Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Abu Ghraib

I forgot where I was referred to this, but I think it is interesting.

It's an article about Abu Ghraib, the attempts to shift blame there, and the little slimeball Lindsey Graham.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Debate About Syria

The thing that worries me the most in this debate about Syria is that none of those advocating that we try to help the opposition overthrow Assad are asking what will replace him. Do they really think that those who are fighting Assad would be more friendly to our interests than he is?

And what about the Syrian Christians? Do they think that they would survive whoever replaces Assad? Or do they not care if they get slaughtered? Someone should ask that.

The general idea seems to be "Assad is bad. He is an ally of Iran. Therefore, whoever opposes him is necessarily good." This replaces serious thought about what the consequences of actions will be. Now, of course, there is the old saying that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," but when, individually, both of these would be your enemy, the question becomes, "which enemy is the enemy and which is the enemy of the enemy?"

In other words, in situations like World War II, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" could be used either to support Stalin against Hitler, or Hitler against Stalin. You actually need to evaluate which enemy is more dangerous to you and your interests.

I wish that Ron Paul had pointed that out in his response.

That is all.

Why People Oppose Anti-Bullying

I think that Lawrence Auster makes an important point about the Dharun Ravi case:

As USA Today explains it (via John Derbyshire), the prosecutors’ case is weak, but they are going ahead with the trial anyway, because Ravi has been found guilty of Clementi’s death in the court of public opinion (led by loudmouth Gov. Christie whom some mindless conservatives still consider a conservative). If found guilty on all counts, Ravi could be sentenced to ten years in prison, basically for videotaping his roommate in the room they shared. As lawyer/observers point out, if Clementi had kissed a girl, there would be no case, no trial. The trial is an expression of the rising power of the homosexualist lobby. We should add that the power of the homosexualist lobby is indistinguishable from the tyranny of the homosexualist lobby.

There is a fear that anti-bullying legislation, and the like, are ultimately going to be used to make any criticism of homosexuality a punishable offense, and to make it so that crimes that would be considered minor when committed against heterosexuals will become serious felonies if the victim is gay. In other words, creating a privileged class.

This is troublesome.

And Auster also makes a good point that the sexual revolution as a whole must be fought in order to fight the individual elements of it.

That is all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We Waited in World War II - Good For Us!

Much has been made over these statements by Rick Santorum:

But remember, the Greatest Generation, for a year and a half, sat on the sidelines while Europe was under darkness, where our closest ally, Britain, was being bombed and leveled, while Japan was spreading its cancer all throughout Southeast Asia. America sat from 1940, when France fell, to December of ’41, and did almost nothing.

Why? Because we’re a hopeful people... after a while, you found out things about this guy over in Europe, and he’s not so good of a guy after all. But you know what? Why do we need to be involved? We’ll just take care of our own problems. Just get our families off to work and our kids off to school, and we’ll be okay.

I'm not interested in discussing the portion I elided, because to be frank, I don't think anyone thought that Hitler was a nice guy, or that such an assertion needs a point-by-point refutation.

What I do wish to comment on, however, is the implicit point he is making that we were wrong to wait as long as we did to get into World War II, and that our waiting made things worse.

Actually, it was a great thing that we waited as long as we did. First, let's be clear. Any claim that we (that is, the U.S.) could have and should have stopped Hitler early on (say 1937 or 1938, before he invaded Poland) is ludicrous. The fact of the matter is that Britain and France were unwilling to do anything overt to stop him, and there is no way for us to get involved before Britain and France.

So what we are really discussing is whether we should have gone to war after the invasion of Poland, when Britain and France had already declared war.

It should be noted here that by the time Britain and France declared War on Nazi Germany, the Germans were already fairly powerful, powerful enough to conquer the latter and to neutralize any threat posed by the former. Germany was a formidable opponent.

However, Germany made one mistake. In 1941, after neutralizing the threat from the west, Germany turned its sights east and invaded the Soviet Union. A tremendous portion of its army was bogged down there.

This means that when we finally did declare war, Germany was overextended and we were able to let our "frenemy" the U.S.S.R., do all of the heavy lifting. I would imagine that if we had joined in the war effort in, say, late 1940 to early 1941, Hitler might have decided to put off the Russian invasion and the U.S. would have suffered three to four times the number of casualties that it did (remember, the vast majority of Germans killed in World War II were killed in the Eastern Front).

To argue that we should have declared war sooner is based either on the premise that Germany's strength had increased enough from August 1939-December 1941 so as to offset the drain the Soviets placed on them, or that Germany would have invaded the U.S.S.R. regardless of when we declared war on them.

While it may seem gauche to say so, the U.S. did well to wait as long as it did to declare war, because we got in late to face a severely weakened enemy.

That is all.

What the Hell is Up With Daniel Larison

I tried to comment on his blog, and it said I needed to login through WordPress. Well, I had forgotten my password, and so I reset it. For some reason, it took Wordpress several tried before it sent me a reset email, but even after I reset it, the blog did not recognize my password.

Anyone know what is going on here?

Rod Dreher doesn't have that stupid login to comment on his blog.

That is all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Everyone Has Sacred Cows

I was thinking the other day that it is probably more acceptable in our society to mock Jesus than Martin Luther King Jr.

I wonder how many people who think that religious folks should "just get over it" when their faith is mocked would be as sanguine when their secular idols are the subject of ridicule.

See this article by Leonard Pitts, Jr. on a strip club that uses Martin Luther King Jr. as a theme.

It brought to mind a question: how many people who think nothing of mocking Jesus Christ (I am NOT accusing Pitts of being among them) would recoil in horror if the same were done to the Reverend King?

And moreover, is the attempt to make it acceptable to mock Christ truly about letting go of taboos, or is it merely about replacing God with our secular gods?

That is all.

David J. Theroux on Secular Theocracy

An excellent article by David J. Theroux of the Independent Institute pointing out how hypocritical the modern omni-state is regarding "separation of church and state."

The problem with our modern government is that it actually wants to set up a church to itself and to establish a form of secular humanism as the official state religion. That's why I don't trust most people who talk about the "Separation of church and state." A true such separation only exists when government is very, very small. If there is a welfare state, then separation of church and state is impossible. It is just a question of which church the government supports - and if it officially supports none, then it in reality supports its own.

This form of secular theocracy can be called "cratotheism" - the belief that government is God.

That is all.