Monday, June 30, 2008

ACLU Believes "Equality" Trumps Liberty

As WorldNetDaily points out.

That is all.

On Buchanan's Book

I must admit that I do not know know enough about World War II history to make a real evaluation of Pat Buchanan's new book (also I have not read it yet). I do think that he is naive about Hitler's ambitions, though.

It does seem to me though, that the real fight here is less over World War II than it is over the present controversy over foreign policy.

I believe that a large part of Buchanan's contrariness about World War II is due to a conviction that it is the single best weapon that interventionists have to argue with. Therefore, if he can attack World War II as being an unnecessary intervention, then by extension all of the lesser interventions that he dislikes become invalid.

Likewise, the neocons and other pro-warriors have a need to see World War II in every conflict, and to see the lesson of World War II to be that we have to confront every petty tyrant with no mercy, before he commits any serious act of aggerssion, lest he become the next Hitler. (Look at how many of Buchanan's critics try to use the naivete of his World War II views as a parallel to his views on the Middle East, with the implication that anything less than a military attack on Iran would be Munich 1938 all over again).

Another supposed lesson from World War II (particularly in contrast to World War I) is the need for unconditional surrender and to crush our enemies completely in any war. The idea seems to be that negotiated surrenders or armistices are not acceptable. (Fortunately enough, this view has not predominated among actual policymakers, e.g. in the Korean War or in the Gulf War of 1990-1991),

I think that Paul Gottfried's column on LewRockwell.com makes some interesting and balanced points on the latter issue of the actual threat that Germany posed in 1917-1918.

That is all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

When it Comes to Processing Subscriptions, The American Conservative is Full of Morons

I have been trying to renew my subscription to The American Conservative for more than a month. Unfortunately, even though I tell them (when renewing over the phone) that the billing address is different from my mailing address, the payment is not going through.

I tried their secure online server, and again they ask for shipping information, and then ask for credit card number, and tell you there is a problem when the billing and shipping addresses do not match. I could give myself a gift subscription, but I would lose my charter subsciption discount.

Is it too much to ask for these idiots to consider the option that people are not always using the same address for receiving the magazine that they are using for their credit cards? Are the people who run these things so stupid????

Message to TAC: FIX YOUR STUPID BILLING SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!!!

Update: (I receive most of my subscriptions at my parents' house, because I am in a situation where I may move a lot, and it's been a hassle getting my subscriptions updated in the past. Nonetheless, one of my credit cards I receive at this address, because changing my credit card address is fairly easy. I finally got the subscription renewed online, using a different credit card that still uses my parents' address, but it does not have a rewards program).

That is all.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thought on TracFone

Recently I lost my mobile phone and had to replace it.

I use Tracfone, and their customer service is very, very good. I think I was dealing with a foreigner, because the guy on the other end had an Indian accent, but he was very polite and helpful.

I just thought it would be nice to note that there are people who still care about service, as an encouragement to those who are discouraged by horror stories such as this one.

That is all.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

John McCain Angry that Black Guy isn't on Welfare

The Washington Times:

Mr. McCain told reporters Thursday he will stay within the public financing system and called the Obama decision a violation of trust that he considers "disturbing to all Americans."

"This is a big deal," the Arizona Republican complained, saying Mr. Obama "completely reversed himself."


Shut up, John.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More on Gitmo

I am going to expand a little on Vox Day's article that I mentioned here.

There are two basic definitions of judicial activism: (1) the judicial branch not complying with the wishes of the legislature/executive, or (2) the judicial branch making rulings where the result is predetermined and the goal of the argument is to justify the decision already made. The difference in the two definitions comes from whether one is simply against the Court exercising power because they believe that the more diretly elected/chosen branches should make all of the decisions, or because one is worried htat the Constitution is being read into meaninglessness, with the ultimate law of the land being nothing more than "the law will reflect my values."

There is, I suppose, a third definition, which is simply "making a decision I disagee with."

The second definition is, in my opinion, the best one and the one that is based on the best principles.

