Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ron Paul and Abortion

One thing I'm not certain I understand are the libertarians who look at Paul's pro-life stance on abortion as a reason not to support his candidacy.

Yes, he probably would favor laws restricting abortion, but only at the state level, and that's not the level of office he is running for. Yes, he would want to appoint Supreme Court justics who would overturn Roe v. Wade, because he believes that abortion should not be an issue to be decided federally, but then again that was also the position of Harry Browne, the 2000 Libertarian Party nominee for the presidency. (The major difference is that Browne did not want state-level regulation of abortion either, but he didn't think it was within the federal government's legitimate power to restrict a state from doing so).

For those who did not support Browne in 2000, that would make sense, but for people who supported Browne in 2000 to use abortion as an argument against supporting Paul suggests at least that they need to articulate why they differentiate the candidates.

That is all.

Raimondo on Paul

Here, here, and here.

That is all.

...And The Biggest White Lie Is

Leftists will be happy with anything less than the total eradication of white people.

That is all.

Voter Fraud and the U.S. Attorney Firings

Two things come to mind when reading this piece by John Fund:

(1) If the Bush attorney firings were due to the attorneys not pursuing legitimate cases of voter fraud (as opposed to charges being dreamt up out of thin air and the attorneys pressured to pull a Nifong, as the Democrats have implied), then the Bush administration ought to come out and make its case more forcefully. If it were to go on the offensive rather than try to cover everything up and not answer quetions, it could turn this thing around.

(2) I can't help but notice that no voter fraud involving non-citizens voting was mentioned. This could mean that this was not a big issue, or that Bush did not pursue such cases, or that the Wall Street Open Borders Journal doesn't want to talk about it.

That is all.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

G.O.P. YouTube Debate - Who Will Come?

Reading the LewRockwell Blog and Sully, I came across some links about the upcoming G.O.P. Debate on September 17.

Apparently there is a good chance the Giuliani and Romeny won't participate. Only McCain and Paul have said definitely that they will.

Here are some articles on it:

GOP: YouTube too Scary for Us
Running Scared
Scared, Stampeding Elephants
More articles at PrezVid

That is all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Absolutely the Best Book Series About 23rd-Century Biocyborg Wizards There Is...

Has anyone who reads my blog read The Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy by Jeanne Cavelos? (It's a Babylon 5 tie-in, by the way). It's apparently very difficult now for people to get their hands on the second book, but I got all the books and read them all when they first came out.

Anyone else know the series? Anyone else want to discuss it with me?

That is all.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Diana West Wants Us to Commit Genocide

Looking at her account of her talks with Arlen Specter that is my conclusion.

She certainly nowhere indicates that it would be unacceptable, and appears to look at any concern for Iraqi civilian casualties as to be a sign of being "impotent." note that she never sets a number of civilian casualties that would be too high for her.

As Lawrence Auster points out, the course of action she is promoting would ultimately mean wiping out the entire Sunni population of Iraq (and probably a lot of Shiite and maybe some Kurdish areas). But I suppose Ms. West thinks it makes me a wimp to be squeamish about killing ragheads.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Productive Discussion with Mr. Carafano

At this post and its comments.

That is all.

LadyJade3 - Far More Impressive than Silly Crushes

I think that this simple video is far more interesting than the silly little song and dance routines by Obama and Hillary supporters.

Of course, if you must have music, try this - and it's far more compelling a video than some tart inserting herself digitally into his media appearances and cooing over him while making Lesbian jokes.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yes, Fatalities are Down in Iraq this Month

So far, 31 hostile and 12 non-hostile fatalities for July (for the entire coalition, not counting Iraqis) (or 57 hostile and 22 non-hostile fatalities for the month if we assume a steady fatality rate - actually, the numbers could be lower than that if the relatively low death rate of the past few days prevails).

This is down from the highs of the past three months, and if the predicted data is correct will be the lowest hostile death toll since July of last year.

On the other hand, July tends to be a lower fatality month compared to the ones surrounding it.

Nonetheless, this is good news, even though it is likely temporary.

