Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Threat to Modern International Liberalism

Rush Limbaugh frequently comments on his show that the left will tell you who they're afraid of by who they demonize.

Charles Krauthammer (quoted in the last post), said this:

The last refuge of a liberal

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 27, 2010

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the "bitter" people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging "to guns or religion or" -- this part is less remembered -- "antipathy toward people who aren't like them."

That's a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

Yesterday, the UK Independent posted this zany piece of tripe:

The threat to American conservatism

Monday, 30 August 2010

It is always tempting to home in on the absurdity of the Republican right in America, the almost comic quality of some of their views and the ludicrous nature of the accusations they hurl at President Barack Obama.

The paranoid and hate-filled world of the "birthers", the Tea Party people and all the rest is so alien to the British experience as to be incomprehensible. We tend not to take them seriously, or assume that the Republicans' constant lurch to the right inevitably renders them unelectable. We may be making a mistake. The huge size of the rally held in Washington at the weekend – where several hundred thousand people turned up to hear the Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck announce that America was "turning back to God" – provides further disturbing proof, if any were needed, of the growing popularity of the hard right.

The paranoid, hate-filled world of leftist Hillary supporter Philip Berg? Or is it because Obama brings up the birth certificate issue every time he gets the chance as a way to ridicule people he doesn't agree with? And what better way to address the birth certificate issue than to pass a law preventing it from being conclusively addressed? It's a funny soundbite on the surface, but since the long-form certificate has been hidden rather than shown to the public, it's just another indicator that transparency isn't valued at all by Obama. (Showing it would be a 5-minute solution to what the left claims is an issue.)

That part about "we don't control control every branch" sounded kinda ominous. As though he mentally punctuated it with "yet".

Tea Party hate? Oh, that's right, Brits do tend to be in favor of high taxes on the colonies. We've seen this before.
That means you, you snotty redcoat.

The root of the problem is in the second sentence, though. They "tend not to take seriously". Why? Because (haughty brit accent) these are peasants from the flyover states! Why should we take seriously the drivel that these know-nothing serfs prattle on about. They should be groveling at our magnificence at our wondrous ability to lead them into a glorious future, rather than resenting the grandeur that we have bequeathed to them. These chattering bucolic simpletons had best mind their manners when addressing their betters.

Whatever haughty Brit or snooty ex-pat wrote this, they don't have a clue. They revel in their ignorance. Quite literally - they ignore ideas that disagree with them in their ivory towers, and are annoyed when someone disagrees with them.

The reason their ivory towers run the way they do is because the conservative, provincial flyover states feed them, the blue-collar conservative worker builds their houses, and the baby-killer soldier they readily mock defends them. The elitist left exists in an artificial environment - which is why none of the left's ideas ever stand up to reality. They're like the stereotype of spoiled teenagers who think their parents fools, but who don't understand that their parents are the ones insulating them from the world.

The fact that the rally was held on the site where Martin Luther King made his "I have a dream" speech 47 years ago has caused offence among the heirs of King's civil rights movement, who resent Mr Beck's assertion that the two causes have much in common. But ructions from that quarter will do Mr Beck and fellow star turn Sarah Palin no harm among their supporters. It is more likely to do the opposite. Overwhelmingly white, conservative, rural and religious, their constant complaint that they "want their country back" is in part a thinly-veiled snipe at Mr Obama's race.

And Krauthammer is right again. "Overwhelmingly white" and sniping at race. So they're racists. Well, at least the left is consistently unoriginal.
From the stack labeled "Community Organizer Chest".

The problem with this is that American conservatives judge people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
This Republican guy made some good points. Maybe the left should listen to them.
American conservative values, as we've expounded upon here before, are based in conserving American virtues. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights... Kinda important things that ultimately defuse racism rather than support it.

Now, did it cause offence to the heirs of the civil rights movement? Maybe if you consider people who engineer strife and hatred to keep their race-baiting going. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be out of business if they didn't keep racial resentments simmering.

Those who weren't heirs, but were actual movers in the civil rights movement seemed okay with it. MLK's niece, Alveda King, spoke at the rally.

Here on the other side of the Atlantic, we await two things: for so-called ordinary Americans to recoil from and disavow the right's toxic, divisive rhetoric; and for moderate Republicans to start re-asserting the very different traditions of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and George Bush senior, for that matter.

Toxic? Divisive? Lower my taxes is toxic? Divisive is "quit taking money from one group to give to another"? Really? Note the Independent has no actual "toxic, divisive" quotes to give. Since there aren't any.

