Thursday, June 28, 2007

Death to Amnesty

The Republicans in the Senate actually failed to capitulate:

The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.

After the stinging political setback, Bush sounded resigned to defeat.

The votes can be found here.

I am nothing if not a pessimist, but I feel compelled for thanking the usually cowardly Republicans, as well as a handful of Democrats, for doing the right thing. That the people were in frank opposition to amnesty no doubt helped them do the right thing, demonstrating that while the people by no means rule, occasionally the elites can be frightened by the thought of angry constituents.

The illegal immigration problem needs to be addressed, and if something is not done to close the borders, and soon, the Republic will never recover. But we dodged a bullet on this one, and if Hillary eventually rams a similar bill through the House and Senate once she is Queen, we can still take small stock in an admittedly small victory for the Republic. They have been a bit hard to come by as late.

Of more interest is what the Republicans now think of their president. It will be hard to blame the Democrats for this one, logically speaking anyway, but something tells me that those who love Bush will keep on loving him even as he repeatedly stabs them in the back. We have a word for such people; I believe we call them fools.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Folly of Youth

Yet another reason universal suffrage is idiotic:

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the favored presidential candidates of younger Americans, according to a poll conducted by CBS News, The New York Times and MTV.

You mean the black guy and the woman would do well with Americans who have been spoon fed about the goodness of diversity? Well, I never.

If the election were held today, a majority of 17 to 29-year-olds (54 percent) say they'd vote for the Democratic candidate, while 32 percent would vote Republican.

I'm not a Republican, and I'm not going to stand up for them, even against the Democrats, but it has to be at least a little embarrassing that the impressionable youth make up a not insignificant portion of your base, no?

Nearly eight in ten younger Americans think their generation will have a lot or some impact on who the next president will be...

Most say the 2008 presidential election is the most important, or one of the most important, in their lifetime.

Talking 'bout my g-g-g-generation. I'm so excited for the most important election ever! It's going to be, like, very important--and stuff. See because the Lizard Queen and the Magic Negro are good, and the Republicans are bad because they hate the environment.

Since I don't vote anyway, I'd have no problem with the government taking away my right to vote, so long as my contemporaries are given the same treatment. I don't have a plan to save the Republic, but a surefire way to accelerate its demise is to allow clueless individuals to take part in the political process. Like, three cheers for Hillary!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Keynesian Myth

"One of the myths of the inter-war years is that laissez-faire capitalism made a mess of things until Keynes, with his great book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936), introduced 'Keynesianism'--another word for government interference--and saved the world. In fact Keynes' Tract [on Monetary Reform (1923)], advocating 'managed currency' and a stabilized price-level, both involving constant government interference, coordinated internationally, was part of the problem... For most of the Twenties... [d]omestically and internationally, [Strong and Norman] constantly pumped more money into the system, and whenever the economy showed signs of flagging they increased the dose." - Paul Johnson, A History of the American People p.729

What really got us out of the Great Depression, of course, was World War II, demonstrating that "War is the health of the State", as Randolph Bourne so eloquently put it.

Plugging right along, I couldn't help but notice another poignant quote:

"The real recovery from the boom atmosphere of the 1920s came only on the Monday after the Labor Day weekend of September 1939 [ten years into the depression and seven years into FDR's presidency], when news of war in Europe plunged the New York Stock Exchange into a joyful confusion which finally wiped out the traces (though not the memory) of October 1929. Two years later, with America on the brink of war itself, the dollar value of production finally passed the 1929 levels for good. If interventionism worked, it took nine years and a world war to demonstrate the fact." - Paul Johnson, A History of the American People p.758

You'd think I knew a little bit about history or something. Emphasis on a little.

The Drums Beat Yet

For War with Iran:

An unidentified intelligence source told the [Sun] tabloid: "It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran -- but nobody has officially declared it."

I pause to interject that, at least in the United States, the present War on Iraq has never been officially declared either. Of course, neither were Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf I, or any of the little skirmishes Clinton liked to fight.

"We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us. It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot."

I keep saying that we're going to go to war with Iran because 1) I am no longer capable of surprise when it comes to this administration. They could declare war on Poland and, after a brief scratch of my noggin, I would return to my business. This is the administration that tried to sneak Harriet Miers onto the Supreme Court; is currently teaming up with Ted Kennedy, again--the first time was for No Child Left Behind--to grant twelve to twenty million illegal aliens amnesty; are on record as saying that "deficits don't matter"; and, are in the process of firing up another Cold War with Russia. The last makes sense because we need more enemies like I need a hole in the head. Can you say Military Industrial Complex?

I can't pretend war with Iran makes a lick of sense, but we're certainly proceeding in the correct manner if war is what we aim for. We don't even need to fake declare this war because we're already fighting it!

