I was surprised that the Metro was still reporting about Bush’s National Guard service yesterday without mentioning that the recent memos were patent forgeries. Here are all the gory details from the typesetting perspective, and here’s a fun interview with Dan Rather’s ego on the matter. (Thanks to Classical Values for the title and the second Rathergate link.)
Archive for the 'Politics' Category
There’s a convention in London today to celebrate 9/11: “The Choice is in Your Hands: Either You’re with the Muslims or with the Infidels.” Thanks to Classical Values for the link.
Jeff Percifield has a couple of good entries on the religion of peace: the religion of evil and the religion of child-killing. I commented in Lori’s blog on how the existence of religions (or sects thereof) that encourage the slaughter of innocent schoolchildren disproves the belief that all religions teach the same moral or spiritual values. If you’ll pardon a Chesterton quote:
Is one religion as good as another? Is one horse in the Derby as good as another?
Once upon a time in America, you could walk into a church and get married. It wasn’t quite kidnapping a bride, but it was a reasonably unregulated process. Today in America, you need a blood test and a license to get married. Obviously the Pilgrims weren’t doing blood tests, so where did they come in?
I used to think that it was a simple public health measure to prevent the spread of syphilis (and nowadays AIDS) to the innocent spouse, but that’s not it. The truth is we’ve inherited our heavy regulations from the eugenics movement of the early 20th century. (If you had no idea, here’s a site about eugenics and the law in Vermont.) Eugenics supporters lobbied legislatures for pre-marriage health certification to keep the unfit from marrying, and therefore (to some extent) from reproducing.
So when you take that blood test, remember what it’s really for. Are you fit or unfit?
A while back, Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities posted a review-by-review comparison of the reception of “The Passion of the Christ” and “Fahrenheit 9/11″: A Tale of Two Movies.
Ace of Spades asked whether conservatives volunteer the liberal-bashing as much as liberals spread the Bush-hatred:
Let me tell you what liberals in New York are like. They have absolutely no hesitation about injecting stridently liberal politics into conversations with perfect strangers they only just met. They have no sense that perhaps they ought not to be insulting those with different beliefs.
Why do the “decent, tolerant and open-minded” people throw social caution to the wind while denouncing President Bush? […] Bush’s critics call the president “arrogant.” But there’s a special type of arrogance that assumes any fair and open-minded person must think as I do.
He seemed to think it was simple anti-Bush media bias that made Bush-haters so forthcoming - if the press can say it, so can the average man. I didn’t find his explanation convincing. Ace’s commentors leaned towards the religion theory - liberalism is one of those religions that requires constant proselytization. A Christian will slip praise of Christ into casual conversation - he’ll risk alienating listeners for the chance to keep the message front and center. Likewise, a liberal will bash Bush, and when he finds out you voted for him he’ll try to save you from your political sins.
It’s an interesting theory, but I’m not sure I buy it. So if you’re one of those people who feels free to bash Bush in the course of casual conversation, maybe you can tell me why. The comments are open.
It’s politics as usual for people to see two Bushes - conservatives see Good!Bush and liberals Evil!Bush - but with President Bush the judgment of history is not yet in. Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20, yet we’re still seeing double with Ronald Reagan.
Charlie Stross remembers him as the man who nearly killed us all. I also remember living in the shadow of nuclear war twenty years ago - it was a fear not peculiar to those trapped between two superpowers. Natan Sharansky remembers the man who spoke truth to evil, and no one has a better right to testify in the case than the victims. But the question remains: did Ronald Reagan bring down the Evil Empire or merely bait the bear?
Since we’re all still here and the Soviet Union is gone, we’ll never know whether a different foreign policy in the 80’s would have wiped out mankind or brought on that still-elusive Golden Age. It’s not that hindsight is 20/20, but that nothing succeeds like success. To the dead we can only give the benefit of the doubt: he was an optimist and his glass is now forever half-full.
I tend to think of neoconservatives as libertarians with a foreign policy, so it surprises me afresh every time the libertarian columnists at LewRockwell.com tear into the neocons, exaggerating the size of the neocon movement and then beating on this oversized strawman.
This week Jim Lobe pops his own blow-up neocon doll in Neocon Collapse in Washington and¬†Baghdad. He admits that no top-level administration officials have been neoconservatives, but somehow still sees neocon shadows behind the throne being routed in the aftermath of recent Iraq scandals. As evidence, he offers a fruitless meeting between some former staffers and Condoleezza Rice - how the mighty have fallen!
I’m assuming most of my readers can’t tell a neoconservative from a paleoconservative - I have trouble myself sometimes, even though I’m familiar with the neocon approach to foreign policy. The Neocon Collapse article doesn’t specify what the fatal neocon mistake was, nor what the “realists” are doing differently now that they are allegedly in power. Instead, Jim Lobe’s rant reads like paranoid ravings about neocons being “a key part” of this and “lead[ing] the charge” for that, placing people “in key positions”, “dominating” this, “push[ing] hardest” for that, having “friends” in the media, “outflank[ing],” “influenc[ing],” “circumvent[ing],” and so on.
When the powers of good push back the neocons, they do so in equally vague terms of “wrest[ing] control of Iraq policy from the Pentagon” (as if Iraq policy were somewhere our elected officials hadn’t put it), and a former staffer making “blistering attacks” against “powerful figures” that the media was “ever cautious about taking on” - figures no one has even heard of.
It takes some writing skill to say “I hate neocons for reasons I’m not telling you” in a thousand words or more. Mr. Lobe didn’t have to drop a hint, but I suspect he couldn’t help himself. Which country in the Middle East has “territorial ambitions”? Is it the one that invaded Iran and Kuwait? Is it the one that invaded Israel and turned Lebanon into a puppet state? Is it the other one that invaded Israel? Or maybe the other other one that invaded Israel? It’s a tough question, but he has an answer.