Moderate republicans? Lincoln? Sure, he preserved the union. He also suspended habeus corpus. I guess that's sorta like the left. Strong central govt, individual rights don't matter in the face of "the greater good" and the modern left can use moral equivalents to Lincoln's actual war against slavery to justify their own abuse of individuals.

Eisenhower wasn't a moderate. He warned against the military industrial-complex expansion of government, as well as gigantic federal expansion in other sectors of public life. He espoused small-govt principles in his farewell speech. Watch:

And Bush Sr. was not a conservative. New world order, all that jazz.

Neither of those outcomes seems to be materialising. Centrist Republicans have become a marginalised minority in their own party – eclipsed and somehow out of place among people who have come to expect references to God's will to appear in almost every sentence. Meanwhile, Obama's fellow Democrats are heading towards mid-term elections in November in a mood of despondency, and expect a drubbing at the hands of their adrenaline-filled opponents.

The gulf from leftist statism to liberty is vast. Centrists are those willing to appease, who have no principles. The left - the international left - wants more centrists to cut down the power and autonomy of the American individual. The expansion of state control by Obama and his Mao-loving, genocidal, communist cohorts is something that the American people reject.

The left rejects religion, because it's an affront to worshipping the state. The Brit saying "people who have come to expect references to God's will to appear almost every sentence" is of the class that also says that God is not appropriate for a sacred spot.

The UK Independent sums up with this, praising Obama:
The man they chose as his successor remains what he was on day one; a decent, thoughtful patriot and a builder of bridges who still aspires to lead a country in which race is no longer the defining issue. He has given the country a measure of health reform and begun the process of disengagement from costly and unpopular military entanglements.

A decent, thoughtful, patriot and a builder of bridges who aspires to lead a country in which race is no longer the defining issue. He has given the country a measure of health reform and begun the process of disengagement from costly and unpopular military entanglements.

All true, provided you view evil as good and wrong as right.

Modern liberalism, both domestic and international, is threatened by the Tea Party, is threatened by folks like Glenn Beck and his Restoring Honor rally, and is threatened by people who believe in their own independence.

There's a socialist/communist anti-capitalist poster that says "the boss needs you, you don't need the boss".
This isn't quite representative of reality, as "the boss" is just an individual (or representative of a group of individuals) who's amassed enough capital to be able to employ you, the worker, to help him with production. Provided you're in control of your own sale of labor, you can change jobs if you like, build capital if you like, and potentially become the self-employed worker who exercises his own use of capital and doesn't need the boss, or be a boss. None of which is bad.

The free market individual who understands this has no reason to fear this propaganda piece, that, while strictly true, isn't representative of reality.

When applied like this: "the big government bureaucrat ruler needs you, you don't need the big government bureaucrat ruler" - it becomes a threat to bureaucrats both domestic and international. America was founded on less government - and every time big government is shown to be the failure it is - big government rulers get scared.

Rush is right on this. The left will tell you who they fear. They fear individuals who don't need them. They are at their wits end, as Krauthammer notes, and have reduced themselves to crying racism. The race card is maxed out. And we don't need the big government bureaucrat ruler. The left fears that.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Modern Liberalism, Oikophobia, and Projection

Charles Krauthammer has a good piece at the Washington Post about how modern liberalism (leftism) inevitably fails and seeks to blame those it would rule.

The last refuge of a liberal

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 27, 2010

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the "bitter" people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging "to guns or religion or" -- this part is less remembered -- "antipathy toward people who aren't like them."

That's a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

It's an excellent piece, and I recommend reading it all at the link.

I'd planned on blogging about it yesterday, but good things come to those who wait, and now James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal has done a piece expounding on Krauthammer's column. Taranto explains how the modern liberal (leftist) is an oikophobe. This explains why self-identified liberals are intolerant of the people they profess to stand for, and share more in common with Soviet commissars who would never consider themselves the comrade of the "glorious" coal miner or wheat farmer.

Why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting.

If you think it's offensive for a Muslim group to exploit the 9/11 atrocity, you're an anti-Muslim bigot and un-American to boot. It is a claim so bizarre, so twisted, so utterly at odds with common sense that it's hard to believe anyone would assert it except as some sort of dark joke. Yet for the past few weeks, it has been put forward, apparently in all seriousness, by those who fancy themselves America's best and brightest, from the mayor of New York all the way down to Peter Beinart.

What accounts for this madness? Charles Krauthammer notes a pattern:

It's worth it to go back and read Krauthammer.

