ampdead

02/07/08

The Daily Dose

He calls it The Bleat.  He's wrong.  It's sweet, sweet heroine.  Today's dose fits the mood Romney's speech set earlier.  I don't know if Lileks was trying to pull a Henninger without once mentioning the Great Rift.  I don't care.  He's my pusher, and I'll take my fix.

Love of country must always be qualified these days, lest anyone think you are unaware of slavery, insufficiently regulated railroad stock offerings, Lester Maddox or the attempt by Philip Morris to conceal the addictive nature of cigarettes.

(Side note: the existence of stupid people in America is a touchy subject, and not easily explained away. It would seem to suggest that some people are smarter than other people, which could conceivably have an impact on their ability to succeed – but there are so many stupid people living in comfort that this almost implies that the bounty and opportunity of the country are sufficient to lift the leakiest dinghies if the occupants bail and plug, and that can’t be true. It is also unacceptable to suggest that some people do not succeed because they aren’t smart, since that suggests that merit is rewarded, and that can’t be true. Merit has nothing to do with America; it’s all about white male privilege. Do not be fooled by the rise of Hillary and Obama; put them together, and what do you have? White. Male.)

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Ecumenical II

The HotAir headlines had a link to Daniel Henninger's piece, McCain or the Wilderness, and it exemplifies in reverse my previous post. 

I have always thought nose plugs would be necessary come November.  None of the GOP candidates offered a well-rounded Conservative perspective, but I and others would have happily pulled the lever for the apparently "pure" Giuliani.  He turned out to be a dud.  Next.  Thompson.  Dead on arrival.  OK, then.  Romney, the used car salesman who, though a flip-flopper, managed to flip and flop his way to my views.  Personally, I like it when someone, especially someone vying for my vote comes around to my way of thinking.  Call me crazy. 

Right.  You already have and, frankly, it isn't a persuasive argument.  You'll have to do better, and you will have to do it because McCain simply hasn't been able to.  Henninger apparently understands that - perhaps Roger L. Simon should take notes.

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02/06/08

Ecumenical

Telling people they have a syndrome because they have principled positions that don't mesh with a particular candidate is not a workable means for getting people to ignore those disagreements and vote for your candidate.  It's called condescension, and coming from a magazine like The Weekly Standard does not make it any less irritating.


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Red Wings vs. Super Tuesday

The Wings won most of my attention tonight.  Franzen scored first then gave up two goals.  Then, with 1:20 left in the third, Cleary made a lucky goal from an absurd angle to tie the game.  1:37 into overtime Lebda slammed his third goal of the season home to win a game the Wings should have lost.  Should have lost?  Let's put it this way:  Datsyuk came into this game with 6 penalty minutes on the season - he left with 10.  They couldn't catch a break, and wouldn't have taken advantage of a break anyway.  Just a bad game.  Happens.  Still, they won.

Some pundits are now saying McCain has to make a deal with Conservatives.  The dubiousness of either McCain coming to us or us taking him seriously is obvious (wish I could be at CPAC though).  But here's a deal I'd agree to:  Whenever McCain gives a speech, Mark Levin does simultaneous color commentary.

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01/30/08

Predictions

I once thought the GOP nomination would end at the convention.  Depending on how Super Tuesday goes I guess that could still be the case; however, it seems unlikely now.  Giuliani is out, and will endorse McCain - which is as absurd as Hunter endorsing Huckabee or the prediction that Huckabee supporters would break for Romney if Huckabee dropped out.  I still can't wrap my head around that last one.  Huckabee supporters breaking for McCain seems more likely to me.  Even so, the reverse is certainly not true - Romney supporters wouldn't break for Huckabee if Romney dropped out - I think.  I wouldn't anyway.  Yet, I'm told Huckabee is taking votes away from Romney.  Crazy.

I once thought the 2008 presidential election would be thrown into the House of Representatives.  If the country is as divided as advertised and if the candidates can rally their voters, this may still happen.  Even if voter turnout is the lowest in American history it could still happen and that would be all kind of stupid. 

That brings me to my brand new prediction.

If Hillary and McCain are the candidates, voter turnout will hit a record low.  Both have high negatives with the base of their respective parties.  In effect, we'd be voting against one or the other, and that's no way to cast a ballot.  Despite what the national polls say at the moment McCain simply cannot win that sort of election.  The momentum would clearly be on the side of the Democrats.  Blame Bush, blame the war, blame McCain's Maverickism, blame whatever.  The fact is, Democrats and Conservatives would be voting against McCain.  Or staying home.