If it comes to war, I hope the Democrats have a spine, which is about like hoping the Republicans have a spine, only dimmer. At the very least my boy, Ron Paul, should be able to deliver a fine speech in the halls of Congress. A majority of Americans oppose this war, and, though I'm just guessing, a majority of Americans oppose war with Iran as well. But you wouldn't know it by looking at our representatives. At least we still have one fellow who gives two licks about the Constitution. And, much more importantly, about justice.

Now They Pay Attention

Senator Brownback can't seem to get any attention in his run for the Presidency, until the conservatives actually need his vote in the Senate:

Sen. Brownback told CNN on Friday, "I cannot support new paths to citizenship or amnesty." But Sen. Brownback has not stated his intention to vote "no" on cloture. If he votes "yes" tomorrow, he will have created a pathway for the bill—and for citizenship and amnesty. Needless to say conservative primary voters can be expected to remember what Brownback does tomorrow a long time.

If Brownback does vote "yes" tomorrow, he'll deserve the ire of conservatives, even if he does eventually vote "no" on the amnesty bill. When it comes to issues, not only of national security, but of maintaining our very Constitutional Republic, one need never take the slightest risk.

But doesn't this all seem a little hypocritical, or at least dishonest? The pundits over at NRO won't cover anyone beside the big four--Thompson, being "electable" has been a point of focus for them for a while now. And Brownback is supposed to care what Rich Lowry has to say?

Yes, voting "yes" will kill his chances at the Presidency, but his shot has already been decimated because no one will deign to carry his water. It's one thing if the "evil MSM" refuses to discuss anyone but the big four, but it's rather embarrassing that, aside from a handful of libertarians, no one with any clout has, to my knowledge, bothered to endorse a single minor candidate, candidates who, almost to a one, are far more conservative than those they trail in the always reliable polls.

In the coming days we will know if Brownback is a reliable conservative, at least when it comes to the immigration issue. But if he's not to be trusted, despite his record, which is better than the big four, would someone please explain why we should trust any of them? And if he chokes under pressure and caves on cloture, how, in the sacred name of Ronald Reagan, are we to trust those who have caved time and again during their political careers?

UPDATE: Brownback voted "No", thankfully. The folks at NRO will discuss him once again when they need his vote, but no sooner.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Little Red Bag

This actress hasn't a clue:

While she explored the Inca city of Machu Picchu high in Peru's Andes, Diaz wore over her shoulder an olive green messenger bag emblazoned with a red star and the words 'Serve the People' printed in Chinese on the flap, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao's most famous political slogan.

While the bags are marketed as trendy fashion accessories in some world capitals, the phrase has particular resonance in Peru.

The Maoist Shining Path insurgency took Peru to the edge of chaos in the 1980s and early 1990s with a campaign of massacres, assassinations and bombings.

Nearly 70,000 people were killed during the insurgency.

The journalist fails to mention the 20-43 million killed in Mao's little Great Leap Forward. I'm not saying you have to be an idiot to be a Communist/Socialist, or ascribe to tenants of their teachings, but you do have to ignore a substantial portion of 20th century history. In fairness to Ms. Diaz, we're not sure she gives two hoots about Communism, though the bag seems to be a hot item--an altogether separate topic.

Tangentially, I can never figure out why we're not allowed to even mention Hitler's name, but championing Communists who killed far more people that Hitler ever did is considered progressive. Whatever.

I'm not going to put the entire blame on Diaz and the Hollywood crowd for diminishing our reputation throughout the world because Bush, his neo-con supporters, and his cowardly liberal enablers too deserve some credit. But this tasteless maneuver is yet another instance of the negatives effects of the left coast, effects of which they seem to be completely unaware.

As per usual in these instances, I'd recommend burning it to the ground, though if they would start to make tasteful and enjoyable movies again I'll consider recanting.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Here Comes Fred

Or so says the hearsay:

Fred Thompson is set to announce that Nashville will be the home of his national campaign headquarters, WSMV is reporting.

A source close to the campaign planning tells WSMV that that Thompson planned to announce his candidacy on the steps of the historic Fall School Building Tuesday, but Thompson campaign officials deny that Tuesday's announcement is an official run for the White House.

I think it likely that Thompson will enter the race, if not on Tuesday, certainly in the next week or so. Not only will he profit personally by such a run, but the party needs someone to whom the base will rally. Now, this doesn't mean that Mr. Thompson is conservative--his voting record is quite similar to McCain's--though I guess this puts him to the right of "America's Mayor".

Simply put, no one is all that excited about Rudy McRomney; thus the party will attempt to force someone else upon the base. I make no predictions about the success of the move, as the rumblings of discontent from the religious right over Thompson's flimsy stances on moral issues, such as abortion, as well as his tepid religiosity, are not necessarily to be trusted.

