Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Race Card: All the Left Has Left

Roger L. Simon talks about the real reason the left accuses Tea Partiers of racism: it's all the only weapon they have left.

"The real reason liberals accuse Tea Partiers of racism is that contemporary American-style liberalism is in rigor mortis. Liberals have nothing else to say or do. Accusations of racism are their last resort."

I've said before that the race card is a corollary to Godwin's law. The first party to play the NAZI/Hitler card loses the argument because they've just proved they don't actually have an argument. It's the same with the race card. No one wants to be called a racist and tend to go into automatic defense mode when accused of same. That is beginning to change, thankfully, as people finally wake up to the tactic. Overuse tends to blunt the effectiveness of any tactic. More Roger:

"Say what? Without hard evidence from either side? In the US of A, where I live, we are supposedly innocent until proven guilty. There was no proof at all offered for this accusation of racism. Indeed, some of the accusers have even walked away from it; the originator has gone silent. In a court of law, there would be no need whatsoever for the Tea Partiers to offer evidence of innocence of any kind in their defense. This accusation would be thrown out in a trice. But of course, the Tea Partiers did offer a defense, because the mainstream media has unconscionably stacked the moral deck against the Tea Party movement. And the world knows it. And so does Mr. Jonsson, who, most probably without thinking, employed the rhetoric of “moral equivalency” for his article where there is not even remote moral equivalency. There is only an accusation without proof. I could just as easily accuse Mr. Jonsson of racism — and I don’t know him. He, at least, had the courage to report on this matter with some honesty."

Read the whole thing.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Nothing Good Can Come of It When the 'A' Students Run the Show

The always hilarious P.J. O'Rourke spells out what happens when the 'A' students are allowed to run the country in an article at The Weekly Standard entitled, "A Plague of 'A' Students." Of course we don't actually have any idea what kind of grades our president was given earned in school, but he certainly comports himself as smarter and better than the rest of us, as illustrated here:

The secret to the Obama annoyance is snotty lecturing. His tone of voice sends us back to the worst place in college. We sit once more packed into the vast, dreary confines of a freshman survey course—“Rocks for Jocks,” “Nuts and Sluts,” “Darkness at Noon.” At the lectern is a twerp of a grad student—the prototypical A student—insecure, overbearing, full of himself and contempt for his students. All we want is an easy three credits to fulfill a curriculum requirement in science, social science, or fine arts. We’ve got a mimeographed copy of last year’s final with multiple choice answers already written on our wrists. The grad student could skip his classes, the way we intend to, but there the s.o.b. is, taking attendance. (How else to explain this year’s census?)

America has made the mistake of letting the A student run things. It was A students who briefly took over the business world during the period of derivatives, credit swaps, and collateralized debt obligations. We’re still reeling from the effects. This is why good businessmen have always adhered to the maxim: “A students work for B students.” Or, as a businessman friend of mine put it, “B students work for C students—A students teach.”

Read the whole thing. (And I was a 'B' student in case you're wondering.)
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Republican Staffer and Boyfriend Assaulted, Put in Hospital by Left Wing Mob. MSM Reaction; Crickets

I first heard of this story through GatewayPundit last week. A 25 year-old female fundraiser, Allee Bautsch for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jihndal and her boyfriend, Joe Brown, were chased down and assaulted by a mob of left-wing protestors after leaving a Southern Republican Leadership Conference fundraiser at a popular French Quarter restaurant in New Orleans. The pair were put in the hospital, she with a severely fractured leg and he with a broken jaw and nose. Bautsch required surgery to repair four fractures, which required metal rods.

For weeks we have been hearing from the state-controlled MSM about the violent, racist, dangerous Tea Party movement, despite the fact that there have been no verifiable incidents of violence from the movement at all. When there finally is a violent incident, from the left, the MSM is completely silent. You see, it doesn't fit the narrative. They should be ashamed, but I doubt they are capable of feeling it.

