Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
In her latest post, Althouse clarifies that her main objection was the fact that some Libertarians are willing to allow private businesses to discriminate on the basis of race.
But I had brought up the subject of discrimination by private business-owners,
which was roundly defended at the table in the name of restricting government to
the most minimal level of intrusion on the individual, in hardcore,
true-believer libertarian style. (Believe me, the readings expressed the most
morbid fear of government you can imagine.)
What is confusing to me however, that this arguement that she finds so objectionable when it concerns the right of free association (and possible discrimination) is exactly the same arguement that she (and most of those on the Left) find so persuasive when it is applied to the issue of abortion. Apparently she believes it is a far greater ethical, moral and legal offense to discriminate against someone based on their race than it is to kill an innocent life.
Althouse's position appears to me to be a perfect example of my two main thesis about the Left today.
1) The Left's strategy is to constantly place the Right on the defensive.
2) The Left is completely blind when it commits to noticing their blatant and persistent hypocrisy.
This only goes to show you those among the Kossack moonbats who attack Althouse as being a rightwinger have no idea of what they are talking about.
Bob Woodward is a partisan hack and a cretin. I don't understand why any Republican continues to speak to him.
He doesn't even have the decency to wait until Pres. Ford has been buried.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I also bought a stand to place it on.
Lastly, I bought a up-converting DVD player, designed to take standard DVDs and upgrade the image to HD quality.
When I contacted my cable company today to ask about HD cable, I got some other interesting information. Seems like that if I switch my phone over to them, they will upgrade my current cable package, upgrade my current internet package, and provide exactly the same phone service as my phone company (with my current phone number) for only $10 more a month than what I am paying now, and the deal is guaranteed for 12 months.
Then when my TV gets here, and I upgrade to HD, with a package of HD channels and a HD DVR, I will still be paying less all in than I am currently paying for cable and phone today.
Don't hate me.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Former President Ford has died today. He is the both the answer to a trivia question and a testament to the resilience of or nation, in that he was the first president to take office without ever winning a national election.
He was the target of unfair ridicule largely because of Chevy Chase's bumbling impersonation of him. He wasn't our greatest president, but he was an able president, and helped the United States move past Watergate.
Interestingly, many of today's current political figures that are referred to as President George H.W. Bush's men, were actually originally President Ford's men. Donald Rumsfield served Pres. Ford as his Sec. of Defense and Richard Cheney as his Chief of Staff. Bush himself served Ford as the Ambassador to China and the head of the C.I.A.
Perhaps President Ford's biggest mistake was the appointment of Justice John Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court, and we are still paying for that mistake 31 years later.
Ann Althouse has recently written on her blog about attending a conference sponsored by the Liberty Fund about the writings of Frank S. Meyer. One of the topics during the weekend was the issue of State's Rights. Meyer supported the idea of federalism and State's Rights, and so did apparently many of the Libertarian and Conservative attendees of the conference. Althouse wrote:
I am struck ... by how deeply and seriously libertarians and conservatives believe in their ideas. I'm used to the way lefties and liberals take themselves seriously and how deeply they believe. Me, I find true believers strange and -- if they have power -- frightening.
During later posts and a running dialog with Jonah Goldberg she explains that this primarily refers to the fact that the libertarians and conservatives failed to recognize their responsibility to repudiate the real world (evil) effects that the ideology of State's Rights has had. In effect she is arguing that since those who supported slavery and Jim Crow used the idea of State's Rights to support their position, every time someone rises to argue for the idea of State's Rights, they have a duty to repudiate slavery and Jim Crow.
Jonah Goldberg correctly rejects this. He correctly identifies this as unfair to those on the Right, but fails to really develop any arguements to support his position. In some comments submitted to Althouse's blog, I try to develop some of these missing arguements, and I'm going to extend them here.
1) First of all, the idea of State's Rights is literally fundamental to our Republic. Our whole system of government was predicated on the idea that the federal government was subordinate to the States. This is explicitly laid out in our Constitution. There was no arguement prior to the Civil War that the State's Rights position held primacy, and was seen as a moral good. It is only after the Civil War that the idea of Nationalism takes control, and is seen as morally superior. For the last 150, we have seen a struggle between these competing ideas, with the Right usually supporting State's Rights or federalism, and the Left supporting nationalism. (an interesting aside: before the Civil War our nation was almost always referred to in the plural, the United States are. After the Civil War it is almost exclusively the singular, the United States is.)