I will note, however, that Thompson has no chance of defeating any of the leading Democratic candidates, especially Hillary, who will eat the lazy actor alive. Still, Fred is more likable than Rudy, and the base, still head over heels in love with Ronald Reagan, might conflate acting ability with conservatism and fall for the man. It wouldn't be the first time the party has been duped.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

President Paul?

James Ostrowski speaks:

As I said before, anyone who runs against Hillary starts with 45 percent of the vote just on general principles. Ron Paul can pick up those last five points by outflanking Hillary "from the left" on the Iraq War, drug war, monetary populism and opposition to the corporate state and the military industrial complex. His experience practicing medicine both before and after Medicare/Medicaid will allow him to checkmate Hillary on her key domestic issue. We already know he’ll hammer her on her support for the war. So, Ron will best Hillary on the key foreign policy issue and a key domestic policy issue. Perhaps Hillary will score points on extraterrestrial policy issues. Ron is indeed Hillary’s worst nightmare.

NRO, at least partly, confirms his observation:

A new Gallup poll shows Republicans losing in every 2008 national matchup with Democrats. Here they are:

Clinton 50
Giuliani 46

Clinton 49
McCain 46

Clinton 53
Romney 40

Obama 50
Giuliani 45

Obama 48
McCain 46

Obama 57
Romney 36

Edwards 50
Giuliani 45

Edwards 50
McCain 44

Edwards 61
Romney 32

Now, I've written that I don't believe Ron Paul has "the proverbial snowball's chance in hell." And I stand by my less than sanguine statement. But it is worth noting that my hope fails when it comes to his ability to capture the nomination, not in his chances at beating Hillary, heads-up, once the nomination is secured. I will not claim that the Republicans are going to throw the election for the sake of the Democrats, though this is a distinct possibility, but the party is far too wrapped up in interests which are diametrically opposed to their platform to nominate someone who takes it seriously. Remember Bob Dole?

The mainstream media, and the cheap imitators over at Fox News, as well as most of the nationally syndicated talk show hosts, will continue to insist that Paul is unelectable, while simultaneously claiming that we have to support Rudy McRomney, or the equally offensive, Fred Thompson, who could actually take out the Lizard Queen. Only they can't, because they happen to agree with her on almost every issue. If Bush were a popular president with a popular agenda it would make sense to run someone who is an idealogical relative. Rudy and Bush certainly share an ignorance of all things historical , but more importantly he, and the other three front-runners, are "conservatives" cut of the same cloth. The only way for the Republican party to have a shot at the presidency in '08 is to run someone who is significantly to the right of Bush. And, perhaps more importantly, though paradoxically, to the left of Hillary.

Enter Ron Paul. In truth, a return to a non-interventionist foreign policy is a move to the right. As Paul has rehashed countless times, it has been Republicans, traditionally, who were sluggish in gunning for war. But Paul's move, if one could call it that since the man has always been a non-interventionist, is seen as a move to the left. This is significant. Liberals who were against the war have a hard time stomaching candidates, like Clinton, who voted for the war. Whatever his stance on fiscal issues, Paul is appealing to the anti-war crowd, a not insignificant portion of Hillary's base.

The Lizard Queen has plenty of negatives. But if the Republicans trot out Rudy, or one of the other stooges, they will not be able to exploit this weakness of hers. When faced with two career politician bereft of principle, voters will plug their nose and pick their favorite letter, the independents going with the away team this time around. Only a genuinely principled and likable man like Paul has a chance to get liberal voters to turn away from Clinton, even if not necessarily towards Paul.

After eight years of Bush, America will be dying for a regime change. In some sense we already are, which is why I'm even bothering to talk about this. The Republican candidates, Paul excepted, though truthfully some of the other minor candidates aren't so bad, represent more of the same. Hillary represents a slight change in flavor, a change in degree if not in direction. Ron Paul alone stands for the real change that politicians always promise and for which people always clamor. It's up to his party to give him a chance.

A Scientist Speaks Sense

And he's even from Canada:

In some fields the science is indeed "settled." For example, plate tectonics, once highly controversial, is now so well-established that we rarely see papers on the subject at all. But the science of global climate change is still in its infancy, with many thousands of papers published every year. In a 2003 poll conducted by German environmental researchers Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, two-thirds of more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries surveyed did not believe that "the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases." About half of those polled stated that the science of climate change was not sufficiently settled to pass the issue over to policymakers at all.

Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of our food crops, while a warming would only require that we adopt farming techniques practiced to the south of us.

Meantime, we need to continue research into this, the most complex field of science ever tackled, and immediately halt wasted expenditures on the King Canute-like task of "stopping climate change."