Scott McKay has a great round-up of the latest over at at Pajamas Media today. Go and read it here
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Edward P. O'Driscoll: An Economy of Liars

The Cato Institute's Gerald P. O'Driscoll has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal entitled, "An Economy of Liars." It's a great summary of how crony capitalism, rent seeking and regulatory capture distort markets and end up stealing our wealth. I agree with the whole article, but this part is worth highlighting:

Classical liberals, whose modern counterparts are libertarians and small-government conservatives, believed that the state's duties should be limited (1) to provide for the national defense; (2) to protect persons and property against force and fraud; and (3) to provide public goods that markets cannot. That conception of government and its duties was articulated by the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the U.S. Constitution.

Modern liberals have greatly expanded the list of government functions, but, aside from totalitarian regimes, I know of no modern political movement that has shortened it. While protecting citizens against force, both at home and abroad, is the government's most basic function, protecting them against fraud is closely allied. By the use of force, a thief takes by arms what is not rightfully his; he who commits fraud takes secretly what is not rightfully his. It is the difference between a robber stealing brazenly on the street and a burglar stealing by stealth at night. The result is the same: the loss of property by its owner and the disordering of civil society. And government has failed miserably to perform this basic function.

Read the whole thing.
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Elections Have Consequences

Some are funnier than others.

(Thanks, Bob!)
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Is There Rhyme of Reason to Obama's Foreign Policy?

Victore Davis Hanson isn't really sure.

"During the 2008 campaign, the Obama group argued that Bush & Co. were insensitive to allies and had acted in clumsy, unilateral fashion, permanently damaging our stature in the world. Given the first 15 months of foreign policy in the new administration, we can see now that Obama's critique largely meant that we had damaged relations with supposed belligerents like Cuba, Iran, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela — inasmuch as right now, British, Colombian, Czech, German, Honduran, Indian, Israeli, Japanese, Polish, and South Korean leaders might privately prefer the good "bad" old days of the supposed cowboy Bush. All of which raises the question: Why Obama's shift in foreign policy? I offer four alternatives, uncertain of the answer myself."

Click through and read the whole thing. Frankly, my money is on "d".
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Will America Thrive or Will It Go Into Decline - Mark Steyn and Paul A. Rahe Opine

Is America doomed to decline, as so many great powers before it, or is it on the verge of finding its purpose again and being reborn? Paul A. Rahe and Mark Steyn have differing views on that question. Steyn is not optimistic but Rahe finds reasons to be hopeful.


"Is America set for decline? It’s been a grand run. The country’s been the leading economic power since it overtook Britain in the 1880s. That’s impressive. Nevertheless, over the course of that century and a quarter, Detroit went from the world’s industrial powerhouse to an urban wasteland, and the once-golden state of California atrophied into a land of government run by the government for the government. What happens when the policies that brought ruin to Detroit and sclerosis to California become the basis for the nation at large? Strictly on the numbers, the United States is in the express lane to Declinistan: unsustainable entitlements, the remorseless governmentalization of the economy and individual liberty, and a centralization of power that will cripple a nation of this size. Decline is the way to bet. But what will ensure it is if the American people accept decline as a price worth paying for European social democracy."


"Perhaps it is. But I think the contrary. My reasons are simple. The administrative state, as we know it, grew for the most part gradually and unobtrusively. Yes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave it a mighty push, but he did so in a time in which the majority of Americans were desperate. Yes, Lyndon Baines Johnson gave it another mighty push, but he had the advantage that the opposition was divided and disheartened. This is not the case now. Barack Obama has torn the mask off. We can now see the tyrannical ambition at the heart of the progressive impulse. Moreover, thanks to the Tea-Party Movement, fear of which caused the Republican Party to grow a spine, Barack Obama now faces a united opposition; and, in opposing his healthcare initiative, the Republicans have articulated an argument that is both true and cogent — that there is no way to pay for a massive, new entitlement program on this scale without crippling the American economy."