So, McCain is now the likely Republican candidate - that's what I'm being told.  We'll see if Limbaugh unloads in a few minutes - more so than he has already.  Then we'll see if that even matters.  I tend to agree with Allah at HotAir:  Limbaugh doesn't have much left except to explicitly endorse Romney, but he's already done that by the process of elimination.  If that fails, if McCain wins, if Medved is correct in saying talk radio is pretty much irrelevant then why is Medved still doing talk radio?  There can't be any satisfaction in doing something you know to be meaningless.

Limbaugh's show is starting now.  He starts it in his usual upbeat style.  "This is no time to quit."  Indeed.  Even if we lose the primaries, and then the general there's always the next one.  There's always time to reassert what we know to be true.  We lick our wounds, find our voices, and jump back into the fray.  As we've always done.

To steal a thought from Bryan at HotAir, a little pick-me-up - using the quote on his post though.



This does prove one thing - yet again.  Limbaugh, and the rest don't need a Democrat in the White House to make a living.

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01/15/08

+1 Romney

It's over.  Finally.  This part of the Endless Election anyway. 

I have no idea how Michigan will go.  I have no special insights into the minds of Michiganders.  And I live here.  I'm a Michigander.  But that's OK seeing as the people who are paid to know don't seem to be earning their pay.  Michigan has many problems.  Everyone knows that.  The rhetoric of populism, then, should be persuasive to Michigan voters.  Then again, maybe we've finally woken up.

This vote should have been for Thompson.  I couldn't bring myself to throw this ballot at a candidate who doesn't seem to want to do anything with it.  That, afterall, would only help McCain or Huckabee - both of whom have no business, along with Paul, of being on the Republican ballot. 

Romney, at least, strikes me as more of the same - which isn't all that bad.  Though most of Michigan may go for Dianne's choice:  Skip the whole damn thing.

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01/08/08

Teh Neo-Conzis r stealin mah kookies!

I think I've become addicted to that Lew Rockwell blog. I just can't get enough of it now. You have to love this stuff.

I'm not surprised to see the Neo-cons (emphasis on "cons") pull out all stops here.


All the stops for what? Paul's chances of winning?

Here, listen to the lyrics.


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Uh, guys...

The New Republic's James Kirchick wrote a piece about the darker side of Ron Paul:  Angry White Man.  Read the whole thing, or excerpts at Hot Air (also with a link to Kirchick being interviewed by John Gibson) or Pajamas Media if you want, but all of this stuff could have been easily figured out without Kirchick's expose of Paul's past newsletters.  This is merely icing on the cake for Paul's detractors - making TNR's (yes, that TNR) involvement irrelevant.

The thing I don't get are comments like this from Ace at AoSHQ:

Ron Paul lives in a strange, dark, demon-haunted world. If this stuff is true -- and I assume it is -- it's about time for supposedly-sane Ron Paul boosters like the crew at Reason to admit what this man really is and what he represents. If this is "libertarianism," I want no part of it.


Where have you been?  You obviously haven't spent any time in Michigan.  Back in high school I played a bit in libertarian circles - went to a Gun Stock rally, occasionally listened to Mark Scott (an obituary on Lew Rockwell's blog), went to some LP meetings, got Jon Coon to talk to my high school political science class, and got all hopped up on this "freedom" rhetoric.  But freedom of or from what?  No one knew.  It was just freedom - which is why Ron Paul has, as Andrew Walden writes, an "odd alliance" of supporters.  Communists, Fascists, racists, anti-Semites, and believers of any sort of conspiracy theory*.  Walden's listing of Paulinistas mirrors my own experiences with "libertarians" in the mid-90's when the frenzied talk was of the United Nations invading and taking over the United States - amongst other things.  Nevermind that sort of inane talk was between overweight, middle-aged men in orange camo tramping through the woods with Bud Light and high-powered rifles trying to read The Turner Diaries.

Freedom, man.  Unqualified, unconditional.  Anyone who preaches that is as dangerous as someone preaching populism.

Kirchick's article is nothing new and not surprising, but hopefully it will help put Ron Paul into the same category as Lyndon LaRouche.

Update:  Seeing as I linked Rockwell's blog above I figured I'd read a bit.  Seems the posters over there are a bit upset about Kirchick's "hit piece."  So, naturally, they attack TNR itself. 

The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly, a "Progressive" who believed that the Constitution should be abolished in favor of the will of governing elites.