As a libertarian, my solution to the "problem" is to do nothing. This has nothing to do with faith in the market; the market is especially ill-suited to longterm planning, or so it would seem. But governmental regulation will, live all other such attempts, fail in its design. Moreover, to protect ourselves from "climate change", as inevitable and inextricable as terrorism, we will no doubt be made to forfeit liberties, all for a dubious end.

And while it is unfortunate to think of the prospect of cooling from my domain in the upper Midwest, it will be enjoyable seeing the global-warming crowd change their tune in so short a timespan. Gore's little film may have done very well in his day, but I rather doubt that people will be watching an Inconvenient Truth when the cooling begins. I seem to remember a certain Thomas Malthus, whose pessimistic predictions of over-population and stagnation in food supply have proved less than accurate, judging from the falling birth rates throughout the western world.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rudy Runs "Right"

I still don't think he has the proverbial snowball's chance in hell, but this is a pretty good move given how easily the masses can be moved by platitudes. Of course, I'm less than impressed. In italics are Rudy's "commitments" to America; the rest comes from me:

I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists' War on Us.
Seeing how our "offense" is one of the reasons the Terrorists are warring with us, this seems nonsensical. It is also immensely impractical, as our little excursion in Iraq is now demonstrating.

I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation.
Great. I don't believe him for one bit, but at least he is smart enough to know that it's going to be easier to sell refrigerators to Eskimos than amnesty to the American people. Of course, he doesn't say what he's going to do when he identifies the non-citizens in our nation, which means he's not for deporting, which means he's for amnesty. Only he doesn't actually say this.

I will restore fiscal discipline and cut wasteful Washington spending.
All while fighting the War on Terror. A libertarian like Paul has a chance to come through on this promise; he does want to eliminate whole departments after all, and he possesses a record which hints that he might actually attempt to do so, though whether Congress plays along is another story. Giuliani, on the other hand, will continue to allow the federal government to grow, just like all his predecessors. In this respect this makes him like Reagan, who causes the base to froth insensibly at the mouth.

I will cut taxes and reform the tax code.
Tax cuts are generally useless when not accompanied by spending restraint. See above. The tax code is too complicated to be reformed; it needs to be scrapped altogether. Think of it, if you will, as a monstrous legacy system. Sure, the structure once made sense, but it's been rigged with careless fixes so many times it no longer stands up to reason's even stare. At some point, it's better to construct an entirely new system. (If that didn't make sense, just forget about it.)

I will impose accountability on Washington.
How? Seriously, I want to know. Is he going to do away with universal suffrage? Washington is, ostensibly, accountable to the people. But if the people aren't all stupid, they most times give the appearance thereof. The only way to hold Washington accountable is to avoid voting in frauds, and replacing the cowards once they've demonstrated that they can't be trusted. No matter who becomes President, we're still dependent on the people to perform their duty.

I will lead America towards energy independence.
By drilling in ANWR and building more nuclear power plants? Doubtful. This is a bone for the environmentalist types. I'm not all that happy about having to trade with Saudi Arabia for oil, but considering the egregious human rights record of China, I have more problems with trading with them. For all the talk of how Islam treats women poorly, it's not as if they have a one-child policy. Then again, since this country also murders its young, we might be left in the paradoxical position of being unable to trade with ourselves.

I will give Americans more control over and access to healthcare with affordable and portable free-market solutions.

I really hope he's going for complete deregulation here, but I sincerely doubt it. Still, it's a nice play to the base, most of whom couldn't identify a free-market from a plutocratic hybrid, but do seem to believe they like the former quite a bit. After all, Reagan did as well.

I will increase adoptions, decrease abortions, and protect the quality of life for our children.
Again, how? It's worth noting that many of these points cannot be accomplished without either 1) coincidence or 2) coercion. If we're not decreasing legal abortions to zero, and prosecuting those who take part in murder, I don't even want to talk about it. I've said this before, but it's worth mentioning again. Either abortion is murder, in which case it should be eliminated completely; or it's a mere trifle, in which case we shouldn't talk about it at all; or we're not sure, in which case we can't just kill the questionable entity. Taking the middle road on a black and white issue is a sure sign of cowardice. I hope the base isn't buying.

I will reform the legal system and appoint strict constructionist judges.
Seeing how the War on Terror is inimical to the principles delineated in the Constitution, this is an absurd claim. If he supports secret courts and wire tapping, he doesn't care about the Constitution, which means he isn't going to nominate strict constructionists. End of story.