What is the nature of this contempt? In part it is the snobbery of the cognitive elite, exemplified by a recent New York Times Web column by Timothy Egan called "Building a Nation of Know-Nothings"--or by the viciousness directed at Sarah Palin, whose folksy demeanor and state-college background seem terribly déclassé not just to liberals but to a good number of conservatives in places like New York City.

In more cerebral moments, the elitists of the left invoke a kind of Marxism Lite to explain away opinions and values that run counter to their own. Thus Barack Obama's notorious remark to the effect that economic deprivation embitters the proles, so that they cling to guns and religion. (Ironically, Obama recently said through a spokesman that he is Christian.) Here's Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's labor secretary, explaining "The Anatomy of Intolerance" to readers of TalkingPointsMemo.com:
Many Americans (and politicians who [sic] the polls) don't want a mosque at Manhattan's Ground Zero. . . .
Where is all this coming from?
It's called fear. When people are deeply anxious about holding on to their homes, their jobs, and their savings, they look for someone to blame. And all too often they find it in "the other"--in people who look or act differently, who come from foreign lands, who have what seem to be strange religions, who cross our borders illegally.
So if some Americans are afraid of people "who have what seem to be strange religions," it must be a totally irrational reaction to "economic insecurity." It couldn't possibly have anything to do with an act of mass murder committed in the name of the religion in question.

And Reich doesn't just fail to see the obvious. He dehumanizes his fellow Americans by treating their values, feelings and opinions as no more than reflexive reactions to material conditions. Americans in fact are a very tolerant people. Even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was no serious backlash against Muslims. What makes them angry--what makes us angry--is the bigotry of the elites.

It's also worth it to read the whole thing here at the link.

Now, one more smaller read to tie things in together and that's it. Reason Online had a column the other day talking about the history of The Big Lie, and how it was not supposed to be a tool for use by fascists, but a tool that had been used against them, as described by Hitler. In modern usage, it's the concept of The Big Lie that's important, not so much it's origin... until someone cites its origin incorrectly. But I digress... the important part is that the leftist founder of DailyKos has released a shitty new book and what it shows about the left.

Roger Ebert, Hypocrisy, and "the Big Lie"
Michael C. Moynihan | August 26, 2010

As I observed on Twitter last night (which you would have known if you were following me), the strangest thing about Markos Moulitsas’s stupid new book American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right is that it is blurbed by David Coverdale, the leather-faced former Whitesnake front man. Quoth Mr. Tawney Kitaen, “American Taliban shines a blinding light on the conservative right’s dark agenda. Anyone who genuinely cares about America should read this book.”

The title of Moulitsas’ book is pretty self-explanatory, but according to the promotional materials provided by the publisher, the DailyKos founder “pulls no punches as he compares how the Republican Party and Islamic radicals maintain similar worldviews and tactics.” To my comrades on the left, congratulations on the acquisition of your very own Dinesh D’Souza. But today I noticed a few other effusive blurb writers praising the Republican-Taliban connection:

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is, I am often told, a paragon of reason on cable news. Indeed, she opined to Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.): “Do you feel like it's possible to have a constructive debate, even about hot-button issues like abortion, like some of the other things that have attracted some of the most extreme rhetoric? Or do you feel like things have now been so heated, for so long, and there's been so many exaggerations that the prospects for civil discussion are dim?” Yes, purge the extreme, over-heated rhetoric from the debate...by providing a blurb for a book comparing the Republican Party to the Taliban! Because, as Maddow says, “It isn’t possible to understand American politics now without understanding the worldview and arguments of Markos Moulitsas.”

The book is called American Taliban, and it's every bit as stupid as you'd expect from Markos "Screw Them" Moulitsas. The bogus polls he cites are from pollsters he's suing because they manufactured data to suit his book. It's leftist propaganda. No surprise there.
For reference, he was saying "Screw them" about those two Americans hanging from the bridge.

James Taranto of WSJ (just read the whole thing already) finishes with this:

There is one important difference between the American oik and his European counterpart. American patriotism is not a blood-and-soil nationalism but an allegiance to a country based in an idea of enlightened universalism. Thus our oiks masquerade as--and may even believe themselves to be--superpatriots, more loyal to American principles than the vast majority of Americans, whom they denounce as "un-American" for feeling an attachment to their actual country as opposed to a collection of abstractions.

Yet the oiks' vision of themselves as an intellectual aristocracy violates the first American principle ever articulated: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . ."

This cannot be reconciled with the elitist notion that most men are economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite. Marxism Lite is not only false; it is, according to the American creed, self-evidently false. That is why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting.