In the context of knowing where TNR is coming from it makes sense to point this out.  It explains why TNR might go after a Republican candidate; however, it doesn't explain why it would go after Ron Paul.  Paul is clearly anti-war - ostensibly one of the most important issues on TNR's roster.  Plus, Paul is helping to tear the Republican Party apart - something I'm guessing TNR has some interest in doing.  Taking down Paul, then, isn't in their own interests.  Boosting Paul would be.

It also neglects the fact that the Paulinistas, as described above, are from all over the political field.  As seen in the Andrew Walden piece and at the biography page of Karen De Coster - who Rockwell quotes in the Mark Scott obituary I linked above.

I am a CPA and freelance writer who is devoted to the causes of liberty, individualism, and the free market. I embrace the right to keep and bear arms; recognize the superiority of the Articles of Confederation; subscribe to a motley assortment of minor conspiracy theories; and believe that government is evil, immoral, corrupt, and unnecessary in a free society.


I wonder, what exactly is a minor conspiracy theory?  Your neighbors tossing their leaves into your yard?  Nevertheless, these are the people who populate Ron Paul Land where shadows take physical form and goblins steal your cookies.  Excelsior!

(By the way, just how can you believe government is unnecessary in a free society and believe in the Articles of Confederation - a type of government?)

Also, the post at Rockwell just before the attack on TNR"Pimply-Faced Youth" Admits He's a Liar.  Apparently, Kirchick first claimed Paul was a homophobe then said Paul wasn't a homophobe in an email to a blogger at Gays & Lesbians for Ron Paul.

This episode illustrates the lack self libertarianism has that I noted in my original post.  While the Rockwell blog describes TNR as having "a view that the political elite need to tell everyone else what to do, and use lethal force against people who resist" it links to a blog, in order to attack Kirchick, that described TNR as having a "history as a bastion of high-minded political discourse."

Anything to anyone.  And they wonder why they're not taken seriously.

Update2:  To expand on that "government is evil, immoral, corrupt, and unnecessary in a free society" and the "anything to anyone" insanity.  How about:  Government, despite its inevitable faults, is necessary for a free society and in order to create a government as free as possible of flaws we must use concretely defined terms.

Case in point:  Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO gets a not-so-vague death threat from a, er, freedom-loving goon.

There's gotta be consequences to what you people are doing. Hannity got chased off the streets... he's lucky that's all that happens. Rudy got locked in a bathroom in a boat in MI. The revolution is real, not symbolic... I wouldn't smack at a hornets nest.

The media is generating hate and their own version of blowback. In America, blowback lead to 9/11. What will your blowback lead to? We're really starting to hate you folks.


Freedom!

*I don't think all of Paul's supporters are creeps.  Some - maybe most - might just be the "leave me alone" types without any ulterior motives.  I don't even think libertarianism is necessarily a bad thing.  I do think it's pretty much undefined and so may mean anything anyone wants it to mean - just like unconditional freedom.  Communists, Fascists, and racists all believe in freedom from or of something afterall.

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10/28/07

Extremes

A broader thought on my previous post.

Is the reality that a person can only be either pro-Muslim or anti-Muslim without anything inbetween?  Little Green Footballs, this past week, has made various posts about some European groups that may be anti-Islamization, but may also be (and from the evidence presented are) neo-Nazis.  The Yaffer flap only illustrated that more.  But LGF also has a solid record on pointing out and shouting down pro-Islamization groups as well as those people willfully blind to Islamofascism.  In other words, Johnson is certainly no friend of CAIR or Jimmy Carter.  But neither is he a racist.

The us or them mentality is a fundamentally unprincipled stand.  To claim inviting Griffin was due to starting a debate is as absurd as claiming the same for inviting Ahmadinejad.  There is no debate here anymore - it's done, it's been settled.  Both of these men hold views any rational person would dismiss out of hand.  Period.

At some point, the thoughtful person has to realize that some apparent fellow travelers are, in reality, no different from one's enemies.  Trading a Crescent Moon for a Swastika makes no damned sense.  You're not making a trade of ideas; rather, you're merely switching out one symbol for another while retaining the meaning.

Pointing out the actual beliefs of someone who claims to be your friend is not being PC.  It's being honest with yourself.  Moreover, it's standing up for your own beliefs.

An aside:  The ties between Islamism and Nazism need to be, I suppose, continually pointed out.  There's a reason it's called Islamofascism after all.  It's why, for instance, both Storm Front and Hamas are equally our enemies even though they would likely, when we are finished off, go after each other.

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10/09/07

Are we there yet?

So I'm watching the latest Republican debate, and I'm wondering why.  Maybe it's the setting.  This sort of 'debate' just doesn't allow an opportunity to be inspiring - even though each of the wannabe Presidents, I'm pretty sure, said something along the lines of, "We have to inspire people (period - stop)."  Then again, maybe it's what each of these men are saying. 