I will ensure that every community in America is prepared for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
Impossible and impossible, not to mention that this isn't the role of the federal government. Seriously, how vain are we as a county that we believe we are above nature, and that we can possibly be free from harm? Between the right-wing nuts who think the Islamo-fascists--no such thing, by the way--will destroy civilization--as if the death of three thousand Americans is even a drop in that bucket--and the left-wing nuts who think we're going to destroy the planet by warming her up--as if doing so would harm anyone but ourselves--I think the whole country has gone mad. We will never, ever, be safe. Either be afraid of something, anything, for the rest of your life, or grow up and stop cowering over what is inevitable anyway. Let me ruin the ending for you: you're going to die. Stop pretending otherwise.

I will provide access to a quality education to every child in America by giving real school choice to parents.
Does this mean he is going to burn down all the schools? Now there's a press conference I'd enjoy, and might actually watch. Less drastically, he could simply eliminate the Department of Education, which Paul has proposed to do, and Giuliani won't. The schools cannot be reformed, and while school choice is a good idea--at a state level, not a federal one--homeschooling is the best viable alternative. That it is impractical for some does not dismiss its place as the ideal, leaps and bounds ahead of the accepted norm, the barbarous public schools.

I will expand America's involvement in the global economy and strengthen our reputation around the world.
Whereas the fulfillment of the first is in direct opposition to the second, this promise cannot be fulfilled. In areas of the world wherein we have no presence, cultural or militarily speaking primarily, the people give us little thought, ill or otherwise. In areas wherein we have presence, we are generally looked down upon as bullies, and promulgators of immorality--though in Europe and Japan the latter is not true. The best way to endear people of the world to us is to retract from a globalist foreign policy, which Ron Paul, alone amongst the Republican presidential candidates, promises to do.

As you can tell, I love Rudy. I can't wait to hear how we need to elect him so that we don't have to suffer through Hillary's reign. If Rudy is the best Republicans can do, to paraphrase Bush, bring her on!

If We All Just Made More Money

It looks like I found someone who is more paranoid than I am:

The actual truth is that raising the minimum wage is the most shameful "achievement" of any Congress in the last forty years. The reason that I make this highly-inflammatory and rudely derogatory statement is threefold:

1) Congress's own continual, irresponsible expansion of government, by deficit-spending the excess money and credit (monetary inflation) created by the Federal Reserve, is what produced the inflation in prices that "necessitated" the increase in the minimum wage,

2) it is the culmination of 94 years of gathering the most profound, incontrovertible actual proof that the Federal Reserve cannot be trusted to maintain the value of the fiat dollar because the dollar's buying power has gone down, and down, and down the whole freaking time since the Fed was established in 1913, and the dollar now has a lousy 3% of its original purchasing power left, and yet not one damned Congress has done one damned thing to require the Fed to do anything different in the whole 94 years, and

3) because I enjoy being contemptuous and sarcastically rude to people who are being trusted to know better and act better, but don't.

A quick way to tell if someone has a grasp on economic issues is to ask them for their stance on minimum wage. If they say they want it to be higher they likely don't understand free markets--or simply despise them, which is at least more honest. Raising the minimum wage might be a good PR move since most Americans, having been educated in government run schools, lack the insight to realize the futility of such a gesture, but futile it is.

In ten years we'll again be forced to endure some liberal pontificating about how if only we raise the minimum wage, poor people will be able to afford things. What these simpletons fail to appreciate is the extent that modifying one aspect of a system changes the system as a whole. Like Heisenberg and his atom, we can't measure speed without losing position and vice versa, except that when it comes to vaguely free markets we can determine how the model will react based on some simple rules as well as historical precedent. Hence raising the minimum wage invariably causes inflation; it does absolutely nothing to reduce poverty, either in extent or in number of cases.

Like the nonsensical War on Terror, the War on Poverty will always fail to achieve its object. And, again similarly, this seems to make little sense until you realize that these Wars aren't about defeating anything. Perpetual war is good for the State, and the best way to ensure a never-ending fight is to make one's object vaguely defined, and victory unachievable.

That the dollar has lost 97% of its value in just over ninety years sounds discouraging, and to a large extent it is. However, it took France less than five years to destroy their currency during their ill-fated Revolution. Early Americans were similarly mis-fortunate: one seldom deals in Continentals any more. I can't claim surprise that the American dollar is rapidly reaching the level of worthlessness, though I am a bit amazed it has taken so long.

The lesson, as always: giving power to the government is tremendously foolhardy. And, as the Mogambo Guru points out, it might not be a bad idea to invest in gold and other precious metals.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Paul Charming

I caught Ron Paul's interview on the Colbert Report tonight. Just one week after his appearance on The Daily Show, Ron Paul rocked Stewart's compatriot's far more absurd, but still delightful, show. Paul continues to demonstrate improvement in his television appearances. His principles are sound, which would be enough if only rational people voted, but universal suffrage requires appealing to the O'Reilly/Hannity crowd. But Paul is not bereft of charm, which could serve him well in the fight to come.