This is how modern liberals (again, leftists) can accuse those who aren't leftists of being like the Taliban, of being closed-minded, of being haters, of being reactionary small-minded bigots. Simultaneously, the liberal can embrace the sharia-supporting Cordoba/Ground Zero Mosque, embracing their own open-mindedness by embracing islam, yet ignore women's and gay rights that they also claim to support. This is how the modern liberal can accuse everyone but them of being "economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite" - just as Taranto says.

To the educated elite of the left, the Taliban and Islamic terrorists, soccer moms and Nascar dads are all the same, even though they're opposites. To the educated elite of the left, when they have to decide who the real bad guy is, oikophobia rules, and they tear down the American citizen who rejects the left's statist rule - be it absurd taxes or the left's de facto support of the advancement of a global caliphate.

Perhaps one quote by Moulitsas * makes this distinction more clear:
The military is perhaps the ideal society -- we worked hard but the Army took care of us in return. All our basic needs were met -- housing, food, and medical care. ... The Army taught me the very values that make us progressives -- community, opportunity, and investment in people and the future.

A regimented, structured society with a caste system where everyone wears the same clothing, everyone operates at the same time, where regulations are harshly enforced and grueling work is the norm? Where liberty and freedom are granted only by the grace of those of superior rank? The left does want a harshly statist society. They want to live in 1984. They want the state to rule them "for the greater good".

His freedom is slavery.
His ignorance is strength.

Moulitsas doesn't seem to understand that the military is voluntary. There is a great distinction between being conscripted into a socialist state with threat of prison just to be a citizen and voluntarily making one's personal liberty and even life secondary in order to keep your fellow countrymen safe.

But the left wants to be the ruling class and resent it when the country class tells them no. Anyone who doesn't submit to their grand scheme of a regimented society for the "greater good" is the problem. Anyone who opposes the country class is someone they ally with.

They are oikophobe bigots and tyrants, who accuse others of being bigoted tyrants if they resist. Projection.

*Of course, given that the left frequenly has liars who claim military service as street cred - like the liar Micah Wright, we're just assuming that Moulitsas was in the military. 20 mile road march and bleeding feet in boot camp? I find that claim highly dubious.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Progressives Against Progress


Progressives Against Progress
The rise of environmentalism poisoned liberals’ historical optimism.
by Fred Siegel

For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, American liberals distinguished themselves from conservatives by what Lionel Trilling called “a spiritual orthodoxy of belief in progress.” Liberalism placed its hopes in human perfectibility. Regarding human nature as essentially both beneficent and malleable, liberals, like their socialist cousins, argued that with the aid of science and given the proper social and economic conditions, humanity could free itself from its cramped carapace of greed and distrust and enter a realm of true freedom and happiness. Conservatives, by contrast, clung to a tragic sense of man’s inherent limitations. While acknowledging the benefits of science, they argued that it could never fundamentally reform, let alone transcend, the human condition. Most problems don’t have a solution, the conservatives maintained; rather than attempting Promethean feats, man would do best to find a balanced place in the world.
American liberalism has remarkably come to resemble nineteenth-century British Tory Radicalism, an aristocratic sensibility that combined strong support for centralized monarchical power with a paternalistic concern for the poor. Its enemies were the middle classes and the aesthetic ugliness it associated with an industrial economy powered by bourgeois energies.
Like the Tory Radicals, today’s liberal gentry see the untamed middle classes as the true enemy. “Environmentalism offered the extraordinary opportunity to combine the qualities of virtue and selfishness,” wrote William Tucker in a groundbreaking 1977 Harper’s article on the opposition to construction of the Storm King power plant along New York’s Hudson River. Tucker described the extraordinary sight of a fleet of yachts—including one piloted by the old Stalinist singer Pete Seeger—sailing up and down the Hudson in protest. What Tucker tellingly described as the environmentalists’ “aristocratic” vision called for a stratified, terraced society in which the knowing ones would order society for the rest of us. Touring American campuses in the mid-1970s, Norman Macrae of The Economist was shocked “to hear so many supposedly left-wing young Americans who still thought they were expressing an entirely new and progressive philosophy as they mouthed the same prejudices as Trollope’s 19th century Tory squires: attacking any further expansion of industry and commerce as impossibly vulgar, because ecologically unfair to their pheasants and wild ducks.”

Neither the failure of the environmental apocalypse to arrive nor the steady improvement in environmental conditions over the last 40 years has dampened the ardor of those eager to make hair shirts for others to wear. The call for political coercion as a path back to Ruskin’s and Mishan’s small-is-beautiful world is still with us. Radical environmentalists’ Tory disdain for democracy and for the habits of their inferiors remains undiminished. True to its late-1960s origins, political environmentalism in America gravitates toward both bureaucrats and hippies: toward a global, big-brother government that will keep the middle classes in line and toward a back-to-the-earth, peasantlike localism, imposed on others but presenting no threat to the elites’ comfortable lives. How ironic that these gentry liberals—progressives against progress—turn out to resemble nothing so much as nineteenth-century conservatives.

