Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A modest prophecy

My computer is finally working again, so I can throw together a quick post. Unless the market tanks hard, and soon, it doesn't appear that Hillary will be pushing Obama aside. We can't quite count it out yet; a former Goldman employee is actually facing charges, so if Obama proves serious about holding the banksters accountable, the elites could replace him with a more palatable figure. Still, until we receive more information to the contrary, it's safe to say that Obama will remain a Wall Street candidate.

Only one of the Republicans candidates interests me in the slightest, but I find amusement in handicapping the race. Huntsman, Bachmann and Santorum should wash out soon. Perry has plenty of establishment cash, but he can't manage to string together more than a couple of sentences. He looks presidential--and yes, pathetically, that does matter--at least until he opens his mouth.

That leaves Newt, Cain, and, of course, the frontrunner himself, Romney. Gingrich has a certain appeal; he's coherent, and consistently bashes Obama, which plays well with the base. But he has nothing in the way of specifics to offer; trimming waste and reducing regulations were goals he should have achieved during the Contract With America. However he may campaign, he remains a Washingtonian insider. When this election cycle ends, Newt will be back on television, arguably where he belongs.

Cain is presently challenging Romney for the lead. This says more about the lack of fervor for Romney than does about Cain, whose pro-life credentials are, shall we say, dubious. Moreover, Cain, like Romney, was in favor of the TARP bailouts. With the still bankrupt banks looking like they could use another injection of cash, the last thing the Republican base wants is a candidate who will support a bailout. Last, but not least, Cain's vaunted 999 plan will increase taxes for most Americans. His plan is catchy, but does not stand up to scrutiny.

This leaves Romney alone. Actually not quite. Ron Paul's appeal is limited; he has been marginalized when he has not been ostracized as crazy. Moreover, despite their purported desires for limited government, many Americans still cling to Empire; Paul's insistence that we mind our own business, paying only for defense is too often seen as isolationism.

Still, Paul has offered $1 trillion in spending cuts--in one year. Romney promises that he will create all sorts of jobs, but cuts will come to a mere $20 billion. Now the raison d'etre of the Tea Party was opposition to government spending, which has left out country deeply in debt, and impoverished children not yet born. If the Tea Party is serious, they will have to support Ron Paul. His other views are simply not relevant given the enormity of the debt problem.

I have no doubt whatsoever that the Republicans will spurn Paul for the "more electable" Romney. But if the chance of a Paul nomination remains remote, it is less remote than it once was. Perhaps the Stupid Party will, just this once, fail to live up to its name. If they make the right choice, I will offer a very joyous mea culpa.

Regardless, a choice we shall have, between yet another lackluster establishment candidate and one who has a lengthy history of consistent opposition to that opponent of life and liberty, the State. Such is more than we could have expected this late into the republic's decline. May we choose wisely.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Assassinating Americans

My computer situation has been rather dicey as of late. I'm in the process of obtaining another copy of Windows 7 to reinstall; in the meantime, I've been running Fedora, booting from my DVD drive. It's not terribly stable.

So I'll make this short. I'd like to put something together later about the lawlessness of American society. We seem to be in a state of anarcho-tyranny. Large crimes go unpunished, but the citizens are held culpable for a seried of bizarre and insignifcant infractions. The fact that no one has been held accountable for the financial mess is a good example of this. Not only should the regulators who failed to detect any malfeasance be fired, but an investigation should be started to determine the extent of the fraud perpetuated by the banks.

Another example of anarcho-tyranny is the assassination of the American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. Conventional wisdom has is that he was a terrorist and as such deserved to die. But we really don't know if he was a terrorist, both because the term as used by our government is sufficiently broad enough to cover a panoply of behaviors, but also because the government has not released the information it possesses which proves that he is, in fact, a terrorist.

Yet this obscures the greater point, which is this: the rule of law is an intregal component of any well-ordered society. It separates civilization from barbarism. As such, any attempts to go around our legal system should be viewed with a modicum of skepticism. Our justice system is far from perfect, but circumventing it hardly constitutes an improvement.

Anwar al-Awlaki was not charged with a crime. He was not tried and found guilty. He was executed at the discretion of our President. Awlaki is an exceptional citizen in many regards. Yet there is nothing to prevent the President from issuing similar orders against any other citizen. He may very well have been a terrorist, but since he was never charged with a crime, he is not objectively different from any other citizen.

This is an alarming precedent. We will come to regret that we stood silently by as our government abrogated our constitutional right to due process under the guise of fighting our never ending War on Terror.