I hesitate to express signs of hope, but Paul is the first candidate I've ever believed in sincerely. Two things which cool my idyllic attitude:

1) The President can only do so much. Even supposing Paul wins, he still needs to get Congress to pass laws so that he can sign them into law. That said, Paul would still have the chance to nominate genuine conservative judges for the Supreme Court. In addition, if the Republicans and the Democrats team up to over-ride Paul's veto, the people will finally understand that the two parties are, for all practical purposes, one and the same. If Paul can do nothing as President, the Republic is doomed; but the Republic is probably doomed anyway. With Paul at the helm, we gain one last chance to steer clear of the pending ice berg.

2) The Republicans will never let Paul gain the nomination. He's too difficult to control. Bush was nominated because he was too naive to do anything to oppose the Powers That Be. Paul has been a member of Congress for ten years; he has compiled a record of strict constructionalism, or the closest approximation thereto since perhaps Jefferson. If the people really had a say, I'd have substantial hope for Paul, but I have strong doubts regarding the power which the people hold in this waning Republic of ours.

But I am reminded of a Chesterton quip: "Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful." The best of luck and God's blessings on Ron Paul's attempt to become our next President.

UPDATE: The Ron Paul supporters have provided my fine readers, such as they are, with a handy link. Enjoy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

He Never Really Liked You

Bush has a message for conservatives:

US President George W. Bush was confident Monday that the most sweeping overhaul of US immigration laws in two decades will ultimately clear Congress once he gets home from his European tour.

"I'm going to work with those who are focused on getting an immigration bill done and start taking some steps forward again. I believe we can get it done. I'll see you at the bill signing."

Keep this in mind when it comes time to elect whomever in '08. Yes, Hillary is an evil woman who will be bad for the Republic. But the lesson we didn't learn from Bush I that we had better learn from Bush II is that if they don't have the decency to run to the right to win your respect prior to the election they aren't going to do it once they've duped you into voting for them. As Vox Day noted in today's column:

First-time conservatives were fooled, and it wasn't completely their fault. The second time, they had no one else to blame. If conservatives are dumb enough to be fooled the third time in a row and nominate Fred Thompson as the Republican candidate, they will not only deserve the Clintonian tidal wave that will likely ensue, they will fully merit their dismissal by the Left as a community simply not based in reality.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Great Reform Scam

Mark Steyn gets it:

Remember the 1986 amnesty? Mahmoud abu Halima applied for it and went on to bomb the World Trade Center seven years later. His colleague, Mohammad Salameh, was rejected but carried on living here anyway. John Lee Malvo was detained and released by U.S. immigration in breach of its own procedures and re-emerged as the Washington sniper. The young Muslim men who availed themselves of the U.S. government's "visa express" system for Saudi Arabia filled in joke applications – "Address in the United States: HOTEL, AMERICA" – that octogenarian snowbirds from Toronto who've been wintering at their Florida condos since 1953 wouldn't try to get away with. The late Mohammed Atta received his flight-school student visa on March 11, 2002, six months to the day after famously flying his first and last commercial airliner.

All the above passed through the legal immigration system. Whether they were detained, rejected, approved or posthumously approved, in the end it made no difference. Because U.S. immigration had no real idea who these men were.

But, don't worry, they'll be able to handle another "12 million undocumented Americans" tossed in for express processing.

The real "immigration fraud" is not Mahmoud abu Halima's or John Lee Malvo's or Mohammed Atta's, but that of the politicians who attempted to foist this sham bill on the nation.

The opposition to the "immigration reform" bill is easy to understand, and the almost violent knee-jerk reaction against it isn't necessarily xenophobic. Whether or not you think that the government should deport illegals--as I do--or allow most of them, the ones without criminal records perhaps, to begin the process of becoming citizens, the fact remains that this bill does absolutely nothing to rectify future problems concerning illegal immigrants. It took the government twenty years to again address the issue; at the very least they will have to look at it again twenty years hence, though in all likelihood the crisis point will be reached far sooner as the migrant hordes from the south show no signs of abating and have long ago realized that illegal immigration is as frowned upon as marginal speeding.

A country which does not control its own borders is not a country; it is an abstract idea surrounded by blurry and fluctuating lines. Until America defends her borders, the idea, the definition of what not only America, but an American is, will be ill-defined. In time it will cease to exist at all save as a charming and meaningless term which somehow survived from antiquity.