2) Our nation has been making compromises with the evil of slavery since before its founding. Our Constitution was forced to make accomodations for it, and some of the more important early pieces of legislation are compromises over the issue. I argue that the taint on the idea of State's rights produced by the supporters of slavery (and later segregation) is just another one of these accomodations our nation has been forced to make.
3) This "duty" to repudiate also seems to be exclusively the purview of the Right. It is clearly a strategy of the Left to force the Right to behave defensively as much as possible. Thus while the Right is forced to repudiate (and punishes) Sen. Lott for his remarks apparently supporting racism, the Left is allowed to continue to support Sen. Biden and Sen. Clinton after their blatently racist remarks. It is simply undeniable that no Republican could have survived making the kind of racist remarks that the two Democratic senators did. Republicans are forced to defend their handling of the Foley scandal, even though they forced Foley to resign. Yet few people in the national media brought up the case of Gerry Studds, who not only survived his much worse scandal and continued to serve as a Democrat in Congress, but was rewarded with a sub-committee chairmanship. When a Republican president attempted to obstruct justice while in office, he was forced to resign by Republicans. When a Democratic president attempted to obstruct justice while he was in office, the Democratic party defended him. When a Conservative nominee for the Supreme Court was accused of sexual harassment, he was pilloried by the Left (specifically feminists such as NOW). When a Republican Senator was accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault, he was hounded out of office by the Left. (specifically feminists such as NOW). When a Democratic president was proven to have committed sexual harassment and sexual assault, he was supported and defended by the Left. (specifically feminists such as NOW) The outright and blatent hypocrisy of the Left in these cases is astounding, but yet the Left still manages to consistently force the Right to behave defensively. Althouse's position on State's Rights is just another example of this.
4) Other ideas have resulted in real world effects that are considered evil. Althouse herself cites the case of communism:
Imagine a left-wing conference going 9 hours talking about Karl Marx's ideas and disqualifying discussion of the evils wrought in the name of communism.
Well as I and another commentor point out in her comments, this is usually precisely what happens. As pointed out, the most repeated phrase ever uttered in the history of economic theory is: "true marxism has never been tried!"
I myself attempted to develop an arguement concerning abortion; and eugenics. The Left embraces the premise that there is a fundamental Right to have an abortion. Many of the early pioneers of the movement to legalize abortion believed in eugenics, and in using abortion to further their aims. Margaret Sanger, who founded the organization that would become Planned Parenthood, explicitly advocated using abortion to improve humanity. Today, proponents of abortion make explicitly eugenic arguements to support abortion. The most frequent and widely approved arguement is that there would be millions more criminals today except for abortion. This arguement is set forth in the book Freakonomics. As Ramesh Ponnuru points out in his book Party of Death, in a paper that eventually led to Freakonomics, it is acknowledged that the arguement is based on race:
abortion disproportionally effects Black children
crimes are committed disproportionally by Blacks
therefore crime is reduced by reducing the Black population
Imagine someone on the Right trying to make this arguement. It is explicitly racist and eugenic. Many on the Left also point out that abortion reduces the number of handicapped children born as a justification for abortion. Again, this is an explicitly eugenic arguement. In the real world abortion disproportionally effects the poor and minorities, which is exactly what people like Sanger intended.
So we see the idea of a right to abortion not only resulting in real world eugenic effects, we also see the Left explicitly embracing these effects as a justification for abortion. No one on the Right embraced segregation as a justification for State's rights.
So, we are either left to assume that the Left sees eugenics as a positive good, or the Left ignoring the real world effects of an idea based on a "deep belief in an idea".
5) So my question for Althouse is:
Does the Left have to explicitly repudiate eugenics, and the real world eugenic effects of abortion, whenever they discuss, defend and support the idea of a right to abortion? If not, why not?
Monday, December 25, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Mark my words, within ten years they're going to try and make all of the games pay per view.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The news is out that the current Miss USA, Tara Conner is about to lose her crown. It seems that among her sins, are getting the current Miss Universe, Zuleyka Rivera drunk on her birthday and kissing Miss Teen USA, Katie Blair in public.