That is all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Revealing...

While I have no reason to believe that this video, supposedly of soldiers who served at Abu Ghraib, is genuine, I think it is interesting in that the people in this video clearly articulate the crude case for war.

By "crude case for war," I mean the sound-bite, bumper sticker arguments that most of thge warriors use, such as "Don't you realize that if we leave, they will follow us here?" (They?) or "They attacked us first," or "Will it take anoher September 11?"

All of these arguments for us staying the course in Iraq assume that our presence in Iraq is somehow preventing a terrorist attack, and that those who are fighting us in Iraq are largely people who want to follow us home rather than PO'd Iraqis who just want to get us out of their land.

In the end, it all boils down to

(1) The terrorists killed innocent Americans, so we have the right not to worry if we kill innocent Arabs
(2) A lot of Americans were killed by Arabs, so we need to retaliate by killing Arabs (not necessarily the Arabs who were behind the attack, any Arab country will do), and
(3) Anyone who identifies themselves as a Muslim is automatically a terrorists and can be treated as an enemy combatant.

One can make a coherent argument against withdrawing from Iraq. But too many simply conflate Iraqis and all Arabs with the 9/11 hijackers and Al Qaeda and then try to drum up support for the war by fearmongering on this basis (fight them over there so we won't fight them over here) or else a desire for racial vengeance (the people who casued September 11 were Arab Muslims, so attacking any Arab/Muslim country is legitimate retaliation.

This clip is valuable in that it explicitly states the premises that are in a lot of pro-war rhetoric.

That is all.

Some Links on WMDs

Here are some links suggesting that not everyone believed that Saddam had WMDs:

The Independent, Road to Surfdom, Harper's, Andrew Wilkie on Wikipedia, John Quiggin.

That is all.

Paul Craig Roberts Has Gone Batty

Okay, I agree with Lawrence Auster that Paul Craig Roberts has gone off the deep end.

While I would not put it above Bush and Cheney to lie us into a war with Iran, or to deliberately provoke Iran into striking our armed forces to justify war, I cannot see either of them staging a terrorist attack in order to get a chance to attack Iran.

I do think that VDARE would probably be better off dropping Roberts' column, particularly after he said that he would be willing to take in the entire population of Mexico if he could get rid of the neocons.

That is all.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Good News on CotP (Candidates Other than Paul)

Tom Tancredo, as the only GOP candidate to appear at the NAACP forum, has a chance to expose blacks to the immigration issue and to the anti-open borders position. Read about it here,
here, and here.

Huckabee suggests a non-socialist reason why France has better health statistics than we do. (Hint: Michael Moore is a part of the problem - a big fat part of the problem).

That is all.

Thoughts on Military Tribunals and Detentions

My recent post on this James Jay Carafano column brings to mind an interesting issue.

In defending the taking and holding of prisoners without a trial and in defending the attempts to prevent any judicial review of these detentions, there are two arguments that one can use.

(1) These defendants' rights are not being violated because the processes we have in place to deal with their guilt or innocence (e.g. military tribunals) constitute due process.

(2) Anyone accused or suspected of acts against the U.S. does not deserve due process.

What is interesting is that most of the arguments seem to take the second position.

Even Mr. Carafano took the second position in his column, and only defended the procedures we have in place as due process in his response on my comment board.

It seems to me that this is a curious way to argue, by eliding over the major issue until directly challanged.

That is all.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

(UPDATED: Okay, Now Those are Fair Points) What Carafano Means: The Ragheads Have no Rights that Americans Are Bound to Respect

Updated: James Jay Carafano has responded in the comments. The points he makes are fair, in my opinion, and form a very legitimate argument. Nonetheless, his original column is still a bad one in that it doesn't address the issue of the proper way to determine guilt or innocence but simply assumes guilt in all cases. It really would be good if in future writings of this sort if the people arguing against civilian trials for terrorist suspects emphasized why they believe that military tribunals are a better system for trying these cases rather than simply eliding over the question of guilt or innocence.

That's essentially the point he is making here.