What Bush and the Congress need to do is to produce a bill which delineates a plan to prevent illegal immigration. If they wish to allow the twelve million illegals to become citizens, fine; I'll be severely disappointed, but blanket amnesty isn't necessarily tragic, though it may be. However, tragedy will set in if the government fails to do anything to ensure that we don't have to run another round of amnesty in as little as a few years. Just how many migrants we can allow without forfeiting the southwest--or our sovereignty; or both--cannot be easily determined. But there is a definite limit to the number of barbarians Rome can handle before she falls.

There is another point in all this. Conservatives, such as myself, who have long ago lost faith in President Bush, have been told by other supposed conservatives that because 9/11 changed everything and now national security is the most important issue, we need to stand by Bush because he understands what is at stake with the War on Terror. Only he doesn't. He has absolutely no idea. I personally reject the claim that the Terrorists are the foremost threat to our freedom. It seems ironic to suggest but it is actually quite the contrary that the actions of our government in response to the Terrorists are the single biggest threat to the fading promises of the Constitution.

If you do follow the neo-conservative line of thinking, however, the best way to keep America free from attacks--it must be admitted that some attacks will still take place--is to prevent those who would make them from coming to this country. But we're not even pretending to do this.

Bush gets credit, from some conservatives, for keeping us safe from attacks post-9/11. But this can be nothing more than dumb luck. How hard can it be to attack a country which has allowed 12 million people to infiltrate itself in just over two decades? It is undeniably clear that those who "hate us" are refraining from another round of terror due to reasons of their own, to which we are not privy.

Those who defend Bush are running out of excuses. Fighting a War on Terror was never conservative, but Bush is no longer even pretending to do that. Through his complicity on border security, Bush has become a useful idiot to those he is supposed to be fighting. In exchange for another blow to western civilization, all we have gotten is a new department, straight out of Orwell, of little utility save as it serves to undermine and destroy liberty. All but the most senseless of conservatives must surely have awoken from their long slumber. The number and influence of those still asleep determines the future of the movement.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

More Nonsense From Moore

Notes Ben Smith:

But his conclusion is that she sold out. After her defeat in the first Clinton term, he says, she fell silent on the issue. And "for her silence, Hillary was rewarded. And she has been the second-largest recipient in the Senate of healthcare industry contributions."

I hesitate to resort to ad hominem attacks, but Michael Moore is a tremendous buffoon. The nation was not ready for socialized medicine in '94, but a timely terrorist attack has people fearing Islamofascists--whatever they are--more than their own government, making the American people more than ready this time around.

The other day Tucker Carlson made a good point in regards to the Republican presidential debate. For the record, I don't watch Tucker because I don't watch TV but I've been known to watch clips of Ron Paul related material over at youtube. Anyway, Tucker played a clip of Tommy Thompson, delineating which government program he would cut when he was president. Thompson highlighted a program which was so insignificant that neither I, who follow politics fairly closely, not Tucker, who follows them much more intensely, had ever heard of it. Meanwhile, Ron Paul started slashing whole departments left and right.

It is unfair to see Ron Paul as a crazy libertarian. His stance on economic issues is similar to the verbal commitments of Ronald Reagan, whom the party adores. His stance on foreign policy is consistent with traditional Republicanism, if not with recent party politics; moreover it is a stance with resonates with the American people. What Paul illustrates very well is how the definition of "big government" is constantly in flux. He also demonstrates why conservatism inevitably fails. It is not enough to maintain the status quo; one must reduce the size of the leviathan. Only Paul proposes to do this.

Moore needs to relax. A Republican who will accept the creation of the Homeland Security Department will eventually allow the feds to run health-care as well. Hillary will use all of the money she's gathered from those evil corporations to fund her ascent to the throne. Once seated, we will all get a chance to experience a little more socialism in our lives.

That the scheme will fail once implemented is as undeniable as it is beside the point. To realize why letting the government control such a large segment of the economy is a profoundly bad idea Moore will need to read enough history to realize the dangers of power. Why someone who hates Bush as much as he does would trust a system which elected him (or appointed him, whatever) to run health-care is utterly beyond me. I can't see trusting anybody who would be able to win the presidency, but if you trust the gal with the D next to her name you have to realize that the guy with the R will get to run the program she enacted. Such blind, naive, drunken optimism is truly appalling.

It's All About Benjamin's Opinion

Thus speaks Franklin:

Why should [the German] be suffered to swarm into our settlements and, by herding together, establish their language and manners to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanise us, instead of us Anglicising them?

Let's chalk him up as a posthumous proponent of Bush's amnesty plan. Sorry, "Immigration Reform".

And, as Paul Johnson writes:

[Franklin's] views were by no means unusual among the founders. Neither Washington nor Jefferson wanted unlimited or even large-scale immigration.