Dammit, there had better be video some where..........................
Update 12/18/06 8:21 A.M.: The Donald is giving her a second chance! And he's taking a lot of shit for it at the press conference! I've never liked him more than right now after that performance.
Monday, December 18, 2006
The macho-ness of modern street culture is a lie. They're not men. They're scared little boys pretending to be men. And they know it, which is why they are so quick to take offense at perceived insults.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Sixty years ago, a woman (naturally) wrote a book about these horses called Misty of Chincoteague. It's a book that generations of young girls have read and silently wished for a horse of their own. It's the type of book that probably 80% of the enviroweenies have read as a child.
The horses are now wrecking the environment on the Maryland side. The Park Service has tried forced contraception, but that had unintended consequences (which usually happens when man intervenes in nature and tries to force an outcome) and didn't work. So now the Park Service is contemplating having a round up on their side of the island, and moving some of the horses to a new park or to sanctuaries. Note, not sell the horses like the Virginia ones, just round them up and move them some where else.
Of course the enviroweenies are up in arms. Never mind that identical horses are rounded up every year from the same island. It would be too traumatic for the horses. It would be meddling in the park's environment. (never mind that the horses are foreign invaders, they're cute little horsies you unfeeling monster!)
Does anyone doubt that if this had been a small, 400 year old, community of humans that was adversely affecting the environment and endangered species that the enviroweenies would instead be protesting and demanding that the humans be rounded up and forcibly relocated?
(H/T: John Miller of The Corner)
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I have several questions about this:
1) Don't I own my money? If so, I should be able to do anything I want to it, including melt it. If not, then I guess it's true, we really don't own our money, the government just lets us use it.
2) This is being described as a "rule", not a "law". Who made this rule? Why isn't it a law? And if some federal bureaucrat really does have the power to tell us what we may or may not do with our money, maybe it really is time to have a second revolution.
More on this later, I have to go to work.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
And it's not just New Orleans, but Louisiana as a whole. They supported Huey Long's corrupt regime for far too long, and they continue to re-elect the Landrieu dynasty.
Because of this, CAIR, and now others including former N.Y. Mayor Ed Koch, are calling for Prager to be removed from the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
Now, I have already expressed my opposition to Prager, and my view that Ellison should be allowed to use the Koran. But this is getting ridiculous.
First, I see no reason why any outsiders should have influence on who sits on a Holocaust Memorial Council, especially CAIR. Second, these people who are opposed to Prager's views should merely state their difference of opinion and move on. Why this attempt to punish the man for stating his opinion?
Smarmy little punk.
I wonder if he has ever commented about an athlete: "He has a problem keeping it in his pants, just like President Clinton." or " He put in an awful performance, about as bad as President Clinton pretending to cry at a funeral." or maybe "He's nothing but a rules lawyer, as disgraceful as President Clinton asking what the meaning of the word is is."
I bet not.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I was too young to truly remember the lunar landings, although I was alive for them. I clearly remember the Skylab and Apollo-Soyez missions. One of the tragedies of space exploration IMO has been the destruction of the artifacts involved. How I wish some way of saving Skylab and some of the Soviet stations had been accomplished...perhaps by boosting them into a higher orbit. Even now there is already discussion of destroying the Hubble telescope instead of trying to save it for posterity.
I was a firm believer and supporter of the shuttle program in the beginning, although I now believe we probably should have stuck with solid fuel boosters. Its biggest failing was attempting to be a JOAT (Jack of all Trades), so it does a lot of things poorly, and nothing really well.
When you stop to consider the technology used in the shuttles it is stunning how antiquated they already are. Their primary technology is 20 years old. Would you like to be using a twenty year old computer? cellphone? TV? Walkman? Gameconsole?
The shuttles are to be replaced by a new system. Hopefully it will be more successful. However I firmly believe that there is already a functioning spaceplane (Aurora?) at Groom Lake, and if there isn't, there sure as hell should be. If Rutan can build a functional spaceplane, the Air Force damn well better have, or heads should roll.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Well, USC played like crap, especially the offensive line. UCLA's defense played great. UCLA earned this win.
You know what I hate most about this loss? USC is the PAC-10 champ, and going to the Rose Bowl, and I am disappointed.
One more reason to hate the BCS.
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