The thing that annoys me about all of this talk about whether or not terrorists have rights is htat he nowhere acknowledges the possibility that any of the people detained may not actually be guilty. From the arguments he uses, one would suppose that those who capture people are allowed to act as judge and jury.

And talking about POWs and how they do not have rights of habeas corpus, etc. is misleading, because the rules for POWs assume an actual conventional war with armies and a defined ending point. Referring to an attempt to stop such a nebulous force as "Islamic extremism" or "terrorism" as a war is in essence an excuse to suspend civil; liberties indefinitely, which is why looking at our fight against terrorism as a war rather than as law enforcement is so wrong-headed. Of course, the neocons will oudly bray that looking at this as law enforcement is wrong and was a huge problem of the 1990s. But is creating in effect a permanent state of emergency any better?

Even the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no longer wars in the conventional sense, and so using the old POW rules allowing detention for the duration no longer apply.

Do not get me wrong, unlawful combatants ought ot be punished. But we need to make certain that they are unlawful combatants first, which means in essence that we need to try them.

Also, statements that unlawful combatants do not deserve Geneva protections or the protection of their rights is also fallacious, because it begs the question of whether the people on trial are guilty. This is particularly true when one makes a big deal about how the combatants dress to blend in with civilians and so forfeit their rights. The obvious point missed here is what if the people you captured actually were innocent civilians?

That is all.

Andrew McCarthy is Insane

Based on a message by Zawahiri, McCarthy has concluded that none of the sectarian violence in Iraq stems from internal problems.

He is not, as Lawrence Auster once called him, "the resident adult at National Review" (which essentially translates to "he is willing to say that Islam is bad)" He is delusional.

First of all, even if Al Qaeda fomented the sectarian fighting, this would be hard to do if there were not already sectarian tensions.

Secondly, after the events during Saddam's reign, the idea that there would naturally be no Sunni-Shia carnage without outside interference is MIND-NUMBINGLY STUPID.

Thirdly, even if Al Qaeda sparked the violence, only an idiot would think it not self-sustaining.

Fourthly, it is possible that the messages do no more than indicate that Zawahiri and Zarqawi knew that a civil war was going to happen (anyone familiar with the ethnic divisions of Iraq and who was honest worried about this) and wanted to take credit for it.

That is all.

Commander-in-Chief, NOT Military Dictator

Apparently James Jay Carafano is too stupid to know the difference.

For starters, it would fundamentally alter how America fights wars. The Constitution pegs the president, and only the president, as our nation’s commander-in-chief. Decisions on how we fight our wars — both in terms of grand strategy and in the details concerning troop deployments and rotation schedules — are to be made in the Oval Office, not under the Capitol dome.

Plus, statements like this:

In April, Defense Secretary Gates told reporters that, if he hadn’t been able to extend the standard tour length to 15 months, he would have been forced to send five Army brigades to Iraq before their year at home was up. The 15-month tour length, he said, was a fairer approach, one in which all soldiers share an equal burden.

reveal the truth that Jim Webb's bill was trying to address. We cannot fight the current war with the current army. If we are going to fight it, we need a a bigger army. Otherwise, we need to go home.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Libertilitarianism

Dinesh D'Souza attacks Ron Paul for not being a true libertarian because he does not support the Iraq War:

So here is question for Ron Paul: shouldn't the United States do what it can to promote liberty worldwide? I posed this question and Paul answered that America should be an example of liberty and not try to impose freedom by force. Alas, where freedom has come to countries it has usually come by force.

This reminds me of a post a long time ago that I read (I forget where) where someone angry at the libertarian dissent on the Iraq War, asserted that the goal of libertarianism ought not to be the avoidance of initiating force, but the promotion of liberty.

Assuming that the absence of the initiation of force defines liberty, I think that this position could be best described as "libertilitarianism" (a portmanteua of libertarianism and utilitarianism). As opposed to the libertarian principle that one should not initiate force, the libertilitarian believes that the goal should be to reduce the initiation of force as much as possible with the belief that it is a fair tradeoff to initiate force if in doing so there is a corresponding decrease in the initiation of force.