It may seem to be a paradox that Americans, who all descended from immigrants, are quick to shut the door on those who would seek to do the same, but it is a false paradox at best. There is nothing inconsistent in expecting those who would settle here to go through the same process of assimilation which our ancestors did. The extent of my Irish/German ancestry is a strange pair of red side-burns, and a love for Guinness and sauerkraut, though seldom together. I am, for good or for ill, an American. And the very least that can be said of the twelve plus million illegals who Bush is ready to make de facto citizens is that they are not nearly ready to consider themselves the same.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Derby Hasn't Learned

John Derbyshire, of whom I am normally quite fond, offers some less than valuable commentary:

Whiners, yes. Losers, only in the sense that the term might be used on the streets. I've long ago ordained Hillary, but even if Obama eeks out the nomination--which will never happen--he could beat any of the Republican candidates, save for maybe Ron Paul. Losers they may be, the next President of the United States stood on that stage.
Speaking of which: Jonah—While we're all regretting our former support of GWB, let's recall a little context. In 2000, it was GWB vs. Al Gore. In 2004, it was GWB vs. John Kerry.
Gore? Kerry? Say what you like about George, either of those guys would have been 100 percent worse. Right? Right.
OK, gonna fall asleep now.

I'll chalk up Derby's drivel to too little sleep. I think I'd rather have had Al Gore in charge, looking back on things. I doubt we would have invaded Iraq, and maybe the Republicans would have stood up to The Patriot Act, or at least to its bastard son. We wouldn't have had the tax cuts, sure, but they haven't been complimented with cuts in spending, rather the reverse, which means my generation will have to make up for Bush's fiscal irresponsibility. There is more to being conservative than simply cutting taxes after all; it's not as if JFK was much of a right-winger.

The only point that would worry me about Gore is that we'd have had to suffer through endless propaganda about Global Warming. At least he wouldn't have had the time to make An Inconvenient Truth. And with any luck, the draconian laws which would have been enacted to save us from the warming would have slowed the economy to a crawl. Thus the Republicans could have, theoretically, nominated a reliable conservative to oust Gore in '04.

John Kerry is probably more evil than George W. Bush, simply because he is even less principled, but Al Gore strikes me as being a smidgen better. The letters next to the politicians names don't mean a thing, and as nefarious as another Clinton presidency will be, there isn't a single candidate being touted by the conservative media who is significantly better.

A lesser evil is still evil. This could be the slogan of the stay-the-heck-home-crowd in '08. Staving off evil one abstention at a time.

No Reason For Tears

Bush's immigration plan has conservatives up in arms. It's about time. I probably should have commented on this before, but I honestly couldn't get all that fired up about the fact that Bush isn't a conservative because it's something I've been repeating, mostly to myself, for years. And while it's nice to see a few conservatives finally remove the scales from their eyes, the sort of person who can be duped for six years into supporting a man who opposes them on every important point is the same type of fool who will vote for Newt Gingrich (or whomever) when the GOP resuscitates his corpse to play the sacrificial victim to Hillary Clinton.

I can't say I wasn't surprised that Bush decided to make a move for amnesty because I expected him to continue to do nothing about immigration; though I expected, and still do, some heavy bombing of Iran before the President thankfully retreats to his little ranch--for good. But it's not as if Bush is acting against his principles. He has always cared more for himself and his friends than for the voters who honored him with two terms. With the War in Iraq unlikely to be wrapped up by '08, Bush made a move to save his legacy by granting 12 million illegals the present of de facto permanent citizenship. And really, when you compare it to the gutting of the Republic, the alleged selling-out of a Republican base which was too stupid for its own good is hardly a crime. Make no mistake about it, if Bush's plan goes through the Republic is doomed. At best, the Southwest will become, once again, a part of Mexico. More likely, the North American Union will become a reality and U.S. Sovereignty will pass to higher powers and smarmier elites.

Though I've always been pessimistic, this blog exacerbates what could be described as a character flaw. But it would be incorrect to conflate pessimism with unhappiness, or worse, despair. The American Republic was a fascinating and noble experiment, but like almost every human institution, it changes until it no longer retains a semblance of the form under which it was founded. That the Republic is now a plutocracy, that the people no longer have any real say except insofar as they can choose between two virtually indistinguishable candidates, is undeniably unfortunate. But there is little one can do to rectify the situation and, as the saying goes, there is no use crying over ruined republics.

Throughout human history, there have been few examples of actual power being wielded by the people. No doubt there were Athenians who despaired--see Plato--unaware that one day another glorious democracy would take shape. That chance may possibly come again.

Ultimately even the best human experiments go sour. Hope that one's circumstances are improvable is valuable, but true hope is reserved for the life which may lie beyond this one. Even at its height the American Republic was insignificant as compared with the City of God which waits in the clouds. And guided by that vision even the darkest dream of things to come in this once great land pales in comparison. In this we fortunate few may take comfort.