More at City Journal.

This article interested me since it points out the leftist ruling class' environmental statist ideology. Written by a leaning-lefty, he seems somewhat dismayed by the constant push for statist rule by "liberals". This ideology quickly summed up:
1. Nature is god (whether the left believes it or it's just to get to #4 is up to the individual lefty)
2. The masses ruin nature
3. Therefore masses must be controlled (or exterminated)
4. The leaders know best and are exempt from rules for the masses

Fred Siegel's politics seem to lean left (without doing too much research into the guy), and this is shown in his ending statement.

19th Century British "conservatives" are not the same as US conservatives. Look at the top of the blog here. See where it says " helping to conserve American libertarian values"? That's US conservatism.

Conservatism within the US is often viewed as traditionalism - which is associated with religious and family groups, and while often laudible in their non-governmental efforts, conservatism is adherence to the Constitution and adherence to those principles of the Constitution. It's a document of classic liberalism - as in liberty for all, tolerance for all, and the ability for each man (and woman) to live his live how he chooses free of all but the fewest govt. restrictions.

The US is a nation of free men who came together to establish a nation of free men. They took pride in their traditions, but did not want to impose on one another. The most unifying tradition is that of a reverence for freedom.

Conservatism - as in conservation of one's original values - in other nations is a different animal. Conservatism in England may represent groups like the British National Party, which has a very pro-Anglo/pro-white/anti-everybody-who's-not-a-white-Brit bias to them. They are conserving old values of the UK, just values that are rooted in nationalism and white British ethnic supremacy.

Until a 2009 court order, they restricted their membership to "indigenous caucasian". Presumably to keep any smart-ass Chechens from joining just to fuck with them.

Conservatism in Japan may represent hard nationalist policies that are very pro-Japanese and frequently anti-Korean, anti-Chinese. Conservatism in France or Iran may represent laws that preserve the language against any change or modification, or variations against traditional morality of those nations.

Pictured: elastic loaves.

The United States, unlike most nations in the world, is a collection of different ethnic groups. The US is not represented by one cardinal national group. There is no "American" ethnicity. There is a group of people who are irish, a group who are german, a group who are russian, congolese, brazilian, mexican, japanese, chinese, etc. There is no ethnicity nor ethnic culture to match the United States.

Thus Siegel makes a big mistake in assuming that this leftist enviro-statism has anything to do with actual conservatism. The difference between British monarchists in the 19th century and American conservatives is vast. The left, which are emphatically illiberal and intolerant, despite their nom de jour "liberal", are far from American conservatism. That they may want to conserve monarchical dictatorial rule is not a surprise to those who've seen the effects of disagreeing with a "liberal." (Liberal-on-liberal violence, especially.)

That some use environmentalism and some use ethnic supremacy are simply different means to the same end: power. Some are naked in their power grab based on what they perceive as an ethnic right, some grab for power by determining that they alone can save the world from an environmental apocalypse - and that all others be damned. Neither is remotely like American conservatism. Both are statism, autocracy, and dictatorship.

American conservatism is entrenched in these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Rural Point of View

A quick summary of some major differences in culture between regions to put some things in perspective.

By Texas natives Reverend Horton Heat.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose III

Milton Friedman on the Economy in 1980 talking with Phil Donahue, followed by more proof government is going the wrong way, and the free market is the greatest cause of happiness in the world.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

The solutions that work remain the same then as now. Reduce spending, lower taxes, reduce regulation, let people be free.

And again, that's enough of Donahue's hair. Palate cleanser:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Media vs Black Tea Partiers

Reporters vs black conservatives at a national press club event on 8/4/10.

HT Jawa Report & Breitbart.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Permission to Rock The Vote, Sir?


I'd heard some info about this in the last few days, but Matthew Breitbart's Big Peace site and the Washington Times have a pretty good roundup of what's going on.



Short version, the government got told they have to make sure deployed troops can vote. the Obama administration, knowing that troops will vote against democrats, has seen fit to pass on actually enforcing the rules that will make it so troops are guaranteed their rights to vote even when deployed.

Instead, as is noted in the story, the Obama administration is more interested in restoring voting rights for felons - as he expects them to vote for him.

Transparent pandering to whoever will vote him and his leftist cronies into power in perpetuety.

It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes.
- Josef Stalin