Of course, like all utilitarian philosophies, there is not only the assumption that the ends justify the means, but the assumption that the desried ends equal the actually achieved ends. That is, that one can easily quantify liberty so as to make tradeoffs calculable ahead of time.

That is all.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Falling for Fallacies

Over at View From the Right, commenter Tom S. really displays his ignorance, and his ability to fall for neocon fallacies. Assuming that he is "tommy," he also makes an ass of himself at Rnadall Parker's site.

Now, I agree with both Lawrence Auster and Randall Parker that it would be folly to let Iraqi refugees come into the U.S. We'd be inundated with unassimilable Arabs of various stripes (and perhaps a few Kurds) who would likely bring a lot of their resentments and rivalries with them.

But Tom, however, needs to get in little digs to emphasize how pure U.S. motives were and how much the entire problem was in the Iraqis for not living up to our goodness.

The Iraqis had every chance to make a better life for themselves. We've spent billions on them. All the major factions in Iraq have chosen to fight with one another.

The U.S. did not destroy Iraq, the Iraqis did. The U.S. got rid of a monsterous tyrant, poured billions of dollars of aid into the country, and gave the Iraqi people every opportunity to build a peaceful, prosperous society--and they decided that their ancient ethnic and religious hatreds came first, and proceeded to rip their "country" to pieces.


Apparently we had no obligation to learn the culture of the country we were invading and to base our plans on who the Iraqis actually were. No, we should assume that they are New Hampshire-ites, and then when they're not, put all the blame for our ignorance and the resulting mishandling on them for not being whom we wanted them to be.

Then he hits us with this gem:

Besides, haven't people like Bacevich been telling us that if we pull out of Iraq, Al Quaeda WON'T take over? If this is true, why should there be any refugees at all?

WHAT THE HELL?

IS THIS GUY STUPID ENOUGH TO THINK THAT AL QAEDA IS THE ONLY FORCE CAPABLE OF MAKING IRAQIS LIVES MISERABLE?

Is he stupid enough to think that for there to be a threat to Iraqis that would compel them to leave there would necessarily need to be somethign that would threaten the U.S.? Or does he just lump in all Muslims who behave badly as part of Al Qaeda?

Some assertions are so stupid that they need to be answered. These were two of them.

That is all.

Some Good Thoughts

Where we went wrong in Iraq.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Lew Rockwell.

Joe Guzzardi on blacks seeing the light on immigration.

That is all.

Bush Anilingus Syndrome

What is it? It's the opposite of so-called "Bush Derangement Syndrome."

Bush Anilingus Syndrome occurs every time someone French-kisses Bush's rear end and assumes he can do no wrong, or who assumes that any criticism of Bush that they do not share must mean that someone is crazy.

That is all.

Less than Meets the Eye

I'm working on a review of the new Transformers movie.

Preview: I didn't like it.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sully Doesn't Get It

In all of his outrage about the sentence commutation for Scooter Libby, Andrew seems to think that the issue here is that Libby is an elite and a friend of Bush and so Bush is doing him a favor. I have heard others talk about it on the news networks as well, and bemoan the "two-tier" justice system, where the rich and powerful get away with it.

That's not the issue, though, and it's stupid that so many think it is.

Libby wasn't convicted for a DUI or some other personal peccadillo. What Scooter Libby was convicted of was LYING IN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE INTERESTS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. What he was convicted of was protecting the administration by obstructing the investigation. (Whether this charge was justified or not is, I suppose, debatable, but I am rather agnosic on the issue, as there appear to be two sets of facts, one for each side, and I don't have the time or desire to go through them with a fine-tooth comb).

So if his commutation is in inappropriate, it is because Bush is commuting the sentences for crimes committed on behalf of his administration; that is, he is working to avoid accountability. That is, he commuted Libby's sentence for his own benefit, not as a favor to Libby as a person.

That is all.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ron Paul 2008

I recently made a $200.00 donation to the Ron Paul campaign.

I encourage my readers to support him and to donate whatever they can spare.

That is all.
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