July 31, 2004

The Liberal Superior Dance

If there were a Jewish equivalent of Dana Carvey's Church Lady , it would be Michael Lerner, whose piece in the Sabbath Wall Street Journal exemplifies the liberal self-congratulatory view that they are not merely right, but morally superior to the Great Unwashed.

Lerner admits that the whole DNC farce was a masquerade. The fake salute, the ad nauseam references to John Kerry's four months in Viet Nam, the parade of generals -- all to disguise the fact that this is a party that believes not that we should resist evil, but we should not fight.

Whether this disguise will actually lead the left not to vote or to vote for Nader is far from clear. What is clear is that Lerner thinks that his "cultural creatives" (aka the Left) are just better people. This view is ironic, given how the secular left gasps in horror at the religiosity of some of Bush's supporters.

This "Superior Dance" is offensive, and in other times and places has justified active repression by the left against the rest of society.

Lerner also reminds me I need to discuss George Lakoff's book Moral Politics, where Lakoff identifies many liberal and conservative themes in American with two different paradigms of child-rearing. An interesting thesis, for another discussion.

July 29, 2004

Party of Creeps

Al Sharpton's speech at the Democratic convention won a huge ovation from the delegates, whose leftism has been muzzled for network television, to pull the wool over twelve independents in Ohio.

The truth is, they like Al Sharpton, not just tolerate him. And he sure is livelier than the creep they nominated.

There's a problem, though. Al Sharpton is an unreconstructed racist and opportunist. He tried to frame a small-town assistant DA in the Tawana Brawley case, which was a total fabrication, and has never apologized. He travels around the country trying to stir up unrest over police incidents, even non-events. And he appears to be personally corrupt.

None of this seems to bother the Democrats, who let this phony on the podium during the primaries along with the horrid dwarf Dennis Kucinich.

Every repulsive trend in our culture now finds its home in the Democratic party. And they flaunt it.

Kerry may be affecting a sudden appearance of moderation, and he might just be stolid and boring enough to pull it off. But he is upheld by a party that, judging by its activists' true spirit, is a party of creeps.

I could go on about what's wrong with Bush, but one can only shudder at the possibility that the party of Sharpton and Kucinich might actually come to power.

Is the One Who's Kneeling the Gay One?

See Allahpundit for news on the Teletubbies' first venture into U.S. politics. Priceless!

Where is the Outrage?

Robert Corr links to various reports on the situation in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Long story short -- the Arab Muslim government of the Sudan responded to a rebellion by African Muslim farmers in the Darfur region by arming and aiding Arab horseback militias to kill, rape, and drive out hundreds of thousands of civilians of African descent. These crimes are continuing.

The Arab states in the UN, Chiraqistan (formerly known as France), Russia and China are resisting sanctions.

Although I'm a sanction-skeptic, the fact that those who vote for every resolution about Israel, and denounce the war in Iraq that deposed a bloody tyrant, RESIST any action on these atrocities highlights the corruption of the UN.

Domestically, where's the outrage on the part of the Randall Robinsons, Julian Bonds, and Al Sharptons? These political whores, racists, and opportunists (some day I'll tell you how I really feel) are, of course, silent. No racial hay to be made here, no votes for the Democrats in this, no corporations to blackmail.

Well, no use getting angry at a rattlesnake because it's venomous. But it's important to remind oneself that it is venomous.

July 28, 2004

Internationalism and Weaseldom

This story in the Independent shows how useless the UN is, even in the elementary task of protecting women and children against mass murder -- and even when the victims and the perpetrators are Muslims.

The Russians and the Chinese both have minorities they mistreat or might want to mistreat in the future, and the French have sworn their oath of fealty to weaseldom.

John Kerry's main overt criticism of the Bush Administration is that they didn't do enough to "internationalize" the war in Iraq, and involve the United Nations. The UN, however, is not the philanthropic fraternal entity advertised on UNICEF Christmas cards, but a carel of tyrants and kleptocrats.

The truth is that, whatever our failings, the prospect for any sort of decent world order depends not upon the UN but upon the leadership of the United States. We may wish to have this cup pass from us, but it won't, not for a long time.

July 25, 2004

Real Issues and Fake Issues

What you won't hear: 12 topics Democrats will duck at convention is the insufferable Ralph Nader's take on issues our dumbed down election campaign won't take up.

I'm no fan of Nader, the Apostle of the Nanny State, but he's got a point here. Although there is a fundamental difference between Bush, who knows we're in a war, and Kerry, who intones ponderous pieties about the corrupt United Nations, George and John will tack, bob, weave and triangulate their way out of a meaningful campaign, and most of the important issues will go by the boards.