The key in Rahe's take, I think, is that the Republican Party's newfound spine must turn out to be a stiff one, and that is why the tea party movement can get things turned around. That is another reason why, as I said (in agreement with Dana Loesch yesterday that a national tea party would be a bad idea. The Republicans need the tea partiers a lot more than the tea partiers need them and the tea partiers must not allow themselves to be co-opted. Once that happens, the old GOP establishment will go soft and pliable again. They have to remember that to a Democrat, bi-partisanship means doing it their way and any rope you allow them will be used to hang you. I've seen it happen too many times. When the GOP makes a good-faith effort to compromise, the Democrats roll them. Every. Single. Time.  

Do read them both.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Why a "National Tea Party Foundation" is a Bad Idea - Dana Loesch

Writing at her blog, The Dana Show, radio talk show host and blogger Dana Loesch is right to say that a national tea party federation would be a bad idea:

"We have elections we should be focusing on; we allow ourselves to become distracted by taking the bait and focusing our efforts on battling state-run media rhetoric. It doesn’t matter if there is a group, a leader, a whatever, the opposition will say what it’s going to say and it’s bad strategy to let them define the narrative. You validate by organizing strictly to combat that. The various sovereign tea party groups around the country have done a fantastic job so far of handling themselves and speaking for themselves. Every person in this movement is a leader, a founder. Take ownership and you work harder for it. The independence is the spirit of the awakening."

I agree with Dana. To set something like this up would be to fall into the same old trap (or trying to kick the same old football) that conservatives always fall into, getting forced into playing defense. The most recent example is how the GOP started reflexively apologizing for the alleged spitting at and calling of the "n" word to Congressmen John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver, a charge they've almost certainly made up given that with all the video cameras that were rolling at the time and capitol police around never picked it up once, let alone 15 times. this is how the left creates and keeps control of the narrative. It is not a good idea to give them a target to go all Alinsky on. The TEA parties are doing just fine without a central organization, thank you very much. As Dana says, the dispersed nature of the movement is a feature, not a bug.
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Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Law of Unintended (But Entirely Avoidable) Consequences

Every time Congress passes a law, it reaffirms an old one too; the Law of Unintended Consequences. Writing in The Washington Examiner, Glenn Reynolds illustrates the problem nicely, couchng it in terms of F. A. Hayek's Knowledge Problem, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Economics. The latest example is the recently passed "Obamacare" bill, 2,700+ pages of legislation that no one had read, let alone thought through. The immediate result was that multiple public companies such as AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere and numerous others did what they are supposed to do and took the costs imposed by the legislation, calculated the impact on present and future earnings and took writedowns to compensate for it. AT&T alone saw $1 billion in shareholder value evaporate instantly. The estimate for writedowns for all corporations that provide prescriptoin drug benefits for their retirees is $14 billion for this year alone. And it isn't the corporation that is hurt. It's the people who own or are employed by it.

The writedowns took Henry Waxman (D-CA) by surprise. This wasn't supposed to happen. Obamacare was supposed to reduce costs, or at least conveniently hide them until later, and he has called the CEOs of AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere and several other companies on the carpet for hearings to be held on  April 21 to answer for why they obeyed the law and Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP) and took these writedowns. Buffoonery personified.

If President Obama had lived up to his promises of transparency and done everything out in the open with C-Span cameras present and posting the full, final bill on-line well before it was voted on, someone might have been able to point out this problem. There are more lurking in the text that will surface as time goes on. Instead, no one had any more than fragmentary knowledge of what was in the bill, if that, leading to the entirely avoidable screw-up we have now or as Glenn puts it:

"We're governed not just by people who screw up constantly, but by people who can't help but screw up constantly. So long as the government is this large and overweening, no amount of effort at securing smarter people or "better" rules will do any good: Incompetence is built into the system."

Until We the People reign in the government we can expect more of the same, with the corresponding erosion of our rights and freedoms. Reigning it in won't be enough though. The People need to remain engaged in what their purported representatives in Washington are doing. As a wise man once said, "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance".

Read the whole (Glenn's article) thing, of course.
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