The reason why judicial activism is worrisome is because the judges amass large amounts of power to themselves which cannot be easily removed, and reduce the Constitution to "whatever we want it to say." (The other problem is that constitutional questions, which should be at the heart of every branch of the government, are quickly delegated to the judicial branch alone. An example would be during McCain-Feingold when some Congressmen said that they were not concerned with whether or not it was constitutional, the Court would deal with that.

In any case, the problem with the bellyaching over the Court's activism (if that is what it was) on the Guantanamo decision is that there is a genreal feeling that the President had amassed a similar levl of similarly illegitimate power, and so this wqs seen as more of a reaction than an action.

When people fear that the executive branch is not playing fair, whether the other branches play fair in dealing with it becomes much less important to them.

That is all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Changes at Glaivester?

Over the next week or two, if I can find the time, I intend to update my blogroll and to update other things in my sidebars. Later I intend to start figuring out how and whether to make some template changes to Augustawell.

By the way, in case anyone wonders what the "personal use links" at the right hand side of my sidebar are, I put them there so that I could easily access different parts of the blog from my blog. They are for my use, so readers will not find them helpful at all.

I will probably add such a thing to Augustawell before long.

I will have to try to update Rankine 911 at some point as well, and finally start to write on The Defense Force (I have saved the address for two years, but have not added any content).

That is all.

Yet More Augustawell

There are now eight Augustawell strips on the Augustawell blog (although only seven are on the front page).

I believe that I have solved a problem that some people have been having, namely, that the screen would not scroll and was often too thin to show the entire comic.

I have a hard time using the html, as it is different than the html for the Glaivester blog (although they are both based on the same template), but I just added a bunch of asterisks to my description and the screen does not automatically resize the writing anymore, so the blog is always wide enough to display the comic strips.

Please visit and leave a comment on any strip.

Note: I have enabled comment moderation on Augustawell, mainly because it appears to be the best way for me to be able to keep track of new comments (I may use Haloscan later, but it doesn't let me track to which post a comment is made). Please comment on the strip evenif the comments are not posted immediately, and I will try to post the comments as soon as possible.


That is all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Racism

I'm not a racist. But I am an anti-anti-racist.

That is all.

On the Recent Supreme Court Ruling

With all the whining about the decision to protect Guantanamo Bay detainees' right to habeas corpus, no one seems to realize the main reason behind the ruling.

It's not that the Supreme Court members think that terrorists deserve Constitutional protections; it's that they no longer have any faith in the Bush administration to correctly determine who are and are not terrorists. More bluntly, they do not trust Bush not to incarcerate massive numbers of innocents.

That is all.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson Doesn't Get It

Over at The corner, Victor Davis Hanson makes the argument that the real problem with the war was the way it was sold: rather than WMDs, the people pushing the war should have emphasized:

they were considerable humanitarian questions dealing with the Kurds, Shiites, UN embargo, bounties for suicide bombing, etc., and continual reference to them would have made the Congress more invested in the war they voted to authorize.

The problems with these justifications:

The humanitarian questions get a lot of sympathy, but the American people are unwilling to take on a project to reform some foreign society by military occupation. Besides, things did not turn out so hot in the war's after math after all (more on that later), so in the end the humanitarian argument would have turned just as sour once the civil war began as the WMD argument did when they were not found.

The bounties for suicide bombers was not a winning issue other than the fact that it tied Saddam to some form of Muslim terrorism. Moreover, the idea that we had to spend billions of dollars to stop him from paying $25,000 to the families of Palestianian suicide bombers would have made it difficult to argue that we weren't just fighting for Israel's sake.

As for the embargo and the UN resolutions, the problem is two-fold. First, most people don't care much about UN resolutions or making the UN a stronger, more respected institution. Secondly, those who do study the issue and are honest about it know that the U.S. did not exactly deal honestly with the inspections or with the embargo, insisting that the embargo was to stop WMDs and then refusing to end it as long as Saddam was in power regardless of how well he complied. Secondly, Clinton used the inspections to spy on Saddam with the goal of bringing regime change.

In short, none of these reasons was convincing without the udea that Saddam was actively threatening us. Notice how unconvinced people are by the "but Saddam was himself a WMD" argument, which sounds just like what it is; an attempt to reform the language to rationalize a bad decision.

Andrew McCarthy chimes in on the fact htat Saddam had violated several resolutions, again not mentioning how the U.S. government (specifically Clinton) had abused those resolutions.