Certainly, John's purple hearts and George's National Guard capers are not what's important now. Campaigns often have no relevance to what the elected President does afterword (Examples: Wilson's "He Kept Us Out of War" slogan, FDR's pledge to balance the budget), but is it beyond imagining that a campaign could be about things that really matter?

I've been thinking about this concern for some time. Ultimately one's approach may rest upon deep questions about the philosophy of history and about human nature. More mundanely, the big issues can be described in terms that Congress or the President could implement. Then there is an intermediate level of analysis -- the proper role of government, whether the state should/can promote social equality, to what extent this country should try change the world as opposed to keeping our own people safe and our powder dry.

It would be worthwhile to have discussions on all three levels, but perhaps we should start with the specific, and move on to the general. Tonight I think I'll just list, in no particular order of priority, some issues that ought to be discussed, but won't, at least not seriously.

Issue 1 -- Immigration. Should we limit immigration? Should we redirect immmigration to favor certain skill groups or countries of origin? Should we actually enforce our immigration laws, and if so, are we prepared for hundreds of thousands of deportations of people here illegally? If not, how do we regularize their status without inviting more illegal entrants?

Issue 2 -- "War" on Drugs. Should we declare victory and go home?
This war has enormous costs in money, loss of liberty, and incarceration of thousands? If not, and it's a war, can it be won?

Issue 3 -- Entitlements for the Old. As the average age of our people rises, and medicine extends lives, our Social Security, Medicare, and other programs become increasingly threatened with insolvency. Old people vote in higher proportions than the young, but for society, investment in the young has a bigger payoff than in the old. But will any politician touch this "third rail"?

Issue 4 -- Environmental Risks. The question of whether global warming is real and a result of human activity may be unresolved, but it's clear that major environmental problems, with major risks, abound. For example, the oceans are being fished out, our mining of water from the high plains west and long-term drought are threatening water shortages, and our inefficient use of energy poses political and environmental problems. How capable are we of understanding these forces, and how vigorously should government act to reduce unnecessary environmental risks.

Issue 5 -- Public Morals. There has been a general coarsening of public discourse and mores, in which commercial media play a major part. Fewer children are born into intact households. The mass employment of women, the emphasis of short term individual satisfaction as the basis for sexual and marital relations (of which the homosexual issue is one manifestation), the decline of fertility below replacement levels, are all interrelated. Can government affect these things at all, and if so, what should its goals be, and how are they to be achieved?

Issue 6 -- Multiculturalism. Some believe that we should encourage diversity in race, culture and language; others believe our history and our future depend upon a consensus around the English language, a public ethos predominantly derived from Protestant values and other forms of historical continuity, and failing this continuity we are in for cultural decay, internal strife, and even Balkanization. Who is right, and what can we do about it?

There are more issues to be added to the list. Enough for now. After listing them, I will begin to discuss them, one by one.

Liberal Fishwrap?

In his article Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent's confession -- albeit grudging -- that the Times is a "liberal newspaper" confirms what we right-wing nudnicks have been saying forever. Okrent, referring to "social issues" says that "if you think the Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed."

An example dear to my heart was the news that Sandy Berger was smuggling his notes and secret documents out of the National Archive in his socks, a story the Times saw fit to put below the fold on Page A16, while leaving a story about the new fashion among the glitterati of men wearing their shirts outside their pants on page A1. This was Clinton's National security Adviser, not a Fawn Hall or an Aldrich Ames. Not only Clinton's National Security Adviser, but one of John Kerry's key foreign policy advisers.

Okrent's case in point for his confession is the gay marriage debate, where the Times neglects even public testimony from the anti-gay-marriage side while publishing puff-pieces on the homosexualist side of the issue.

Publisher Sulzberger's cop-out is that the Times is an "urban" newspaper, not a liberal one. More precisely, it's the newspaper of Manhattan singles and upscale suburbanites -- Soho and Great Neck -- especially if they're of Jewish origin and not religious. It's not the newspaper of West Indian shopkeepers or Irish Catholic policemen.

The Times historically claimed to be the "newspaper of record" and has gone national. Even as its journalistic reputation has declined and its circulation has become national, its politics and its journalistic choices have become more and more parochial.

Our local paper here, the Orange County Register, is an interesting contrast. The Register's editorial pages make it the Pravda of libertarianism, utterly dogmatic and utterly predictable, although refereshing because it's such a voice in the wilderness. The Register's coverage, however, reflects no libertarian bias, perhaps because its staff, like most American journalists, is mostly liberal or further left.

The Times's pretense of objectivity and authoritativeness, however, is belied by its bias. And like most forms of hypocrisy, it's annoying. If it weren't for the crosswords and double-crostics, I'd probably go elsewhere for my fishwrap.

John Kerry

I just saw some pre-convention snippets of the man on TV. He is incredibly annoying. I don't feel warm and fuzzy about W's persona, but Kerry makes my skin crawl.

I wonder why.