through the flight.  I also wonder what the ethnicity of the suspects was – were they guilty of being swarthy AND going to the toilet too often?

I can only speculate on what scrambling fighter planes to accompany a passenger aircraft is actually meant to accomplish.  Would they shoot it down?  Do they have orders to do so?  Who would give such an order and on what basis?  There is so much we do not know about what the Department of Homeland Security believes itself empowered to do.

Posted in , . 8 comments
← Older posts Newer posts →