If it weren't for the crazy, Paul says some good things.  But there's that crazy part again.

McCain is running against Bush again.  The uber-maverick rides again.  Yeeaawwwwn.  He's experiencing technical difficulties as well.  Must've turned his hearing aid off.

Thompson quoted Marx.  No, really:  Help to those who need it, help from those who can give it.  Also, I think he missed his embalming appointment and ended up in Dearborn by mistake.

Romney, as people say, has a "command of the issues."  He also seems to lack any capacity to get his ideas across.  My computer has a command of issues too, but I wouldn't vote for it.  Watching a debate between Romney and, say, Hillarity would be worse than watching paint dry with intermittent screeches and hand waving.  I don't know, it's like he's too slick or something.

Giuliani had his animated moments.  He's still the guy I'd vote for over the others, but he also still seems like the candidate who doesn't really want to be there - who had this whole thing dropped unexpectedly into his lap.  I've never bought the fantasy of the unintentional leader.  You have to want to lead, and that's that.  I'm not convinced he does.  Although, his answer to London becoming the financial center of the world was spot-on.  I think I'd like to see Giuliani give a speech or a one-on-one debate.  That's probably my own personal swing issue - who I'd want to hear in an actual debate.

Who were the other candidates?

Update:  Giuliani's quip about Canadians having nowhere to go for health care if the U.S. gets government health insurance was brilliant.  Given the entirety of the debate, that's not saying much.

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09/22/07

He has a point

Hog on Ice has a point - h/t Instapundit though I think Reynolds is missing the point*, and it's a bit ironic that the author of An Army of Davids is linking this.  Granted, I haven't read Reynolds' book, but I gather it's about overcoming a monolithic system - a sort of antithesis to what HOI wrote.  That is, HOI is decrying the monolith's inability to accept new talent while Reynolds' is saying the monolith is irrelevant. 

HOI's post dovetails with what I wrote here and here - and what Dirty Harry at Libertas wrote here.

I keep waiting for one of the tens-of-thousands of conservative millionaires — millionaires because of this country’s foreign policy — millionaires because of incredibly brave young men and women who fight the wars for us — millionaires because of America herself — to announce they’re ready to drop $50 million into a pro-war/pro-American film should someone only bring them a great script and director.

We bitch about Hollywood liberals but conservatives are just as guilty; maybe even more. As twisted and immoral as most liberal beliefs are at least they fight for their beliefs. Conservatives on the other hand, refuse. I’ve been reluctant to say this up to now because I was positive that at some time a principled, grateful, patriotic Hollywood insider would finally grow the guts to say “enough.” Because I was sure an outsider — a sane Mark Cuban — would finally say “enough.”

Where are you people? Believe it or not there’s a bigger moral world out there than your standing in the Hollywood community; than the cocktail parties you get invited to. At what point do you figure out that being liked by people who won’t respect you for fighting for your own principles isn’t worth it?


The thing is, in certain situations the monolith does matter.  It matters - in the vein of what Dirty Harry is talking about - because most people don't have several million dollars laying around to make a movie.  You have to work in the system, work with the monolith.  The frustration is born from the knowledge of there being people in Hollywood who agree with us, who have the ability to make statements, but lack the desire to do so.  Bruce Willis is willing to give a speech at a ball for the heroes Michael Yon portrays in his Gates of Fire report (among others), but he isn't willing to take on Goliath and tell their story in the most compelling medium Man has yet to devise.

And is anyone willing to fund that sort of project?

The other thing is, we know top-down generally does not work.  Just look at talk radio - specifically, Limbaugh's success versus Air America's dismal failures.  In fact, it's a basic principle of Conservatism - rugged individualism.  The blogosphere may have put a new sheen on that thought and the internet may be the best vehicle to see it fully realized, but the Army of Davids is not at all new.

But that doesn't leave us in a good spot - as HOI described.  We do have to realize that all of this must be passed on at some point.  The proverbial torch cannot be held by the same person forever.  We have to train and equip new bearers; otherwise, we can only settle for everything we claim to oppose.

So, Andrew Meyer may have found his meal ticket with that little stunt, but there's also Jason Mattera taking on Murtha - where will he be in five years?  Some of this is solely about initiative, but some of it is also about talent without opportunity.

*The point not being we need yet another screwball - relating Ann Coulter's antics to Andrew Meyer's; rather, we need the Old Guard to accept and foster a continuance of who they are and what they stand for instead of being (seemingly) deathly afraid of new faces.

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