Rich Lowry rationally points out that the WMD were the only rationale which the public would really care about - you suggest that a nuke will go off in their backyards if they don't invade, it gets their attention. He also makes the rational point that if things had gone well, people would not have cared how good or bad the rationales for war were.

Hanson still sticks with his original idea, saying that this is all the more reson why we needed to have other rationales to remind people of when things got tough (Lowry sensibly points out that once things got bad, lot of people would not have cared about the other ratinoales (indeed, I quesiton whether anybody who was not invested in the war for their own reasons really would be persuaded by the violation of UN resolutions, the suicide bombers, or Saddam's cruelty to his own people) .

In particular, this line annoys me:

Second, by default we wouldn't have invested only in the democracy argument that was tied to Bush alone and caricatured as naivete (rather than admirable idealism which it was) when the Congress proposed and owned the numerous others.

Naivete rather than admirable idealism? His "idealism" was not backed up by any understanding of Iraqi culture or of how to fit democracy to their culture. It was based on the liberal idea that all societies are exactly as capable of democracy, and that you could essentially drop any form of government on them and it would work. It's essentially like arguing that it is "idealism" to try to run Mac 10.5 on a Pentium 1 chip, or to install Windows Vista on an Apple II.

Note what Hanson is really saying: what matters is that Bushs intentions were good. That, and not whether he had a realistic plan, is what matters.

And look at the surreal situation we are in today: all those legitimate reasons to remove Saddam which were so carefully explained by the Congress are now irrelevant or forgotten; and those who proposed and authorized them all hid their flip-flopping in the WMD bogeyman../

None of which really mattered to anyone who did not already want to go into Iraq for other reasons (such as establishing an imperial base, conquering an enemy of Israel, securing control of an oil field for the future, etc.).

He also makes half of a good point:

Left unsaid is the obvious: had the insurgency been crushed at the outset, all this hindsight would be now irrelevant.

True.

Had Iraq looked in 2003 like it does today, there would have never been 'Bush lied, thousands died'.

No, the violence level today is similar to that of the summer of 2003, at least in terms of deaths of coalition Troops. And Iraq today may be peaceful, but it has the marks of a lot of civil war, ethnic cleansing, and destruction from the past five years.

What Hanson means is that if the violence level of May 2008 had predominated throughout the war, there would not have been "Bush lied, thousands died." But of ocurse that assumes that today's lower level of violence could have been achieved without the intervening years of civil war, ethnic cleansing, and violence burning itself out to some extent. In other words, it is based on the idea that sending a few dozen thousand more soldiers and changing tactics slightly suddenly turned everything around.

That is all.

More on Augustawell

I've been busy on my comic strip.

Five Augustawell comics are up now.

Please, visit the site and give me some feedback. Be aware, though, that it uses Blogger comments rather than haloscan.

That is all.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Problem With Clark Stooksbury

UPDATE: Clark Stooksbury responds.

I think in my original post I may have been unclear as to my point. My point was not that minority crime keeps people off of bicycles per se as much as that high crime rates in urban areas are one major reason why so many white people live far away and commute to work. Moreover, any method of public transportation has some of the same risks, as long as you are essentially exposed to other people during the transport (as opposed to, say, being in your car where you can control who goes in and out).

As for the minority part, the point was not that minority crimes are more frightening than white-on-white crimes, rather it was that the high rate of criminality among non-Asian minorities and the high concentration of non-Asian minorities in cities are a major reason why there are high crime rates in cities.

Original post:

Although he is constantly harping on our need to cut energy consumption through reducing our need for travel, the direness of the situation, and denying any alternative solution to not using our cars and living in bikeable communities (which essentially would force those who commute to big-city jobs to live in the city, as some of these jobs are unlikely to move into the suburbs), he has never once addressed one of the main reasons why white people do not like to live in the city and do not like using bikes or public transport.

I think that if fuel prices force a move back into the cities, I think we are going to see a sudden decrease in white tolerance for minority misbehavior.

That is all.

Mugabe and Food

He is trying to starve people if they are likely to vote against him in the elections unless they give uo their right to vote.

I think that the people who opposed white rule in Rhodesia have some serious apologizing to do.

That is all.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thoughts on Same-Sex "Marriage"

Andrew Sullivan:

Buried in the rush of election news yesterday was the California court's refusal to stay the civil marriages for gay couples that will start on June 17 and continue throughout the year. This strikes me as a critical decision because it reframes the debate in California. If voters are asked to decide on the abstract question of marriage equality, they respond differently than if they are asked to decide about civil marriages already in existence. Many voters simply do not want to think about this question and resent those who bring it up. If you ask Californians: "Do you favor the right of gay couples to marry?" they will divide pretty evenly. If you ask, "Do you want to undo all these couples' marriages?" they will tend to answer no.

What Sullivan does not mention, however, is that sometimes being close to an issue and getting sentimental about it makes for bad, rather than good decisions. Those who refuse to vote against same-sex "marriage" because they don't want to hurt the feelings of a gay couple they know are not necessarily acting on rational impulses or impulses that reflect the larger picture of what is good for society. The reasons why same-sex marriage is damaging to society do not go away because we suddenly are filled with pain for those poor gay couples whose marriages are suddenly annulled, and a person does better to vote with his principles than based on his sentimental desire not to cause anyone any psychological pain.

That is all.

And Some Morons Still Say that we Live in a Homophobic Society

What they really mean is that not eveyone has yet been forced to toe the line.

That is all.

Iraq isn't Causing Recruitment Problems for the Army

Or the National Guard.

Yeah, right.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to the LRC blog.

That is all.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Augustawell

I have started a comic strip on a new blog.

The comic strip is called Augustawell, and will be updated sporadically.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Article on McCain and immigration

Here

That is all.

They Don't Get It

I heard Tammy Bruce on Laura Ingraham's show yesterday the question "why did Clinton win in Puerto Rico?" With the answer being that people are starting to see Obama for who he really is. This was followed by a statement that Clinton won all of the demographic groups (the young, the elite) that Obama usually wins.

This is rather like asking why the jury acquitted OJ and suggesting that they were mostly foorball fans and that they usually wouldn't support a known wife-abuser.

THE REASON, STUPID, IS THAT PUERTO RICO IS 99% HISPANIC.

The idea that Hillary won Obama's demographic groups only makes sense if you completely ignore the ethnic factor in demographics. Hillary did well with Hispanics as she usually has done.

That is all.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

More on Obama vs. Clinton from VFR

On Lawrence Auster's blog, Clark Coleman opines:

I don't think the anger of Hillary supporters is because of Florida and Michigan. I think they perceive what everyone else in the country perceives (incuding most Obama supporters). Namely, that Obama is unqualified and inexperienced, that he is shallow and vapid, that he has been given a free pass because he is black and everyone is afraid to criticize him because any criticism of a black person must be motivated by racism, and that the mainstream news media in particular have been openly on his side.

Auster approves of this idea:

This explains a lot. What Mr. Coleman is saying is that the Hillary supporters are seeing the truth of the Obama phenomenon with a clarity that even many conservatives and Republicans lack--because that phenomenon is affecting them much more directly. After all, it is widely believed that Barack is too "Obamaged" to win in November, so he doesn't threaten the people who favor McCain and who also think Obama can't beat him. But the Obama phenomenon with its black racial favoritism IS harming the Hillary supporters in the most direct and traumatic way, by stopping Hillary from being nominated and becoming president.
And this trauma sparks their fury at something that, as left-liberal Democrats, they might otherwise not have found bothersome: the liberal media's and the Democratic party's "normalization" and acceptance of Obama's 20 year membership in a black racist church.


I don't know if I would give Hillary supporters that much credit for analyzing Obama; I think that they are upset because they feel that Hillary is owed the nomination and because they see all of the work for her going up in smoke. While they may be pointing out real flaws with Obama, I do not think that they have this principled objection nor do I think that they would have behaved much differently if it had been, e.g., John Edwards who was beating her. That they have picked up on Obama's flaws is just fortuitous coincidence.

That is all.

Geraldine Ferraro Stands up for Whites

Although I don't know that I agree with the gist of her article, this statement is interesting:

Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to Lawrence Auster.

That is all.
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